The field of candidates for the 5th District city council seat being vacated by John Vergos has grown by one more well-known political name.
State Rep. Carol Chumney, who represents Midtown in the Tennessee legislature and who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for Shelby County mayor last year, said Monday she planned to pick up a petition for the race on Tuesday morning. Chumney said she would go to the Election Commission early and then head to Nashville, where the legislature is expected to adjourn this week. She planned to make the trip downtown in the company of activist Mary Wilder, a close friend of Chumneys who had been a rumored candidate for the 5th District seat herself.
There are a lot of good candidates in the race, Chumney said, but Im the only one with experience in some of the most important issues the council will be dealing with. Others who have declared for the seat include lawyer Jim Strickland, businessman/physician George Flinn, and frequent candidate Joe Cooper.
Chumney said that she felt her 13 years in the state House have been successful and that she wanted to come home and work every day in the community, applying her expertise. She said that she already represented 40 percent of the council district as a legislator and knew the rest of the district well, having grown up in the East Memphis portion of it, where she now also maintains her law office.
She named child care, an issue on which she led reform efforts in Nashville, and smart growth as significant local issues.
If successful, Chumney said, she would finish out her legislative term but would not seek reelection to it next year. Meanwhile, any overlap in state pay would be donated to neighborhood groups, she said.