(Memphis) The late State Representative Lois DeBerry leaves big shoes to fill, but 11 people are throwing their name in the ring to give it a shot.
Registration for the Direct 91 State house seat is closed and the campaign is on to be elected to that vacant seat.
District 91 includes Whitehaven and most of South Memphis, and the seat was held by DeBerry since the early 1970s.
Now for the first time in decades, a new person will hold that seat.
“Whenever you have an incumbent who either leaves office by death or retirement it sets up a free for all. The issue here is Lois DeBerry set some really high standards here,” said WREG’s political commentator Otis Sanford.
Sanford said it’s not going to be easy to follow a long time states-person like DeBerry.
Ten Democrats want to give it a shot.
The list is made up of mostly newcomers to politics.
Former State Senator John Ford’s daughter Kemba Ford may have the most recognizable name since her failed run for city council last year.
Two of Ms. DeBerry’s cousins, Dwight DeBerry and Doris A. DeBerry–Bradshaw, have also signed up to run.
“For lack of a better term they are running on that name alone and not much else right now,” said Sanford.
Other Candidates include Raumesh Akbari, Joshua Forbes, Clifford Lewis, Kermit More, Gregory Stoke, and Mary Taylor Wright.
Terica Lamb is also running, and Sanford says she may have the best grassroots in place, which is key in a special election.
“The voter turnout will be key. Lois DeBerry was a member of the Delta Sorority. I understand Ms. Lamb is a Delta. Women turn out to vote,” said Sanford.
Only one non-Democrat is running, and that’s Libertarian candidate Jim Tomaski.
They will all be running in the election primary October 8th, with the general election later in November.
Three of the candidates - Ford, Akbari, and Tomasik - do not even live in the district, and if elected they would have to move there before taking the seat.