State Senate 29: As is surely well known, this is the seat, vacated by the indicted John Ford last year, that was only temporarily filled by Ford's sister Ophelia Ford, who was displaced in her turn by a Senate vote nullifying her election. Ophelia tries again in the Democratic primary and is opposed - again - by Southwest Tennessee Community College professor Steve Haley. Once again, near-miss Millington store-owner Terry Roland is running on the GOP side.
State Senate, District 33: There's a race on the Democratic side, where incumbent Kathryn Bowers, indicted and awaiting trail in the Tennessee Waltz extortion scandal, faces opposition from four candidates - notably including realtor Steve Webster, who seems to be running hard.
State House of Representatives, District 84: Incumbent Joe Towns Jr., is opposed by Rickey Dixon, brother of former Senator Roscoe Dixon, who was convicted in the Tennessee Waltz scandal and awaits sentencing. Towns had also been a candidate for the 9th District congressional seat until dropping out this week (his name remains on the ballot); his chances of getting back to the legislature are much better than even.
State House, District 85: For some reason,
long-time incumbent Larry Turner, the
genial, pint-sized, and independent-minded Democratic incumbent, keeps drawing
opposition - often from the same opponents he's already disposed of. So it is
this year, and the result should be the same against Paul Lewis
and Errol D. Harman.
State House, District 89: Incumbent Democrat Beverly Robison Marrero, big hats and all, should be able to walk back in to this arch-typically Midtown House seat. Her primary opponent, Larry Henson, is an advocate of paternal rights in child-custody cases, among other things. He's also running for a Charter Commission seat, where his chances are probably better.
State House, District 91: Trivia question: Who is Kavin Carter? Answer: He's the guy who thinks he can take on veteran Democrat Lois DeBerry in the Democratic primary. House Speaker pro Tem DeBerry hasn't been hurt that much by isolated - and so far unincriminating -- mentions in the recent Dixon trial.
State House, District 92: Both
Elbert 'Skip' Rich Jr. and Michael E.
Saine are deserving candidates. Each of these
Democrats has impressed various hearers on the campaign trail. But both may be
left out in the shade if incumbent Henri Brooks,
also a candidate for the county commission, should finish ahead of them in the
primary. And that's even if she wins the other seat and chooses to serve there
State House, District 96: Here, in the
race for the seat being vacated by state Senate candidate Paul Stanley
(unopposed in his District 31 primary), could be a real barn-burner. Both
Brad Jobe and First Tennessee Bank
administrator Steve McManus are
conservatives with nearly identical planks in their platforms, but McManus, a
former local GOP treasurer, may be a mite more flexible than Jobe who, backed by
a Bellevue Baptist constituency, is probably more by-the-book. (In more senses
than one.) A toss-up, in any case.
State House, District 97: Educator
Jim Coley is a GOP veteran who has pulled his
oar in many traditional party campaigns and is therefore favored in a three-way
race which also features Austin Farley,
who cuts something of a figure in right-of-center circles, and Charles
State House, District 99: Did somebody say free-for-all? The two Democrats in this race - Eric P. Jones and Mike "Cotton" Young - are surely in it for the old college try. This is a Republican seat and eight (count 'em, 8) GOP candidates are running for it. County school board member Ron Lollar is the clear favorite, though John Wilkerson is an old party vet and can count on some votes as well.
9th DISTRICT: THE PACK CONTRACTS
As the 9th District congressional race closed in on the August 3rd primary date, state Senator Steve Cohen, freshly endorsed by the AFSCME government workers' union, THE Memphis Education Association and the National Education Association, looked more than ever like the probable nominee. (Cohen was privately boasting a poll showing him with 30 percent over his nearest - unnamed - competitor.)
Conventional wisdom held that four candidates were vying for second-place status and a chance for a late run at Cohen as a "consensus" black candidate. They were: Joe Ford Jr., Nikki Tinker, Julian Bolton, and Ed Stanton Jr. (All, like Cohen, are lawyers.). Of these, Ford was considered to have the most momentum.
In the 7th District Democratic primary, Bill Morrison looked like a winner over Randy Morris.