Breaking down the Shelby County mayoral race

Breaking down the Shelby County mayoral race

SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Whether it's Republican Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir or Democrat State Senator Lee Harris -- both candidates running for Shelby County mayor have their eyes on the finish line.

"I'm energized by these voters. We've been running hard for Shelby County mayor for the last ten months, so we're in the last five days where folks are really, really paying attention right now," Lee Harris said.

"It's a ground game, the next few days. I'm fortunate to have volunteers who have made a lot of phone calls. We'll go door-knocking, canvassing the neighborhoods," David Lenoir said.

WMC political analyst Michael Nelson considers both men top-tier candidates.

"Both of them are intelligent, experienced, and committed to serving the people of Shelby County," Nelson said. "They have different approaches to the job they have different political philosophies, but it's a good choice. Either one of them is an able person."

Harris' campaign touts a "countdown to a new era" focusing on lifting residents out of poverty by expanding options for Pre-K, job training, apprenticeships, blight reductions and lower transportation costs.

Lenoir's campaign calls for a "safer, stronger Shelby County" by prioritizing jobs, schools, and safe streets while promising to keep taxes low and slash the county's debt.

Nelson said new leadership can be an adrenaline shot to government, but there can be some early mistakes too.

"The positive way to look at it is we're going to have a fresh start. New people running the show, but you also have to worry about the lack of experience," Nelson said.

Voter turnout will be key for either candidates' success, and outgoing Mayor Mark Luttrell said whoever wins will have a full plate on day one.

"The challenges in education, the challenges in public health, the challenges in public safety, those are the core issues of county government," Mayor Luttrell said.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.