Of the seven names submitted to the City Council for consideration in naming an interim successor to former Councilman Lee Harris, only two have measured up to the standards imposed by the Council, it would seem.
Shelby County Election Commission chairman Robert Meyers confirms that only former Councilwoman Barbara Swearengen Holt Ware and current Shelby County Democratic chairman Bryan Carson came up with 25 authentic nominating figures that were required by the City.
Meyers stressed, however, that there was no statutory requirement that applicants achieve a 25-signature threshold, as there is for candidates in normal election cycles, and that he had so informed City officials. “It’s their rule, as I understand it.”
One Councilman who was asked about the requirement, Shea Flinn, said he was aware that 25 signatures were being asked for but was unaware of just when and on whose authority such a standard was imposed for interim appointments.
One of what would appear to be the two remaining candidates, Carson, said all applicants were told that (a) the filing deadline was last Wednesday at noon and (b) 25 signatures were required “as for any other election.”
A third candidate, attorney David Pool, reported fell one short of the total asked, with 24 valid signatures.
Unless the city rule is successfully challenged, the Council will be asked to decide between candidates Carson and Holt for the vacated District 7 seat on Tuesday, January 20.
Harris, who this week will take the state Senate seat to which he was elected in November, will have formally absented the Council seat by that time.