On the third ballot Monday, former assistant city treasurer and longtime Democratic activist Regina Morrison-Newman was elected by the county commission as interim Shelby County Trustee to succeed the late Paul Mattila.
Morrison-Newman, who also served as assistant commissioner of revenue for former governor Ned McWherter, won out over two rivals, fellow Democrat Robert Grandberry and longtime deputy Trustee Debra Gates, who had Republican support.
Given the Democrats’ current 8-5 majority on the commission, it was a reasonable certainty that one of the two leading Democrats would win, and when Mike Ritz, one of the most dyed-in-the-wool Republicans on the commission, cast his vote for Morrison-
Newman on the first ballot, it was a fairly good indicator that Monday was her day.
Gates was eliminated on the second ballot as Morrison-Newman continued to gain, and she finished the third and final ballot with a convincing 10-3 margin over Grandberry.