Kelsey’s main potential competitors, county school board president David Pickler and fellow state Rep. Steve McManus, opted not to compete in the forthcoming October 15th Republican primary. As a result, Kelsey looks to be home free in GOP ranks and will almost certainly be the Republican nominee to succeed Stanley, who was forced to resign this month after becoming involved in a highly public sex-and-blackmail scandal.
In fact, Kelsey is even now under pressure from party mates to resign his House seat now, so as to facilitate an early special election for his own seat and prevent the Democratic majority on the Shelby County commission from appointing a Democratic successor to start the 2010 legislative session as interim House member from District 83, which Kelsey has represented.
Although, as the likely GOP nominee, Kelsey will be heavily favored to win the state Senate seat in the heavily Republican area of district 31, which comprises parts of East Memphis, Cordova, and Germantown, Pakis-Gillon has served notice she’ll offer competition on the December 1st general election.
Pakis-Gillon is a member of the Shelby County Democratic executive committee. A graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in political science, she was a delegate to the 2008 Democratic national convention and has worked in several political campaigns, including those of Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton.