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So Who'll Be Running for Scott McCormick's Council Seat?

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Round One, the August part of this year's election cycle, is over, and Round Two, the November portion, just got a little lengthier - what with city council chairman Scott McCormick's surprise announcement that he's giving up his seat to head the Plough Foundation.

The council will have to appoint an interim member as a temporary fill-in for McCormick in Super-District 9, Position 1, but the voters will weigh in on November 4th with the final word on a permanent successor.

So what is the field they are likely to be choosing from?

Known quantities:

Brian Stephens - The Cordova Leadership Council organizer and runner-up in last year's District 2 council election has already started gearing up. He'll have at his disposal the same mix of suburban conservatives and Midtown liberals who kept him close to ultimate winner Bill Boyd last fall.

Mary Wilder - The longtime activist and former interim state representative, who ran well in the Super- District 9, Position 3 race in 2007, is another one who says she'll try again. (The only hitch is if former District 5 councilwoman Carol Chumney, a 2007 mayoral candidate and a close associate of Wilder's, should get in.)

Kemp Conrad -- Last year's runner-up to current Super-District 9, Position 2 councilman Shea Flinn is another candidate said to be getting a still extant campaign structure revved up for another go-around.

Almost persuaded:

Richard Smith - If you're not sure who this Smith and FedcEx hand is, you've probably heard of his father, Fred Smith. The younger Smith got blooded last year in the act of helping his bud Reid Hedgepeth get elected to the council; several of his friends almost talked him into running himself, but he thought better of it. (See comment below.)

Other possibilities:

Chumney is a definite candidate for mayor again the next time there's a race, and some think a return to the council would give her the right kind of bully pulpit ("I haven't made any decisions and certainly will think it over," she says); not heard from so far are 2007 council candidates Joe Saino, proprietor of memphiswatchdog.org, and Frank Langston, regarded as a promising newcomer.

More 2007 council candidates rumored ready for another go are Antonio "2-Shay" Parkinson and Lester Lit, while Ed Stanton, a congressional candidate in 2006, has also been talked up. Word is that lawyer Desi Franklin, who ran strong last year in Super-District 9, Position 3, isn't interested - yet.

Three other possible hopefuls are Florence Johnson, Susan Thorp, and blogger Stephen Ross.

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