Shelby County voters prepare for results of 2018 primary election


James Franklin votes in the Shelby County primary election Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County voters made their way to the polls until 7 p.m. Tuesday for the primary election.

County mayor, sheriff and County Commission seats are up for grabs.

Political signs have formed colorful waves across Shelby County. Each one is a plea for your vote.

"There's a tremendous amount of energy from all of the candidates," Shelby County Democratic Party Chairman Corey Strong said.

Strong became chairman of the Shelby County Democratic Party in 2017.

He helped reorganize the party after it was de-certified two years ago.

State leaders said the fighting and bickering within became too much.

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"I think it's important  for the party to make sure they remember the people they serve," Rep. Antonio Parkinson said.

Although the majority of Shelby County voters identify as Democrats, Republican candidates took the lead in the 2010 and 2014 elections.

"The dominance is because we as the Shelby County Democratic Party have not made a good enough argument to our citizens that the county government is equally responsible for your welfare and well-being," Strong said.

Many question if we're about to see a blue surge in county politics since the Democratic Party's regained momentum after President Trump's election.

The issue brings heated opinions, but experts say that's not proving to be the case.

"You had a fairly low turnout in 2010 and 2014 in the primaries and your'e seeing pretty much that same model again," political consultant Steven Reid said.

He says about half of the votes come in during early voting, and he expects the mayoral side of the county race to have clear-cut winners.

Reid says he is excited to see who wins, but he thinks the real political fire will come with the governor's race and the U.S. Senate race later this year.

We reached out to the Shelby County Republican Party, but we haven't been able to interview anyone with them up to this point.

Of course, stay with WREG for the latest numbers.

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