Mulroy to Pull Petition for County Mayor on Monday

Second-term County Commissioner joins Malone, Harvey, Whalum on list of declared Democratic hopefuls.

Posted by Jackson Baker on Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Commissioner Steve Mulroy
The Flyer has learned that Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy will be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Shelby County Mayor and will pull a qualifying petition for that office from the Election Commission on Monday.

Mulroy, who has also considered open judgeships, both state and federal, in the last few months, has expressed an interest in a mayoral race for some years.

The commissioner, a law professor at the University of Memphis, is in his second term as representative on the Commission of District 5. Term-limited, he is ineligible to run again for that office.

Mjulroy has a reputation as a liberal, and, while on the Commission, has taken the lead on numerous initiatives, ranging from ordinances dealing with living-wage, ethics, and homeless issues to passage of the county’s first anti-discrimination resolution in 2009.

He attracted national attention last year when he became an altruistic donor of a kidney to the UT-Memphis Transplant Institute, thereby enabling a near-record “chain” of 28 available organs to needy recipients.

Mulroy joins Shelby County Commission chairman James Harvey, former County Commissioner Deidre Malone, and former School Board member Kenneth Whalum Jr., as prominent Democrats who have drawn petitions with intent to challenge the reelection of Republican incumbent County Mayor Mark Luttrell.

Comments (26)

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Please tell me that Denise Parkinson has volunteered to be his campaign manager !!!

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Posted by tomguleff on 02/03/2014 at 12:35 PM

Is this the same Denise Parkinson you mentioned?

From The Flyer:
Re: “City Bound”

Beware of holding ambitious politicians in high esteem. Even seemingly squeaky-clean Mulroy surprised us, after we helped him get elected.

Posted by denise parkinson on 11/26/2010 at 1:03 AM

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Posted by Drift Boat on 02/03/2014 at 1:56 PM

DB, Yep, that's sounds like her.…

Posted by tomguleff on 02/03/2014 at 2:26 PM

"Mulroy has a reputation as a liberal."

You mean like everything political he has ever done in his life was so far left that the mayor of San Francisco said, "damn, I wish I was that liberal!"?

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Posted by staythirstymyfriends on 02/03/2014 at 3:44 PM

Pardon my ignorance, I'm afraid I haven't kept up with all the Memphis news, but did they save the Fairgrounds? Isn't he also trying to save the 19th Century Club building? Mr. Mulroy seems to have a lot of irons in the fire. As pointed out in the article, he tried out for the Tennessee Supreme Court, I did keep up with that, and he didn't make the first cut. I'm assuming his teaching position is a full time job. Now he wants to be county mayor. He seems to have an unlimited supply of political energy.

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Posted by Drift Boat on 02/03/2014 at 4:23 PM

I've worked for and with Steve Mulroy, I even ran a campaign for him once, and I can confirm that he does indeed have an unlimited supply of energy. At one point he was serving on the County Commission, teaching at the university, running a campaign, starring in a play, and still managed to find time to spend with his family. I wouldn't have believed it was possible if I hadn't seen it firsthand. I don't think he actually sleeps.

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Posted by autoegocrat on 02/03/2014 at 6:22 PM

Did he save the schools already?

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Posted by QueerAnn on 02/03/2014 at 6:43 PM

I wonder how many folks that ordinarily vote in the Republican primary will become Democrats-for-a-day, and vote in the Democrat primary? Deidre Malone might want to spend a little time campaigning in Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland, and Millington. She might be able to garner substantial support in those municipalities, at least in the primary.

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Posted by Drift Boat on 02/03/2014 at 7:42 PM

Drift Boat

There will be a lot of crossover voters voting for Mulroy in the primary election. Qualifications and such goes out the window in Shelby County where the contestants are, black against white.

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Posted by oldtimeplayer on 02/04/2014 at 11:57 AM

... and, where the contestants are black vs black.

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Posted by JuliusJones on 02/04/2014 at 12:30 PM

Yes, where the contestants are black, a lot of whites sit the election out, but, as soon as it is a white and black running against each other, regardless of party affiliation, whites band together to make sure the white gets elected.

But, the county mayor job is a weak job, virtually no power. The position was created solely because it became evident that it would be virtually impossible for a white person to get elected mayor of Memphis. So, that office has little importance to me. I am more interested in the makeup of the county commission, for there is where the real power lies.

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Posted by oldtimeplayer on 02/04/2014 at 5:22 PM

There were Shelby County mayors long, long before there was a black mayor in Memphis.

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Posted by JuliusJones on 02/04/2014 at 6:16 PM

OTP says “The position was created solely because it became evident that it would be virtually impossible for a white person to get elected mayor of Memphis”.

That may be your OPINION, but the facts present an entirely different scenario. The first Shelby County mayor was elected in 1976. It would be another 15 years, and something like 5 (or was it 6?) elections before an African American was elected to the office. So while you may love the idea of race being the basis of every decision or action to ever occur throughout history, the facts do not back you up. In fact, if race did serve as the entire basis for casting a vote in Shelby County, then the mayor of Shelby County should be African American seeing as that particular group has been the largest demographic segment in Shelby County since at least 2000 based on US Census data.

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Posted by barf on 02/04/2014 at 6:26 PM

@JJ and Barf

Don't forget, the first time Memphis elected a black mayor, he would not have won if whites hadn't voted for him. In significant numbers. Just like our current president.

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Posted by QueerAnn on 02/04/2014 at 7:59 PM

@JJ and Barf

Don't forget, the first black mayor of Memphis could not have been elected without a significant vote from the white population, just like the current president.

Also, memphis wasn't majority black at that time.

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Posted by QueerAnn on 02/04/2014 at 8:08 PM


Why do you tell so many untruths? Are you trying to slant history?

Willie Herrington was first elected Mayor of Memphis on oct. 3, 1991. On that day of the election, there was a record turnout among blacks. Herrington got virtually no white votes, his marigin of victory was only 142 votes.

Memphis population in 1990 was 663,575

Memphis population in 2000 was 682,953

Increase between 1990 and 2000 5%

Breakdown of population in 2000

total 682,953
White 34.4%
Black 61.4%

Since there was only a 5% increase in population between 1990 and 2000, so it is safe to say that the 2000 percentages were relatively the same as 1990.

Spurce: U. S. Census

QueenAnn, I remember that day and night like it was yesterday. The polls had closed and all of the precincts had reported with Hackett having a small lead. The absentee votes would determine the winner. Our activist group went downtown to the election commission's headquarters, joined by approximately 1 to 2 thousand other people (blacks) Word came down that the all white election commission (well one token black) beginning to count the absentee ballots, but, the catch was that they had put all of Herrington's people out of the room. Of course, they let Hacketts reps into the room. We were packed into the building and there were several policemen, a couple of sheriffs deputies and a couple of Tennessee State Troopers standing guard on the door to the counting room. We protested that Herrington's people should also be in the room. They said no and that they would have to evacuate the building. At precisely that moment, like in a movie,
U. S. Rep. Harold Ford, Sr came to the front with another man with him. Harold approached the state troopers and demanded that they allow Herrington's reps in to observe the counting. The police with the backing of the state troopers told Congressman Ford that he would be arrested if he didn't leave immediately. The Congressman stood his gound and shouted arrest me, at that time, the black man with Ford came forward. Ford said, this is the Honorable Otis Higgs, U. S. Federal District Court Judge and that if Herrington's rep's were not allowed inside to observe the counting and/or Congressman Ford was arrested, He, Judge Higgs would have all of them arrested on federal charges. The state troopers immediately stood aside and after a discussion with the token black on the commission, Herrington's reps were allowed in the room to observe the counting of the absentee votes. In little or no time, they sent word out that they were finished and that Herrington was the winner by 142 votes. To this day, I believe they were going to steal that election; the reason I believe this is because even with just 142 votes difference, Dick Hackett did not ask for a recount.

QueenAnn, so much for your lies about the many whites that made it possible for Herrington to win and that there were more whites in Memphis than blacks in 1990.

I have told you before, QueenAnn, when I state something like that, I already know the answer. You appear to be a fraud with no credibility and if J. J. and Barf want to march with you, you will lead them straight to hell!

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Posted by oldtimeplayer on 02/05/2014 at 5:54 PM

Whoever this one dislike is, they must be blind because facts are facts, whether one likes it or not.

So much for accepting the facts regardless of where they come form.

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Posted by oldtimeplayer on 02/05/2014 at 6:32 PM


You are constantly getting egg on your face. Blacks becoming the majority and using that majority at the voting place had everything to do with the county going the route of a mayoral form of government. Prior, it was the County Quarterly Court.

When Harold Ford came out of nowhere to beet Dan Kuykendall for congress with a 700 plus marigin, the whites knew that the handwriting was on the wall. The only reason why there had not been a black mayor in Memphis prior to 1991 was because of the whites having passed a runoff for mayor. The same with the old city council. Any time blacks became the majority in one of the city's precincts, Memphis would annex areas to get more whites. When they ran out of annexable places, they simply changed single districts to at large districts to keep their power. The federal courts didn't strike down the runoff provisions in Memphis until 1991 prior to Herrington's first election for mayor.

Harold Ford won his congressional seat for the first time in 1974. Right after that, the leaders of Shelby County met and decided that they would change from a quarterly court, abolish the position of commissioner as an executive and created the new county government with a mayor and the first one elected to that position took office on Jan1, 1976, Roy Nixon. Notice the time line between Ford's election to congress and changing the structure of the county government.

But, you whites have always tried to change history to put yourselves in the best light. Barf, don't get caught up in the same traps that QueenAnn gets in. Look things up before you just jump in there with the wrong facts of history.

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Posted by oldtimeplayer on 02/06/2014 at 1:03 AM

Now you are trying to dance and rewrite your original comment. Unfortunately for you it is still up there, hanging out as evidence of your ignorance. This is what you said: "The position was created solely because it became evident that it would be virtually impossible for a white person to get elected mayor of Memphis”.

I know you struggle with reading comprehension but let's try again: It would be another 15 years (1991) and something like 5 elections before an African American was elected as a Mayor of Memphis. So, even after the position of Mayor of Shelby County was created, a Caucasian was elected as Mayor of Memphis and additional 5 times after we before an African American was elected to that office. See, you were wrong. In no way was your comment correct. You obviously are as clueless regarding matters of local history as you are about most every topic on which you comment.

Take you own advice: "Look things up before you just jump in there with the wrong facts of history".

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Posted by barf on 02/06/2014 at 10:28 AM


The record speaks for itself. The reason it took 15 more years to get a black mayor was because of the unconstitutional law that required a runoff for mayor of Memphis. That was not struck down by the federal court until 15 years later, in 1991. Hence, since then, you have not had a white mayor.

It is just like the law that Memphis is challenging on the dual affirmative votes on Memphis-Shelby County consolidation. it is still in court and will be scheduled for trial soon. That is one that I believe we will win. once that happens, you will see a rapid move toward consolidation.

The things that I write about during this time of change in mayoral elections, at large voting schemes, I know about because, as a community organizer, I was a part of it.

You can't rewrite history because too many of us were involved and we have passed the srory, the way it reall was, down to our children and grandchildren.

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Posted by oldtimeplayer on 02/06/2014 at 5:16 PM

Yes, OTP, history can be re-written. It's a mater of perception, really. An illusion. It is a matter of indoctrination. Look no further than Big Brother Big Sisters. Do you think all are really there because they care about children? You do realize many volunteer to get a message across to the youths, right?

You may pass a story down, but others are doing the same. Believe the crotchety old man, or the successful man with money?

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Posted by My muni on 02/06/2014 at 5:38 PM


You are correct! History is written by the prevailing side, so, it is always slanted. That is why I re-teach history when my children come home from school. I am also wary of what charitable groups interact with my children. Most of them are there really to indoctrinate the children.

If one reads the history books, one would think that the U. S. never lost a battle in WWII, or that slaves were simple people who enjoyed their stay on the plantation. Preachers teach that it is heavenly to be poor, thus, increasing their donations to the church, which, in turn, allows that preacher to live a glorious lifestyle.

Me, I try to teach my children both sides of an argument or a moment in history and, later in life, they can form their own beliefs and/or opinions.

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Posted by oldtimeplayer on 02/06/2014 at 5:50 PM

Good golly!
Who is trying to rewrite history? All I did was point out the comment you made was in fact false, a lie, not correct or however you want to phrase it. And here you are, still dancing and dancing. Of course you tried to make it all about civil rights and history books when all it was about was your incorrect original statement. Anything to admit that maybe- just maybe- you should have rephrased your initial comment, or better yet not have said it at all seeing as it had no real relevance to any point you were making.

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Posted by barf on 02/06/2014 at 6:02 PM

A little off topic, but I just got an E-Mail saying "Judge Joe Brown", of TV fame, has pulled a petition to run for District Attorney in Shelby County. Since I don't practice at 201 Poplar, and don't pay taxes in Shelby County, I say let the games begin. Bring on the clowns etc. At best this will be entertaining, and at worst..God only knows.

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Posted by Drift Boat on 02/10/2014 at 2:01 PM

Drift Boat

I don't know what you are getting at, but, Judge Joe Brown has impeccable references, command of the law and it's application.

If he runs, Amy better watch out.

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Posted by oldtimeplayer on 02/10/2014 at 2:36 PM
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