Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Memphis election results favor incumbents and equality

The results are in and all 12 incumbents won re-election in their districts for Memphis City Council last night. What does that mean for the advancement of equality in the Bluff City? The results provide encouraging signs:
  • Both sponsors of the Memphis Employment Non-Discrimination Ordinance (ENDO), Janis Fullilove (8-2) and Shea Flinn (9-2) were re-elected in landslides by a 2 to 1 and 4 to 1 margins, respectively. At the very least, these results demonstrate that the elected officials do not suffer at the polls for voting pro-equality. They may have even benefited because of their convictions.
  • All six council members who voted for 2010's ENDO were re-elected: Wanda Halbert (4), Jim Strickland (5), Edmund Ford, Jr. (6), Janis Fullilove (8-2), Myron Lowery (8-3) and Shea Flinn (9-2). Strickland and Lowery were unopposed and the others won with very comfortable margins. Voting pro-equality proved to be no barrier to their successful re-elections. 
  • Yesterday's election results demonstrate missed opportunities for Mayor AC Wharton and members of the council who voted against the ENDO to be on the right side of history. Mayor Wharton pledged support for an ENDO when he ran for Memphis Mayor. His administration worked closely with Tennessee Equality Project on acceptable language for the ENDO to present to the Memphis City Council in 2010. But when he was asked his position on the legislation, Wharton backed away.  The Mayor declared that he would support any version of the legislation the Council sent to his desk. Mayor Wharton could have sided firmly with equality and suffered no loss of political capital or support for re-election. Close observers of the council will recall that Bill Morrison had pledged his support for an ENDO when he won his first term to represent District 1 in 2007. He later voted against the ENDO in 2010. Had he stayed true to his convictions, voting pro-equality on the ENDO in 2010 would not have hurt him in 2011. Let's hope for more courage from Mayor Wharton and  Councilman Morrison in the new term. 
  • Finally, Lee Harris who was endorsed in District 7 by TEP PAC finished ahead by 4 votes against Kemba Ford in yesterday's only race that has no incumbent running. Ford will face Harris in a runoff election on Thursday, November 10
The end result of yesterday's election favors the formation of a majority equality consensus on the Memphis City Council in the new term. TEP PAC will be calling on equality advocates to help confirm that result as the campaign for District 7 continues until November 10. If you care about advancing equality in Memphis, help TEP PAC carry Lee Harris to the finish line. Visit his website to make a donation or to find contact information to volunteer for his campaign.

For all the election results visit the Shelby County Election Commission website. With 100% of precincts reporting, here are the results for Memphis Mayor and City Council:


Wharton 48,635 or 65.3%
Ford 20,907 or 28%
James Harvey 2,053 or 2.7%
Kenneth Robinson 774 or 1%
Robert ‘Prince Mongo’ Hodges 750 or 1%
Marty Merriweather 441 or 0.5%
James Barbee 310 or 0.42%
Carlos Boyland 169 or 0.2%
Write In Votes 160 or 0.2%
Leo Awgowhat 141 or 0.1%
DeWayne Jones 79 or 0.1%

Memphis City Council

District 1
Bill Morrison 4,905 or 64.8%
Kendrick Sneed 2,637 or 34.8%

District 2
Bill Boyd 7,170 or 74.7%
Sylvia Cox 2,391 or 24.9%

District 3
Harold Collins 6720 or 98%
Write-In 86 or 1%

District 4
Halbert 6,243 or 64.8%
Michelle Smith 1,897 or 19.7%
Louis Morganfield 767 or 7.9%
George Walker 692 or 7.1%

District 5
Jim Strickland 10,187 or 99%
Write-In 91 or 0%

District 6
Edmund Ford, Jr 8,606 or 63.8%
Sharon Webb 2,070 or 15.3%
Clara Ford 1,658 or 12.3%
Rhoda Stigall 1,123 or 8.3%
Write-In 24 or 0%

District 7
Lee Harris 1,983 or 24.1%
Kemba Ford 1,979 or 24%
Coby Smith 957 or 11.6%
Michael Steven Moore 562 or 6.8%
Erskine Gillespie 493 of 6%
Jesse Jeff 367 or 4.4%
Scott Banbury 358 or 4.3%
David Vinciarelli 351 or 4.2%
Raymond Bursi 284 or 3.4%
Darrell Wright 215 or 2.6%
Julie Ray 211 or 2.5%
Evelyn Fields 197 or 2.3%
LeAndrea Taylor 137 or 1.6%
Artie Smith 101 or 0.4%
Write-In 31 or 0%

Superdistrict 8, Position 1
Joe Brown 27,571 or 77%
Mark Coleman 4,358 or 12%
Tammy Warren 3,743 or 10.4%
Write-In 107 or 0%

Superdistrict 8, Position 2
Janis Fullilove 21,701 or 57.8%
Rosalyn R. Nichols 9,954 or 26.5%
Isaac Wright 2,978 or 7.9%
Mario Dennis 2,836 or 0.1%
Write-In 59 or 0%

Superdistrict 8, Position 3
Myron Lowery 31,553 or 98%
Write-In 436 or 1%

Superdistrict 9, Position 1
Kemp Conrad 19,919 or 64%
Paul Shaffer 11,313 or 36%
Write-In 87 or 0%

Superdistrict 9, Position 2
Shea Flinn 24,210 or 80.7%
James Sdoia 5,668 or 18.9%
Write-In 92 or 0%

Superdistrict 9, Position 3
Reid Hedgepeth 23,447 or 98%
Write-In 306 or 1%

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