State Senate, District 33: There's a race on the Democratic side, where incumbent Kathryn Bowers, indicted and awaiting trial 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 was also a candidate for the 9th District congressional seat until formally dropping out this week. But his chances of getting back to the legislature are much better than even.
State House, District 85: For some reason, longtime 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 archtypically Midtown House seat. Her primary opponent, Larry Henson, is an advocate of paternal rights in child-custody cases. 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 nonincriminating -- 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. (See Editorial about her dual run.)
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 barnburner. 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 should win in a three-way race with Austin Farley, who cuts something of a figure in right-of-center circles, and Charles Thomas Pitman.
State House, District 99: 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 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.
The Pack Contracts
As the 9th District congressional race closes in on the August 3rd primary date, state senator Steve Cohen, freshly endorsed by the AFSCME government workers' union, looks 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 holds that four candidates are vying for second-place status and a chance for a late run at Cohen as a "consensus" black candidate. They are Joe Ford Jr., Nikki Tinker, Julian Bolton, and Ed Stanton Jr. (All, like Cohen, are lawyers.) Of these, Ford is considered to have the most momentum.
In the 7th District Democratic primary, Bill Morrison looks like a winner over Randy Morris.