Available as of this week are financial-disclosure totals for candidates running in various races in Shelby County. These, along with other factors, make it possible to make some trustworthy general observations — which, of course, could be superseded by events.We begin with candidates in the Shelby County Mayor’s race, and the financial totals they have reported as of the end of 2017, in three categories — money raised in previous quarter, money spent, and money on hand.
Among the three Republicans running — Trustee David Lenoir; Juvenile Court Clerk Joy Touliatos; and Terry Roland — the financial figures run in that order of listing.
Raised Spent On Hand
Lenoir $232,740.00 $52,248.17 $345,437.96
Touliatos 225,558.18 15,503.25 210,054.93
Roland 32,165.00 24,900.49 16,319.37
As before, Lenoir is the money leader in all categories (raised, amount spent, amount on hand). It is doubtful, however, that he has yet raised his name identification to the level he desires. Of Touliatos, it can certainly be said that she is hanging in there, although one of her opponents is making the claim that, because of an arithmetical error, her filing is $100,000 too high, both in money raised and money on hand. She, in any case, is also not that far along in advancing name ID. The third Republican candidate, Roland, is raising relatively little money, but his name identification, fed by abundant free media from his Commission doings, his positions on hot-button issues, his plain-talking populist style, and by a breakneck pace of public exposure have so far kept him visible and highly competitive, in the manner of the presidential candidate he supported, Donald Trump.
There are two Democrats running, state Senator Lee Harris and former Interim state Senator aned ex-County Commissioner Sidney Chism. Bartlett Bank president, former state Representative and longime political figue and broker Harold Byrd has threatened a race but doesn’t seem to be preparing one; it is probably too late for him to make a successful entrance. Ditto with Chamber of Commerce vice president, former Councilman and ex-interim state Senator Shea Flinn, who at serial moments would relentless talk up the advantages of a mayoral race as an independent. Like Byrd’s, that serial may be ending, especially since Flinn’s father Dr. George Flinn, the multi-millionaire eccentric of many races, has announced a rematch bid for the 8th District Congressional primary, a race he came very close to winning in 2016 in a crowded field but was overtaken late by current incumbent David Kustoff,
Harris is running a careful, highly public, and methodical race and would seem to be in no danger fromChism.
Harris’ totals for the end-of-the-year quarter are $108,845.91 raised, $16,226.70 spent, and $92,259.21 on hand. Chisms’s figures by comparison, are $10,555.00 raised, $2,442.78 spent, and $8,107.22 on hand. Harris is in a position to hold on to most of his money through the May primary, meanwhile raising more, and having it all ready to spend against whoever is the Republican winner. The GOP candidates, contrariwise, will be compelled to spend most of their money in whaty looks to be a hotly contested and bitter primary, which is a way of saying that Democrat Harris, an ivy-League-educated, polished lawyer and an African-American will have enough money and enough across-the-board appeal with Democrats and independents to be a serious factor in the general election race.