John Ford (l); Reginald Milton (r)
The 2019 Memphis city election may have come to a finish with the conclusion of last Thursday’s runoff elections for two city council positions in District 1 and District 7, won by Rhonda Logan and Michalyn Easter-Thomas, respectively.
But 2020, which will be chock-full of elections, is just two flips of the calendar away, and one of the races sure to drawn much attention will be that for the position of General Sessions Court clerk, which will be vacated by current longtime clerk Ed Stanton Jr. (father of former U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton III).
Three of the known contenders for the clerkship are like Stanton, Democrats, and well known
to followers of local politics. The first name in the hat was that of Shelby County Commissioner Eddie Jones, who filed two weeks ago. At about the same time Commiss9oner Reginald Milton began informing people of his interest in the race .
The two Commisdsioners were just joined on the ballot by former longtime state Senator John Ford, who filed for the race on Monday. Yes, that
John Ford, the controversial member of the local Ford political clan who ran afoul of the FBI’s Tennessee Waltz sting in 2005, was convicted of bribery, and served a term in state prison.
Ford formerly served a term as General Sessions Clerk, simultaneous with holding his Senate seat. Having long since regained his citizenship rights, Ford aims to re-establish himself as a public official. Despite his notoriety, he was regarded as someone with an in-depth knowledge of the ins and outs of state government, and as a go-to legislator for mental health and various other public issues.
Milton, a community organizer and chairman of the commission’s community grants committee, which he brought into being, was a veteran of several political races before his 2014 election to the commission and his 2018 reelection. He greeted the news of Ford’s filing by saying, “I’ve never run an easy race. I’m used to it.”
Confiding that he would make a formal announcement next week, Milton said, “I appreciate those willing to offer themselves for public office, and I look forward to sharing with the public why I feel I would be best suited for this position.
: Other candidates for General Sessions Clerrk who have filed or requested petitions though Thursday, November 19, are:
Deirdre V. Fisher, Gortria Anderson Banks, Rheunte E. Benson, and Thomas E. Long; and Republican