Democrats Harris, Bonner elected Shelby County mayor, sheriff
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Election Day is over. Voters across Tennessee flocked to the polls Thursday for important general and primary elections.
Once again an election day resulted with some confusion out of Shelby County.
It took more than two hours after polls closed for Shelby County to even report any vote numbers. Then shortly after reporting the first numbers, the real confusion began.
The Shelby County Election Commission website temporarily reported 166 of 166 precincts reporting--100 percent. At this time, it showed Democrats Lee Harris and Floyd Bonner won the races for mayor and sheriff respectively.
However, shortly after showing 100 percent of precincts reporting, the Shelby County Election Commission website crashed.
Then, WMC Action News 5's Joyce Peterson, who was stationed at the election commission was told by election commission officials that they had 113 of 166 precincts tallied.
When Shelby County Election Commission announced it had 95.7 percent of the precincts reporting, David Lenoir and Dale Lane conceded the races for mayor and sheriff.
Harris and Bonner then emerged to thank their constituents for their support.
The victory makes Bonner the first African-American elected Shelby County sheriff.
"It's a remarkable story," WMC Action News 5 political analyst Mike Nelson said.
He said traditionally, Democrats have struggled in Shelby County elections. He said that was because the party had been unorganized at the grassroots level. However, he said that appears to have changed.
"Well now they've gotten their act together. The Democrats in Shelby County are well organized," Nelson said. "I think what we're seeing here is the Democrats have risen at the county level...the result was strong candidates like Lee Harris and Floyd Bonner."
More than three hours after the first Tennessee polls closed, the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor were announced. After a hotly contested, and expensive, Republican primary race for Tennessee governor, one man came out on top.
Political newcomer Bill Lee topped Randy Boyd, Diane Black, and Beth Harwell.
Lee is a businessman who made a late charge that paid off.
While Lee's victory may have been a surprise to many, the winner of the Democratic primary was not nearly as surprising.
Karl Dean, a former Nashville mayor, easily won the Democratic primary.
Tennessee Senate Race
In the race to replace Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee): Marsha Blackburn will take on Phil Bredesen come November. The two candidates won their respective primaries and will now turn their attention to convincing Tennesseans that they will best represent them in the Senate.
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