The fat lady of legend has sung her song. The 2007 Memphis city election is over - a fact that's music to the ears of newly elected council members Bill Morrison in District 1, Bill Boyd in District 2, Harold Collins in District 3, and Edmund Ford Jr., in District 6.
The three latter races were relatively close, with Boyd beating Brian Stephens by 54 percent to 46 percent; Collins defeating Ike Griffith by the same percentage, and Ford prevailing over James Catchings by 53 percent to 47 percent.
The only real blowout occurred in District 1 with the unexpectedly lopsided victory of Morrison, one of the spunkiest, sunniest, and most determined new faces of recent political history, who beat school board member Stephanie Gatewood, no slouch herself, by a margin of almost two to one.
Morrison had help from a talented and seasoned corps of Democratic activists, many of whom were also active in Stephens' District 2 candidacy. Aside from former assessor Boyd's longtime political history, what may have made the difference for him was the fact of last-minute robo-calls from former political eminences Bill Morris and Dick Hackett.
Griffith, who has neighborhood cachet in District 3, ran Collins close, but the latter's support from established political figures, including mayors Willie Herenton and A C Wharton, was enough to give Collins his first leg up as an active candidate in his own right.
Similarly, Ford's victory, entitling him to succeed his father, retiring councilman Edmund Ford Sr. in District 6, owed much to legacy considerations related to his extended family's prominence in local politics.
The well-liked Boyd, who is in his 60s, is the anomaly in the new council, which is overwhelmingly youth-oriented.
With all 122 affected precincts reported, unofficial totals
in the four races were:
DISTRICT 1 (31 Precincts )
- Morrison - 1479 Votes
- Gatewood - 816 Votes
DISTRICT 2(31 Precinct)
- Boyd- 2337 Votes
- Stephens- 1958 Votes
DISTRICT 3(26 Precincts)
- Collins- 865 Votes
- Griffith- 741 Votes
DISTRICT 6(34 Precincts)
- Ford - 1751 Votes
Catchings - 1556 Votes