A mid-December poll taken under the supervision of veteran political consultant John Bakker shows that Shelby County Public Defender A C Wharton, the Democratic candidate with whom Bakke is working, commanded a majority of the likely Democratic primary voters asked for a preference among party candidates for Shelby County mayor. Wharton's standing in the poll of 606 voters, surveyed between December 10th and 14th, was at 51 percent, as against 13 percent for Bartlett banker Harold Byrd and 11 percent for Midtown State Representative Carol Chumney.
The poll also showed that, when matched against Republican Larry Scroggs in this year's general election, Wharton would enjoy a ratio in his favor of two to one, Bakke said.
Scroggs, a state representative from Germantown, is the only Republican to have announced for county mayor so far and the only one tested, although Bakke acknowledged that County Commissioner Clair VanderSchaaf, who has talked about running, would bge a figure to reckon with also, should he decide to make the race.
Isaac Ford, who has filed as an independent candidate, was not included in the survey, nor was radiologist/radio-station owner George Flinn, who filed as a Republican, then withdrew his petition, and is considering re-filing as an independent.