Politics » Politics Feature

Shelby County Politics Wrap Up



At press time on Tuesday, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) was scheduled to make one more effort, via a unanimous-consent request on the floor of the Senate, to get a vote on the confirmation of Ed Stanton III of Memphis as U.S. District Judge. 

Stanton, now serving as U.S. Attorney for Tennessee's Western District, was nominated by President Obama in May 2015 to succeed Judge Samuel H. "Hardy" Mays.

Sponsored by 9th District Congressman Steve Cohen of Memphis, a Democrat, and heartily endorsed by Tennessee's two Republican Senators, Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, Stanton was expected to be a shoo-in for Senate confirmation long ago, but the same partisan gridlock that has prevented Senate action on Obama's Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland has held up action on Stanton and other judicial nominees.

• The two major political parties have both now established local headquarters for the stretch drive of the presidential race. 

The Republicans went first, opening up a combination HQ for 8th District congressional nominee David Kustoff and the coordinated GOP campaign at 1755 Kirby Parkway on August 31st. The Democrats will open theirs, at 2600 Poplar, with an open house this Saturday. 

At the GOP headquarters opening, Kustoff spoke first, then Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland, as West Tennessee chairman for Donald Trump. Next up was Lee Mills, interim Shelby GOP chair (he replaced Mary Wagner, who had been nominated for a judgeship). He began recognizing Republican gentry in the room.

When Mills got to David Lenoir, the Shelby trustee who's certain to oppose Roland for county mayor in 2018, he fumbled with Lenoir's job title, then somewhat apologetically said, "David, I always want to call you tax collector." Roland then shouted out delightedly, "I do, too!"

• Given the overwhelmingly Republican nature of voting in the 8th District in recent years, Kustoff's chances of prevailing are better than good, but for the record, Rickey Hopson of Somerville is the Democratic nominee. Hopson is making the rounds, having spoken at last month's meeting of the Germantown Democratic Club, one of several local Democratic clubs taking up the slack for the Shelby County Democratic Party, decertified by state Democratic chair Mary Mancini several weeks ago.

Another Democratic underdog challenging the odds is Dwayne Thompson, the party's candidate for the state House District 96 seat (Cordova, Germantown) now held by the GOP's Steve McManus. A fund-raiser is scheduled for Thompson next Wednesday, September 28th, at Coletta's Restaurant on Highway 64.

Memphis lawyer John Ryder, who currently serves as RNC general counsel and who supervised both parties' rules changes and the RNC's redistricting strategy after the census of 2010, has been named Republican Lawyer of the Year by the Republican National Lawyers Association and will be honored at a Washington banquet of the RNLA at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on Tuesday, September 27th. "Special guests" will include Senator Corker and RNC chairman Reince Priebus.

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