As of the weekend, the Shelby County chairpersons of the two major political parties were both on the move: Democratic chair Kathryn Bowers opened up the headquarters of her campaign for the state Senate on Saturday; and new Republican chair Bill Giannini got himself elected and installed on Sunday at the biennial Shelby County Republican convention.

Both Bowers and Giannini served notice as to the shape of their priorities.

State Rep. Bowers, speaking to supporters at her Elvis Presley Boulevard headquarters, promised to do everything in her power to forestall the TennCare cuts (323,000 from the current rolls) announced recently by Governor Bredesen but so far held up by judicial review. Two other candidates -- Shelby County Commissioner Michael Hooks and James Harvey --are competing in the forthcoming Democratic primary for the seat recently vacated by Roscoe Dixon, now an aide to county mayor A C Wharton. Four Republicans also seek the seat.

Giannini, elected by acclamation at White Station High School, looked ahead to the 2006 countywide elections and even further -- lamenting the upward curve of latest property reassessment and thereby targeting county assessor Rita Clark, a Democrat reelected only last year and not up again until 2008.

Bowers on the stump
at her Elvis Presley Blvd. headquarters.

New GOP chair Bill Giannini with extended family
at White Station High School Sunday.

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