Where to vote on Election Day
See list below.
Ask most Shelby County residents – who frequently vote – and they’ll tell you that this is the election they dread most out of all! It’s the one with the long, long ballot that includes all the area’s judges.
Since the ballot is long, this guide is also long. The first section deals with the Shelby County general election. The second part of this guide will look at the Tennessee Primary and the third will handle all the judicial races.
SHELBY COUNTY GENERAL ELECTION
SHELBY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
The biggest race on the ballot is the closely watched race for Shelby County District Attorney.
Republican incumbent Amy Weirich is seeking her second full eight-year term as D.A.
She was appointed to the position by then-Gov. Bill Haslam in 2011 and won her first full term in 2014 – beating longtime Shelby County judge and TV personality Joe Brown.
Weirich has been with the District Attorney’s office since 1991 and has prosecuted many high-profile cases. She’s also faced allegations of prosecutorial misconduct – specifically in the Noura Jackson murder trial. Weirich faced charges of ethical violations from the state – but those charges were dropped after she agreed to accept a private reprimand and admitted errors were made.
Mulroy is a familiar figure in Shelby County politics – having served on the County Commission for eight years. He’s also an attorney, activist and currently, a professor of law at the University of Memphis. He served as a civil rights lawyer in the Department of Justice during the Clinton administration and has spent time as a federal prosecutor.
SHELBY COUNTY MAYOR
Democratic incumbent Lee Harris is seeking a second 4-year term as Shelby County Mayor – but he’s facing a particularly strong challenge from Memphis City Councilman Worth Morgan.
Harris was first elected mayor back in 2018. He was serving in the Tennessee State Senate at the time and had previously been on the Memphis City Council. Harris is a lawyer and a former law professor at the University of Memphis.
Morgan has been on the City Council since 2016 – serving District 5 – which covers much of Midtown, Binghampton, Berclair and East Memphis. He also served as the Memphis office manager for Bill Haslam’s 2010 campaign for Tennessee governor and was a White House intern in 2008.
SHELBY COUNTY SHERIFF
Democratic incumbent Floyd Bonner faces no Republican opposition but is being challenged by two independent candidates – Keisha Scott and Donald Taylor.
In 2018, Bonner was the first African American elected as Shelby County Sheriff. He has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1980. Over the years, he was promoted several times – rising to the rank of Deputy Chief before his election as sheriff.
Scott is the first African American woman to run for Shelby County Sheriff. She is currently a sergeant with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and has been in law enforcement for nearly 25 years.
Taylor is also a sergeant with the Sheriff’s Office and has been in law enforcement for more than 25 years.
SHELBY COUNTY CLERK
This race will be another “one to watch” because of the recent controversy over long delays for new license plates. Democratic Incumbent Wanda Halbert is facing a challenge from Republican Jeff Jacobs and independent candidate Harold Smith. Despite recent events, Halbert has a strong base of support. She won the May primary – fighting off three challengers and getting 72% of the vote.
Halbert was first elected County Clerk back in 2018. She previously served two terms on the Memphis City Council and was a member of the Memphis City School Board from 2000 to 2007.
Jacobs has been with the Shelby County Clerk’s Office for 22 years – serving as a business tax manager and a tax investigator. He also spent 5 years working for the Shelby County Trustee’s office.
Smith is a retired teacher and principal and former treasurer for the Shelby County Democratic Party. He previously ran for Shelby County Juvenile Court Clerk back in 2018, losing to Janis Fullilove in the Democratic primary.
SHELBY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT CLERK
Democrat Jamita Swearengen and Republican Soheila Kail are running to replace Temiika Gipson as Circuit Court Clerk.
Swearengen – who defeated Gipson in the May primary – is currently serving on the Memphis City Council, representing District 4. She is an educator and community activist from a prominent political family.
Kail has been with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office for more than 20 years – serving in a variety of positions – including payroll manager, jail division manager and business manager at the Training Academy. Kail’s husband, Danny, is running for Environmental Court Judge.
SHELBY COUNTY CRIMINAL COURT CLERK
Democratic incumbent Heidi Kuhn is facing a challenge from Republican Paul Houston.
Kuhn was first elected back in 2018 and has served more than 23 years in Shelby County Government.
She has worked in a variety of positions – including executive director of the Crime Victims Center and deputy director of Community Services.
Houston has been with the Shelby County Correctional Center for 30 years – working with inmate programs, rehabilitation and substance abuse, mental health and re-entry service. He is also active in the local Republican Party – having served as president of the East Shelby Republican Club.
SHELBY COUNTY JUVENILE COURT CLERK
Former WMC-TV personality Janeen Gordon will replace her mother, Janis Fullilove, as Shelby County’s Juvenile Court Clerk. She beat out three other Democrats in the May primary.
Gordon was supposed to face Republican Rob White – but he has withdrawn from the race – so Gordon wins by default.
SHELBY COUNTY PROBATE COURT CLERK
Democrat Eddie Jones and Republican Dewayne Jackson are running to replace Bill Morrison as Probate Court Clerk.
Jones – who defeated Morrison in the May primary – is wrapping up his second term serving District 11 on the Shelby County Commission. He also works for the City of Memphis as a code enforcement supervisor and is a former MPD officer.
Jackson is active in local GOP politics and is the chief investment officer of Ruth Investments LLC.
SHELBY COUNTY ASSESSOR OF PROPERTY
Democratic incumbent Melvin Burgess is facing a challenge from Republican Steve Cross.
Burgess – who was elected Assessor of Property in 2018 – has been active in local government for years, serving two terms on the Shelby County Commission and working for Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools.
Cross spent nearly two decades with the Assessor of Property’s office as a IT director and served as a reserve Shelby County deputy for 15 years.
SHELBY COUNTY REGISTER OF DEEDS
Democrat Willie Brooks, Republican Bryan Edmiston and independent candidate George Summers are running to replace Shelandra Ford as the county’s Register of Deeds.
Brooks – who defeated Ford in the May primary – is wrapping up his second term serving District 6 on the Shelby County Commission. He also works at FedEx.
Edmiston has been involved in local Republican politics for years – working on campaigns for several notable politicians – including Mark Luttrell, Tom Leatherwood and Ron Lollar.
Summers is a frequent candidate. He ran for Shelby County General Sessions Court Clerk in 2020 and Memphis City Court Clerk in 2019.
SHELBY COUNTY TRUSTEE
Democratic incumbent Regina Morrison Newman is facing a challenge from Republican Steve Basar.
Newman is seeking her second term as trustee. She briefly held the position in 2009-2010 following the death of Trustee Paul Mattila, becoming the first woman to serve as trustee. Newman also served as the Deputy City Attorney for the City of Memphis from 2010 to 2015.
Basar is a businessman – who is making a return to politics. He served on the Shelby County Commission from 2012 to 2018. He’s also served on several local boards – including the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, the Downtown Memphis Commission and the EDGE Board.
SHELBY COUNTY COMMISSION
There are contested races in five of the 13 Shelby County Commission seats.
DISTRICT 1 – ARLINGTON, MILLINGTON, SHELBY FOREST
Republican incumbent Amber Mills is facing a challenge from Democrat Donna McDonald-Martin.
Mills – who was first elected back in 2018 – has served as the executive director of the Shelby County Republican Party. Before her political career, she spent 17 years as a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines.
Her husband, Lee, is also active in GOP politics. He’s running for the District 99 seat in the Tennessee House.
McDonald-Martin is a registered nurse – who is currently working as a clinical system analyst lead for Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare. This is her first foray into politics.
DISTRICT 4 – GERMANTOWN, EAST MEMPHIS
Current District 13 commissioner Brandon Morrison is running against Democrat Britney Chauncey for the new District 4 seat. Current District 4 commissioner Mark Billingsley is term limited.
Morrison – who was first elected in 2018 – is the Family Office President for MBA Corporation. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Adams Keegan.
Chauncey is a political newcomer and is currently a Learning Management Systems Administrator at Patra Corporation.
DISTRICT 5 – CORDOVA, NORTHEAST MEMPHIS
Democrat Shante Avant and Republican Todd Payne are running for the District 5 seat. Current District 5 commissioner Michael Whaley is running in District 13 – because of redistricting.
Avant recently resigned from the Memphis-Shelby County School Board after 9 years. She’s also the vice president for the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis.
Payne is the regional manager for Bott Radio Network and serves on the Shelby County Republican Executive Committee. He is a previous president of the Cordova Republican Club.
DISTRICT 7 – FRAYSER, NORTH MEMPHIS
Democrat Henri Brooks is facing a challenge from independent candidate Shirelle Dakota Brown – in her quest to return to the Shelby County Commission.
Brooks previously served two terms – from 2007-2015 – but once faced allegations of living outside her district. She also spent 14 years in Nashville, representing the old District 92 in the House.
Brown is also no stranger to the County Commission, having previously served as the commission’s legislative assistant and grant coordinator. She’s also a business owner and formerly worked for the Memphis Police Department and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
FYI — Current District 7 commissioner Tami Sawyer chose not to run for re-election – even though she was eligible to run for another term.
DISTRICT 13 – MIDTOWN, EAST MEMPHIS, BERCLAIR
Current District 5 commissioner Michael Whaley is running against Republican Ed Apple for the redrawn District 13 – which stretches from Midtown all the way to the Penal Farm.
Whaley – who was first elected in 2018 – currently serves as the Tennessee Director of Leadership for Educational Equity. He is a former Memphis City Schools teacher and served as founder and executive director of Memphis College Prep.
Apple is a business owner – he is the founder of Apple Partners LLC. He has also served on the board of St. Mary’s Episcopal School.
UNCONTESTED COUNTY COMMISSION RACES
|DISTRICT 2 – COLLIERVILLE, FISHERVILLE, SOUTH CORDOVA||David Bradford (R) – incumbent|
|DISTRICT 3 – BARTLETT, LAKELAND, BRUNSWICK||Mick Wright (R) – incumbent|
|DISTRICT 6 – RALEIGH, NUTBUSH||Charlie Caswell, Jr. (D)|
|DISTRICT 8 – DOWNTOWN, MED. DIST., SOUTH MEMPHIS||Mickell Lowery (D) – incumbent|
|DISTRICT 9 – SOUTHWEST MEMPHIS, WHITEHAVEN||Edmund Ford, Jr. (D) – incumbent|
|DISTRICT 10 – ORANGE MOUND, CHEROKEE, etc.||Britney Thornton (D)|
|DISTRICT 11 – PARKWAY VILLAGE, HICKORY HILL, etc.||Miska Clay Bibbs (D)|
|DISTRICT 12 – HICKORY HILL, FOX MEADOWS, etc.||Erika Sugarmon (D)|
MEMPHIS-SHELBY COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD
There are four seats on the Memphis-Shelby County School Board up for grabs this election cycle.
DISTRICT 1 – DOWNTOWN, MUD ISLAND, MIDTOWN, U OF M AREA
Current District 1 board member Michelle McKissack is facing two challengers – Chris Caldwell and Rachael Spriggs – in her quest for a second term on the MSCS School Board.
McKissack – who was first elected back in 2018 – is an Emmy Award-winning former TV journalist – who worked at WREG News Channel 3 in the 1990’s before moving to ABC 24 News as an anchor/reporter.
Caldwell held the District 1 seat for six years before losing the 2018 election to McKissack. He’s a financial advisor for Morgan Keegan.
Spriggs is an educator who works as an independent consultant with Memphis-Shelby County Schools.
DISTRICT 6 – SOUTH MEMPHIS, SOUTHWEST MEMPHIS, WHITEHAVEN
Current District 6 board member Charles Everett is facing five challengers – Timothy Green, Kenny Lee, David Page, Tiffani Perry and Keith Williams.
Everett is seeking his first full term on the board. He was appointed to the District 6 seat after Shante Avant resigned to move to Cordova and run for Shelby County Commission. He works for FedEx and has been active in parent teacher associations on both the local and state levels.
Williams is a familiar face – having served for years as the executive director of the Memphis-Shelby County Education Association.
Green is an education consultant and co-founder of the Memphis Restorative Justice Coalition.
Lee is a community activist who is the vice president of the Ride of Tears – which raises awareness about youth violence in the Mid-South.
Perry is currently chief of staff at Rust College in Holly Springs, MS and is a former public information officer for MSCS.
DISTRICT 8 – EAST MEMPHIS, BERCLAIR, NORTHEAST MEMPHIS, SHELBY FARMS
The only uncontested school board race is in District 8. Amber Huett-Garcia will win by default.
Huett-Garcia is currently working for the Tennessee Department of Education as the senior director of student and family support for comprehensive planning.
Current District 8 school board member Billy Orgel pulled a petition to run – but ultimately decided not to run again. He’s been on the board since 2011.
DISTRICT 9 – ORANGE MOUND, EAST MEMPHIS
Current District 9 board member Joyce Dorse-Coleman is facing one challenger – Rebecca Edwards.
Dorse-Coleman was first elected in 2018. She’s wife, mother and grandmother and says she’s an advocate for children. Edwards is the executive director of CAFE: Cultural Arts for Everyone.
In addition to the county races, Arlington, Collierville, Germantown and Memphis have a few races on the August 4th ballot.
One seat on the Memphis City Court is on the ballot – to fill out the remainder of the late Judge Teresa Jones’ 8-year term – which expires in 2027.
Judge Carolyn Watkins – who was appointed to the bench after Jones’ death in 2021 — is being challenged by Kenya Hooks – the chief prosecutor for the City of Memphis.
Memphis voters will also decide if they want to extend term limits for the mayor and City Council members from two terms to three.
Mayor Jim Strickland – who is currently ineligible to run in 2023 – says he’ll run for a third term if the referendum is approved by voters.
Aldermen Oscar Brooks, Harry McKee and Jeremy Biggs are seeking another 4-year term.
Brooks is being challenged by Jordan Hinders, McKee by Steven Smith and Biggs is unopposed.
School board members Scott Benjamin, Hugh Lamar and Dr. Dale Viox are running for re-election.
Benjamin is unopposed while Lamar is being challenged by Jonathan Dunn and Dr. Viox by Cathy Wilson.
Municipal Court Judge Lee Ann Pafford Dobson is running unopposed.
She was appointed to the position in 2019 and is running for her first full 8-year term.
Both of Germantown’s judges are running for re-election. Both are unopposed.
Raymond Clift has been on the bench since 1982.
Bob Brannon has been a municipal court judge since 1998.
Gov. Bill Lee is unopposed in the Republican primary for governor – but three Democrats are vying for the Democratic nomination – including two Memphians.
City Councilman J.B. Smiley, Jr. is in the race along with Carnita Atwater, the leader of the New Chicago Community Development Corporation. Atwater is the first Black woman to run for Tennessee governor.
They’re both running against Dr. Jason Martin – a pulmonologist and critical care specialist at Sumner Regional Medical Center. Martin has the endorsements of several top Democrats in the state – including House Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Vincent Dixie of Nashville and Rep. Antonio Parkinson of Memphis.
Smiley has the endorsements of Congressman Steve Cohen, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.
Gov. Lee and the winner of the Democratic primary will face 8 independent candidates in November.
U.S. HOUSE – DISTRICT 8
Following redistricting, District 8 now covers most of West Tennessee – except for parts of Benton, Decatur, Shelby and Tipton Counties.
Current Rep. David Kustoff is facing three challengers in the Republican primary – Danny Bridger, Jr., Gary Clouse and Bob Hendry.
Kustoff was first elected to represent District 8 back in 2016. Before that, he served as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee from 2006 to 2008.
Bridger lives in Milan and is a U.S. Navy veteran and small business owner.
Clouse lives in Somerville and is an U.S. Air Force veteran and physical therapist.
Hendry lives in Collierville and is a former U.S. Marine and small business owner.
On the Democratic side, there are two candidates – Tim McDonald and Lynnette Williams.
McDonald lives in Jackson and is a Vietnam veteran and a retired airline pilot.
Williams is from Collierville and previously ran for Memphis City Council in 2019 and the Tennessee General Assembly – in Dist. 85 in 2018 and Dist. 95 in 2020.
The winners of the GOP and Democratic primaries will face independent candidates James Hart and Ronnie Henley in November.
U.S. HOUSE – DISTRICT 9
Longtime Rep. Steve Cohen is facing a challenge from perennial candidate M. Latroy Alexandra-Williams in the Democratic primary.
Cohen was first elected in District 9 back in 2006. Before that, he served 23 years in the Tennessee Senate and was on the Shelby County Commission in the late 1970’s.
Alexandria-Williams previously ran against Cohen for the District 9 seat in 2016. He tried to run in District 9 in 2018 and 2020 — but was disqualified by the Democratic Party.
On the Republican side, there are three candidates – Brown Dudley, Charlotte Bergmann and Leo AwGoWhat.
Dudley is a political newcomer who has worked in the banking and biomedical industries.
Bergmann is a perennial candidate who has run for the District 9 seat four times – winning the GOP nomination three times – in 2014, 2018 and 2020.
AwGoWhat is another perennial candidate – who previously ran in District 9 as a Democrat in 2020 and an independent in 2018. He also ran for Memphis Mayor in 2015 and 2019.
The winners will face independent candidates Dennis Clark, Paul Cook and George Flinn in November.
TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
SENATE DISTRICT 33 – HICKORY HILL, PARKWAY VILLAGE, OAKHAVEN, etc.
Recently appointed Sen. London Lamar will be running in her first Senate primary.
She faces two Democratic opponents – M. Latroy Alexandra-Williams, Jr. and Rhonnie Brewer.
Lamar was appointed in March 2022 to replace Sen. Katrina Robinson – who was expelled due to her indictment on charges of wire fraud. She previously served in House District 91.
Alexandra-Williams is the son of perennial political candidate M. LaTroy Alexandria-Williams.
Brewer is a community activist who has served on the Tennessee Workforce Development Board. She previously ran for the Shelby County School Board in 2018.
The winner will face Republican Frederick Tappan and independent candidate Hastina Robinson.
STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 84 – OAKHAVEN, CAPLEVILLE, HICKORY HILL, FOX MEADOWS
Longtime Rep. Joe Towns, Jr. is facing a primary challenge from Democrat Brandon Price.
Towns was first elected in 1994. I couldn’t find any information about Price online.
There are no Republican or independent candidates running – so whoever wins the primary, wins by default in November.
STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 85 – WHITEHAVEN, HICKORY HILL, SOUTHEAST SHELBY COUNTY
Rep. Jesse Chism is running for a third term representing District 85. He’s facing a challenge from Democrat Phyllis Parks. Chism was first elected in 2018.
On her campaign site, Parks says she will “get the job done just like Rosa Parks” if she’s elected.
There are no Republican or independent candidates running – so whoever wins the primary, wins by default in November.
STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 86 – SW MEMPHIS, DOWNTOWN, MUD ISLAND, SHELBY FOREST
Longtime Rep. Barbara Cooper is facing a primary challenge from Democrat Will Richardson.
Cooper was first elected in 1996. Richardson is a veteran of the U.S. Marines and a business owner – who ran for Memphis City Council in 2019.
The winner will face independent candidate Michael Porter in November.
STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 91 – SOUTH MEMPHIS, MIDTOWN, WHITEHAVEN, U of M AREA
The District 91 seat has been vacant since London Lamar was appointed to the State Senate.
Two candidates are running in the Democratic primary – Barbara Farmer-Tolbert and current District 90 Rep. Torrey Harris – whose district has been eliminated as part of redistricting.
Farmer-Tolbert lives in Whitehaven and has worked in law enforcement and education.
Harris – who was first elected in 2020 – made news recently after being arrested for theft and assault involving his former boyfriend in Nashville. Harris says he is not guilty.
There are no Republican or independent candidates running – so whoever wins the primary, wins by default in November.
STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 97 – EAST MEMPHIS, BERCLAIR, SHELBY FARMS, CORDOVA
Current Dist. 97 Rep. John Gillespie is unopposed in the Republican primary – but two Democrats – Toniko Harris and Houston Wolf — are running for the Democratic nomination.
Harris is a mother and has worked as a registered nurse and a firefighter/paramedic for the Memphis Fire Department.
Wolf is a husband, father and a self-described “Democratic community activist” in Cordova.
STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 99 – ARLINGTON, LAKELAND, NORTHERN SHELBY COUNTY
Current Dist. 99 Rep. Tom Leatherwood is facing a challenge from Lee Mills in the Republican primary.
Mills is a FedEx captain and instructor and a former chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party. He’s also the husband of County Commissioner Amber Mills.
Leatherwood was first elected in 2018 after spending 18 years as Shelby County’s Register of Deeds.
This race got a lot of attention early on – after the state threw Mills off the ballot – because of a census map error that placed Mills’ home in Fayette County instead of Shelby County. Mills took the matter to court and won – so he’s back on the ballot.
There are no Democratic or independent candidates running – so whoever wins the primary, wins by default in November.
|DISTRICT||REPUBLICAN PRIMARY||DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY|
|SENATE DISTRICT 25||Sen. Ed Jackson (R)||No candidates qualified|
|SENATE DISTRICT 29||No candidates qualified||Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D)|
|SENATE DISTRICT 31||Brent Taylor (R)||Ruby Powell-Dennis (D)|
|HOUSE DISTRICT 77||Rep. Rusty Grills (R)||No candidates qualified|
|HOUSE DISTRICT 80||No candidates qualified||Rep. Johnny Shaw (D)|
|HOUSE DISTRICT 81||Rep. Debra Moody (R)||No candidates qualified|
|HOUSE DISTRICT 82||Rep. Chris Hurt (R)||No candidates qualified|
|HOUSE DISTRICT 83||Rep. Mark White (R)||No candidates qualified|
|HOUSE DISTRICT 87||No candidates qualified||Rep. Karen Camper (D)|
|HOUSE DISTRICT 88||No candidates qualified||Rep. Larry Miller (D)|
|HOUSE DISTRICT 93||No candidates qualified||Rep. G.A. Hardaway, Sr. (D)|
|HOUSE DISTRICT 94||Rep. Ron Gant (R)||No candidates qualified|
|HOUSE DISTRICT 95||Rep. Kevin Vaughan (R)||Patricia Causey (D)|
|HOUSE DISTRICT 96||No candidates qualified||Rep. Dwayne Thompson (D)|
|HOUSE DISTRICT 98||No candidates qualified||Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D)|
JUDICIAL GENERAL ELECTION
There are dozens of judicial races on the ballot this year – ranging from the smallest of municipal courts all the way to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
RETENTION ELECTION FOR SUPREME COURT AND APPELLATE COURTS
All five Tennessee Supreme Court justices are facing a retention election – along with 11 of the 12 judges on the Court of Appeals and 10 of the 12 judges on the Court of Criminal Appeals.
If voters choose “replace”, Gov. Bill Lee will appoint a replacement.
FYI – the three judges who are not on the ballot each plan to retire after their current terms – so Gov. Lee will be naming their replacements soon.
There are 40 countywide judgeships on the ballot in Shelby County.
Breaking it down by division, we have 9 Circuit Court judges, 3 chancellors in Chancery Court, 2 Probate Court judges, 10 Criminal Court judges, 15 General Sessions Court judges and a Juvenile Court Judge.
SHELBY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
4 of the 9 judgeships in Shelby County’s Circuit Court are contested.
Carlos Bibbs, Carol Chumney and Kenneth Margolis are running to replace retiring Judge James Russell.
Bibbs is longtime local attorney and currently serves as Assistant City Attorney for the City of Memphis.
Chumney, an attorney, is a familiar face in Memphis politics – having served 12 years in the Tennessee House, three years on the Memphis City Council and running for Memphis Mayor multiple times.
Margolis is a trial attorney, specializing in civil litigation. He has served as a special judge for Environmental Court and Criminal Court.
Stuart Breakstone and Cedrick Wooten are running to replacing the retiring Judge Jerry Stokes.
Breakstone is a longtime local attorney with his own firm, Breakstone and Associates.
Wooten is currently the Chief Administrative Office for the Shelby County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.
Division 7 Judge Mary Wagner is facing a challenge from Paul Robinson, Jr.
Judge Wagner was appointed by then-Gov. Bill Haslam in 2016 and was elected in 2018 to fill out the remainder of retired Judge Donna Fields’ term. Wagner is also a former chair of the Shelby County Republican Party.
Robinson is a local attorney and previously ran for Chancery Court in 2014.
Division 8 Judge Robert Weiss is facing two challengers – Damita Dandridge and Larry Parrish.
Judge Weiss was first elected to the bench during a special election in 2010 and was reelected in 2014.
Dandridge has been a judicial commissioner in the General Sessions Court for 20 years and a longtime professor at LeMoyne-Owen College.
Parrish is a former assistant U.S. Attorney – who served during the Nixon and Ford administrations. He’s had his own private law practice in Memphis since 1977.
UNCONTESTED CIRCUIT COURT RACES
|DIVISION 1||Judge Felicia Corbin-Johnson||Elected in 2014, running for second term|
|DIVISION 3||Judge Valerie Smith||Elected in 2016, running for first full term|
|DIVISION 4||Judge Gina Higgins||Elected in 2010, running for second full term|
|DIVISION 5||Judge Rhynette Hurd||Elected in 2014, running for second term|
|DIVISION 9||Judge Yolanda Kight Brown||Elected in 2018, running for first full term|
SHELBY COUNTY CHANCERY COURT
All 3 seats on the Chancery Court bench are up for re-election this year.
Chancellor Will Perry is facing a challenge from Melanie Taylor Jefferson – as he seeks his first elected term on the Shelby County Chancery Court.
Chancellor Perry was appointed by Gov. Bill Lee in 2021 to replace longtime Chancellor Walter Evans. Before that, Perry was a partner with Butler Snow.
Jefferson is an attorney and served as a judicial law clerk in the Chancery Court during law school.
Chancellor Jim Kyle is unopposed and will win a second term on the Chancery Court.
Chancellor Kyle previously spent 30 years in the Tennessee Senate – serving as Senate Democratic Leader for 9 years.
Chancellor Joe Jenkins is facing a challenge from Richard Parks – as he seeks his first full term.
Jenkins was elected in 2016 – to fill the rest of the late Oscar Carr’s term. He previously served as a civil administrator in the General Sessions Court Clerk’s Office.
Parks is an attorney who ran for Probate Court Judge back in 2014. He also ran for Memphis City Council back in 2007.
SHELBY COUNTY PROBATE COURT
Both seats on the Probate Court bench are up for re-election this year.
Judge Kathleen Gomes is running unopposed for her second full term as Probate Court Judge.
Judge Gomes was appointed by then-Gov. Bill Haslam in 2013 and elected to a full term in 2014.
Before joining the bench, she was a partner with Peppel, Gomes & MacIntosh.
Judge Karen Webster is facing a challenge from Joe Townsend as she seeks her third term.
Judge Webster was first elected back in 2006 and was re-elected in 2014. Before joining the court, Webster served as chief prosecutor and assistant city attorney for the City of Memphis.
Townsend is a retired attorney. On his Facebook page, he says he decided to run for Probate Court Judge – after experiencing delays while settling the estate of his wife – who died from cancer in January.
SHELBY COUNTY JUVENILE COURT JUDGE
Incumbent Judge Dan Michael is facing three challengers in his quest for a second term.
Judge Michael was first elected back in 2014. He’s been with Juvenile Court since 1995 – serving in various roles – including chief magistrate and a Juvenile Court referee.
Tarik Sugarmon is a longtime Memphis City Judge and previously ran against Judge Michael in 2014.
The other two challengers – William “Ray” Glasgow and Dee Shawn Peoples – are both attorneys in private practice.
SHELBY COUNTY CRIMINAL COURT
All 10 divisions of Criminal Court are on the ballot this year – including 4 open seats due to retirements.
Longtime Division 1 Judge Paula Skahan is facing a challenge from Michael Floyd.
Judge Skahan was appointed by then-Gov. Phil Bredesen in 2004 and has been re-elected twice.
Before her appointment, Skahan worked in private practice and spent time working as an assistant district attorney in the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.
Floyd has been an attorney for decades and has run for multiple judgeships before – including Circuit Court in 2018, 2016 and 2010. He lost to Judge Skahan in a three-way race for this seat back in 2014.
Five candidates are running for the Division 2 bench being vacated by retiring Judge Glenn Wright.
Gregory Carman is an attorney and supervisor in the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office.
Jennifer Fitzgerald is a principal attorney at Fitzgerald, Harris and Fitzgerald.
Amy Mayne is an attorney and assistant public defender in the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office.
Joe Ozment is an attorney and the president of the Shelby County Drug Court Foundation.
Samuel Winnig is an assistant district attorney with the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.
Two candidates are running for the open Division 3 seat – since Judge Bobby Carter is retiring.
James Jones is a private attorney based in Bartlett and has served as a special judge in multiple divisions.
Michael McCusker is a veteran prosecutor in the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office. He previously ran for Criminal Court Clerk back in 2014.
Division 4 Judge Carolyn Blackett is running unopposed.
Judge Blackett is one of the longest serving judges on the bench, having assumed office back in 1994.
Two candidates are running for the open Division 5 seat – since Judge James Lammey is retiring.
Carlyn Addison is a magistrate for Shelby County Juvenile Court. Before that, she served as an Environmental Court referee and an assistant public defender.
Christopher Lareau is a senior prosecutor for the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office
Three candidates are running for the open Division 6 seat – that was vacated when Judge John
Campbell was appointed to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals earlier this year.
Reginald Henderson has been an assistant district attorney in Shelby County since 1991.
David Pool is a magistrate for Shelby County Criminal Court. He previously ran for Memphis City Judge back in 2019 and General Sessions Court Judge in 2014.
Ross Sampson is a criminal defense attorney and has served as a special judge multiple times.
Longtime Division 7 Judge Lee Coffee is facing a challenge from Kenya Brooks.
Judge Coffee has been on the bench since 2006. He previously served as an assistant district attorney.
Brooks is an attorney – who ran against Judge Coffee back in 2014 and lost.
Longtime Division 8 Judge Chris Craft is facing a challenge from Sanjeev Memula.
Judge Craft has been on the bench since 1994. He previously served as a senior prosecutor and assistant district attorney in the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.
Memula is a veteran assistant public defender for the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office.
Longtime Division 9 Judge Mark Ward is facing a challenge from Melissa Boyd.
Judge Ward has been on the bench since 2004. Before that, he spent 23 years in private practice.
Boyd is an attorney – who previously ran for General Sessions Court back in 2014.
Division 10 Judge Jennifer Johnson Mitchell is running unopposed.
Judge Mitchell has been on the bench since 2018. This will be her first full 8-year term.
GENERAL SESSIONS COURT
Shelby County’s General Sessions Court is the largest court in the state of Tennessee and all 15 divisions are on the ballot this year.
CIVIL DIVISION 1
Longtime Division 1 Judge Lynn Cobb is facing two challengers – Victoria Gillard and Lawrence Pivnick.
Judge Cobb was first appointed to the bench in 1997 and is seeking his fourth elected term.
Gillard runs her own law office and has served as a juvenile defender with Juvenile Court.
Pivnick is a retired law professor at the University of Memphis and has run for several offices before – including two campaigns for Congress in District 8 in 2014 and 2020.
CIVIL DIVISION 2
Longtime Division 2 Judge Phyllis Gardner is running unopposed.
Judge Gardner has been on the bench since 2002.
CIVIL DIVISION 3
Judge Danielle Mitchell Sims is facing three challengers as she seeks her first full term on the bench.
Judge Sims was appointed by the Shelby County Commission to replace the retiring Judge John Donald.
She previously served as a magistrate in Shelby County General Sessions Court.
Lincoln Hodges is an attorney with the Hodges Law Firm in Germantown.
William “Bill” Larsha is a senior assistant city attorney with the City of Memphis and has served as a special judge within the General Sessions Court. He is the husband of WREG anchor April Thompson.
Lisa Stanley is an attorney with Stone, Higgs and Drexler.
CIVIL DIVISION 4
Longtime Division 4 Judge Deborah Means Henderson is facing a challenge from Eran Julian.
Judge Henderson has been on the bench since 2006. She previously served as special master for the Shelby County Chancery Court and on the juvenile defender staff in Juvenile Court.
Julian is a criminal defense attorney with the Law Office of Eran E. Julian.
CIVIL DIVISION 5
Longtime Division 5 Judge Betty Thomas Moore is facing a challenge from attorney Varonica Cooper.
Judge Moore has been on the bench since 1998 and previously served as a criminal defense lawyer.
Cooper runs the Cooper Law Firm and has spent 25 years in private practice.
CIVIL DIVISION 6
Longtime Division 6 Judge Lonnie Thompson is being challenged by attorney Kim Gilmore Sims.
Judge Thompson has been on the bench since 1998.
CRIMINAL DIVISION 7 – VETERANS COURT
Longtime Division 7 Judge Bill Anderson is being challenged by attorney Handel Durham.
Judge Anderson was first elected in 2010 and previously worked as a criminal defense attorney.
Durham is a veteran local attorney and currently serves as a divorce referee for Shelby County.
CRIMINAL DIVISION 8 – DRUG COURT
Three candidates are running for the open Division 8 seat, replacing retiring Judge Tim Dwyer.
Perry Hayes is a veteran assistant district attorney with the Shelby Co. District Attorney’s Office.
John “Jay” Parker is a criminal defense attorney and has served as a special judge multiple times.
Lee Wilson is a former General Sessions Court judge in Division 10. He’s also served as a magistrate and an assistant district attorney with the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.
CRIMINAL DIVISION 9 – MENTAL HEALTH COURT
Judge Gerald Skahan is facing a challenge from attorney Sheila Bruce-Renfroe as he seeks another term.
Judge Skahan was first elected in 2014 and previously served as a criminal defense attorney.
Bruce-Renfroe has been in private practice for more than 20 years.
CRIMINAL DIVISION 10 – DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COURT
Six candidates are in the crowded race to replace the retiring Judge Chris Turner in Division 10.
Cathy Anderson is the lead public defender for Shelby County. She lost to Judge Turner in 2014.
Patience “Missy” Branham is a longtime assistant D.A. for Shelby County specializing in DV cases.
Greg Gilbert is the chief prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Special Unit.
Rhonda Wilson Harris is a longtime magistrate for Shelby County General Sessions Court.
Kevin Reed is also a longtime Shelby County magistrate. He previously served as a public defender.
Erim Sarinoglu is an assistant public defender with the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office.
CRIMINAL DIVISION 11
Longtime Division 11 Judge Karen Massey is facing two challengers – Terita Hewlett and Jimmy Thomas.
Judge Massey was elected in 2006. She is an Air Force veteran and also served as a public defender.
Hewlett is in private practice and is an adjunct professor at Southwest Tennessee Community College.
Thomas is an assistant district attorney for the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.
CRIMINAL DIVISION 12
Division 12 Judge Ronald Lucchesi is facing a challenge from attorney Mischelle Alexander-Best.
Judge Lucchesi was elected in 2014.
Alexander-Best served as a General Sessions Court judge in Division 11 from 1998 to 2006.
She also ran for Division 7 in 2010 and Division 11 in 2014.
CRIMINAL DIVISION 13
Longtime Division 13 Judge Louis Montesi is facing a challenge from attorney Terrance Tatum.
Judge Montesi has been on the bench since 1990. He previously served as a prosecutor for both the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office and the City of Memphis.
Tatum is the attorney supervisor at the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office.
CRIMINAL DIVISION 14 – ENVIRONMENTAL COURT
Judge Patrick Dandridge is facing two challengers – Addie Burks and Danny Kail.
Judge Dandridge was appointed by the Shelby County Commission to replace retiring Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter. He then won a special election in 2018 to fill the rest of Judge Potter’s term.
Kail has been in private practice for nearly 40 years. He also served as the chief administrator of the Shelby County Criminal Court Clerk’s office from 2014 until 2018. Kail previously ran for Probate Court Judge in 2014. He is the husband of Soheila Kail, who is running for Circuit Court Clerk.
Burks is a criminal defense attorney.
CRIMINAL DIVISION 15
Longtime Division 15 Judge Loyce Lambert-Ryan is being challenged by attorney Christian Johnson.
Judge Lambert-Ryan has been on the bench in Division 15 since it was created in 2000.
Christian Johnson is in private practice. He previously ran for the Civil Division 6 seat in 2014.