By the end of the current week, the Republicans of Shelby County may have a mayoral candidate to call their own, after all. Former Memphis Redbirds president and general manager Allie Prescott acknowledges that he met last week with a high-level group of local GOP dignitaries, who offered him their support for Shelby County Mayor.
I told them I wouldnt be meeting with them if I wasnt seriously interested, said Prescott, who promised a decision by this weekend to a blue-ribbon recruiting group including current Shelby County Mayor Jim Rout, District Attorney General Bill Gibbons, Shelby County Republican chairman Alan Crone, former county chairmen Bill Watkins and David Kustoff, and state GOP committeeman John Ryder.
Prescott, who retired earlier this year from his Redbirds duties, is also a former chairman of the Park Commission and of MIFA, and served as vice president and general manager of the old Memphis Chicks.
Though he says he has always been a Republican, Prescott concedes that hes had little political involvement, most of it confined to assisting in the various election campaigns of his wife, Memphis School Board member Barbara Prescott. Ive had a good deal of experience nailing in yard signs, he jests.
If Prescott does give the Shelby GOP the high sign, he will end what has turned into an increasingly desperate hunt for an officially sanctioned party candidate since the decision some months ago by Rout not to seek reelection.
Since then, various party dignitaries have opted out of running-- among them Gibbons, former city councilman John Bobango, councilman Jack Sammons, Shelby County Commissioner Buck Wellford, State Senator Mark Norris, Probate Court Clerk Chris Thomas. All but formally ruling themselves out have been Circuit Court Clerk Jimmy Moore and County Trustee Bob Patterson.
If he decides to run, Prescott is expected to have little or no opposition in next Mays Republican primary. Democrats so far vying in their partys primary for the right to run in the August general election include Shelby County Public Defender A C Wharton, Bartlett banker Harold Byrd, and State Representative Carol Chumney.