Crossover Democrat voters told to join Republican Party

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Shelby County is considered Tennessee's bluest county, yet Republicans pulled off some big election wins Thursday.

Six of the seven major county offices were won by the GOP, so WREG asked the head of the Shelby County Democratic Party what they plan to do next.

Bryan Carson is drawing a line in the sand. He's got a message for those who call themselves Democrats and voted for Republican candidates running for Shelby County offices.

"I wish those Democrats would go ahead and just sign up and be Republicans. Go ahead and join the party because we don't need you. You don't support us," said Carson.

Carson says he's hurt by the outcome of this election. About 20 percent of the Democrats who voted cast ballots for Republicans running for county office.

"The Republicans would never do that to us. They would never do that for us," said Carson.

He says the Democrats' next move is to amp up its get out the vote campaign and bring in those registered voters who aren't voting regularly.

Carson said, "We need to let them know about the issues. Get out on the ground. Engage with them and bring them out to the polls."

Not everyone thinks this is a good plan. Just ask WREG Commentator Otis Sanford.

"That's a terrible way of thinking," said Sanford.

Sanford says writing off crossover voters is a bad sign for the party.

"They crossed over because of some flawed candidates on the Democratic side," said Sanford.

Sanford said Democrats counted on TV Judge Joe Brown and County Commissioner Henri Brooks to energize supporters, and that backfired. He says what's needed is more inclusiveness.

"I don't see any evidence they are really open to Hispanic voters and I haven't seen any reaching out to White Democratic leadership to be apart of the decision making," said Sanford.

If changes aren't made, Democrats could be looking at a three-peat.

"They got shellacked. That's the kindest way you can put it," said Sanford.

Another reason this is not a good sign for Shelby Democrats is there are more registered Democrats in the county than Republicans and more of them voted in early voting. The problem for Democrats is they were voting for Republican candidates.


  • Joe

    What’s wrong with this nut? I will vote for who I want to and hope others will not be told what to do. That’s one reason I hate unions. They were always try to tell you who to vote for. It’s your vote, your choice, don’t let any one tell you how to think or feel. I will vote democrat to try to put Larmar Alexander out. Check his vote on your second amendment rights and his bright a$$ presented the internet tax bill. You had better keep up with who you vote for….

  • impulse item

    I don’t think that there was a “crossover”. The republicans just got up and went to the polls in larger numbers.

    • lawman

      Disagree I’m democratic and vote for some Republicans not all. My vote was based on integrity. Unfortunately the choices I had to select from among the democratic party were not good choices. I voted for the best candidate. I will continue to do so. The democratic representative’s in Memphis are out of touch and it is time for a shake up among the ranks. On a side note religion and politics is like oil and water. Politicians lie. True religion stands on the word. You can’t put on the armor of the word and take it off when you have no need for it. Class is over.

    • John T. Dwyer

      I stood at the Ag Center early voting site holding a sign and greeting people, for a relative running for office. I did so to be nostalgic, and to lend a hand. I was amazed at people who stated they represented the Democratic Party in Memphis and passed out 4 different “official” ballots of the party. Two of the people got into arguments over who was who officially! To add to the non-sense, one of them even stated she was a Dr.Talib Kareem-Muhammed, Democrat. (He has been deceased for a number of years!!!)

      Now to be honest, I am a Democrat. My father chaired the Democratic Party in Memphis, to elect John F. Kennedy when he ran for President. However, these four different groups I saw did nothing but create confusion as to who vote for. A couple had people I had never heard of endorsed!!!
      Several people stopped to talk about the “good old days” of candidates running for office who had integrity within the Democratic Party.

      So a suggestion to the Democratic Party(s) in Memphis is to get your house in order because what you have now sure isn’t working! Way too many wanting to be the chiefs and not enough indians.
      (A question I have is this, Is Mr. Carson related to Dr. Herenton’s spokesperson Gale Jones Carson?? Because it sure sounded familiar to the old Herenton statement to the public that “if they didn’t like it..Bye Bye!”)

  • Cary Vaughn

    Did Carson smack his face on the sidewalk before the interview because he just alienated a lot of people who even ever considered voting for a democratic candidate in the future. Whatever happened to the logic of finding a democratic candidate that was running to serve the people and not themselves? Do those people even exist anymore? I don’t care with what party you are affiliated, if you are intelligent, reasonable, fair, and just, you have my vote.

  • stobo

    I’m sure there was some crossover because I was one of them. I was raised in a democrat household and have voted strictly along party lines since I was 18 (I’m 47) but I felt in this election the candidates just simply weren’t qualified or frankly they scared me. This city needs change! We elect the same people every time and see where it gets us ‘no where’. I now vote for the person and what they can do for “us” as a whole. If that makes me a Republican so be it. Bring good democrats to the table and we will have a party.

  • Don

    Is AC sweating blood, well it won’t help. He will be voted out, or the city will be audited. either way he’s gone.

  • Ralph Noyes

    Crossover votes happen when a party nominates a lousy candidate, and Democrats nominated plenty of people who made me hold my nose. Perhaps the Shelby County Democratic Party will be better served by eliminating DINOs from its leadership, ie, Herenton legatees whose only color is green, as in money. They have had cozy back-channel relationship with local Republicans for decades, and work hand in hand with them.

    I don’t know if it’s possible to herd that many cats, especially cats that have their personal agenda. A lot of us Democrats are disgusted with the leadership. We are tired of their games. We are ON to their games.

    • lawman

      We have democratic politician’s in office right now that can make a difference by stepping down. They have been caught in lies and deceit. Have been proven not to live amongst the district they represent. Those are the individual’s you should be saying we don’t need you but by the way you can cross over. SMH.

      • lawman

        Justin Ford will not be allowed to fly under the radar. This misfit just makes my skin crawl. I am tempted to run against him but I know they would investigate where I reside. Can I make $30000.00 and still qualify for low income housing and be the VP of a funeral home? This is welfare at it’s best.

  • Elwood Suggins

    Who in the h3ll do you think elected Obama. White people. Blacks 16 percent population didn’t elect him.

  • Joe

    John. You are part of the problem. We need to change the education standards in this area, they are way too low. If you could make a statement like that, I want to know who read this article to you or did you take an hour and a half and read it yourself….

    • OMG

      Right on joe! I love the way these idiot democrats make up paper ballots telling all their sheep how to vote. I consider myself republican because I don’t believe in socialism or sitting on your fat tail waiting to be fed and housed like most of the pets in this country. With that being said I vote based upon substanance not party affiliations. Bredesen was a great governor who happened to be a dem. Haslam is a miserable excuse for a governor and happens to be a repub.

  • D.Slayer

    That Lutrell won so easily show how sad and worthless the voters and media of Shelby county are!!!!!

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