The Shelby County Democrats had their annual fundraising Christmas Party Thursday night at the modish Alchemy Club in the Cooper-Young entertainment district. Considering the series of electoral reverses that have befallen the party lately, both locally and statewide, the turnout was impressive, and so was the spirit. There was a generous assortment of the party’s public figures, ranging from 9th District congressman Steve Cohen to newly reelected Democratic House leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley.
There was a good deal of speculation as to who the next chairman of the state Democratic Party might be, among the contenders Terry Adams, Mary Mancini, and Gloria Johnson. Sentiment seemed divided, with a certain tilt toward Adams and Mancini — maybe more so toward Mancini, given that she was the only contender present, being chaperoned around by Memphian Steve Steffens of the LeftWingCracker blog.
Brian Kelsey, the Republican state Senator, did not appear, as he had on the previous Saturday night when well-known Democratic operative David Upton held a massive 50th birthday celebration in the ballroom of the Memphis Made Brewing Company, also on Cooper St. To recall, that party was karaoke-oriented, and Kelsey, who stood out among the almost exclusively Democratic guest list, upstaged everybody with a rendition of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding.”
Only late attendees know for sure, but Upton, who in recent years has out-done records for late arrivals at events established by his friend John Freeman, may actually have been a no-show. Also, for that matter, Freeman. But surely not. They might, in fact, be just now getting there! (UPDATE
: There was a confirmed Upton sighting! He made it.)
Thursday night’s affair was billed as containing a karaoke segment, too, but for reasons having to do with rules governing the facility, only one number got done — Steve Mulroy’s 105th rendition of “La Bamba,” the lyrics of which establish that he is no mere seaman, rather a captain. But, alas, because of term limits, he is no longer a County Commissioner.
Several currently serving commissioners were in attendance, though. Ditto City Council members, legislators, candidates, and what-have-you. Take a look at the Slideshow.
P.S. on the UPDATE. Not only was the aforementioned Upton there late. He and Desi Franklin were part of a small group that adjourned to a Karaoke club later on. As Rick Maynard, also part of that group, noted, that joint appearance was roughly equivalent to the signing of an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty. Yep, there was a history.