At Thursday’s monthly meeting, the Steering Committee tackled party business and also endorsed a slate of judicial candidates.
These will be available at the ShelbyGOP.org website.
A committee of very competent people spent a lot of time deciding on candidates to endorse. Every judicial candidate – and there were more than 80 – were given a questionnaire to answer. About half of them did. The committee went over them, checked on voting records, civic involvement, legal experience, judicial philosophy and ties to the Republican party before making decisions. They also weighed personal recommendations and debated candidates.
I think they have come up with a very good slate.
It is very important because in August we will be deluged with such a big ballot that many voters will be discouraged by the time they tackle judicial candidates. Unfortunately, too, many voters don’t take the time to investigate the candidates. Some depend on newspaper or media endorsement. That is an irresponsible tactic because many of the media are liberal leaning and that bias decides their choices. I don’t believe most have any degree of fairness to them at all.
This slate will allow Republicans to spread the word on the good candidates. We do not want our city to fall into the hands of people who are not concerned about justice. Most of us will not have the occasion to be in front of criminal court judges, but you might have a contract dispute or other problem and the judge who decides needs to be the most competent.
We also heard from some candidates.
David Shiffman says he’s a “rookie” but is looking for support in the District 6 County Commissioner race. He is unopposed in the primary and says he would appreciate any help to his campaign.
Richard DeSaussure is also unopposed in his Criminal Court Clerk campaign. He also hopes the party will be energized this summer.
Harry Barber is running in District 8. He described himself as from “the Calvin Coolidge wing of the Republican Party. I love business and short speeches,” he said drily.
Julie Ray introduced herself. She is running for County Commission District 9.
Judge Larry Potter was there and hopes to be reelected to Division 14 of General Sessions Court. He mentioned that he is the first environmental court judge in the city and Shelby County. He has 32 years experience in that court.
Danny Kale appeared and made a pitch for Probate Court Judge. He cited a Republican background, but others said he is a solid Democrat.
Many were pleased that we have candidates in 3 County Commission seats in territory we have not tried before.
Also mentioned was the RNC meeting in Memphis this week. Committeeman John Ryder said that there will be some open sessions Thursday and Friday afternoons that the public can attend. There will be updates from Senate and House Republican election committees, plus some from the Republican Governors Association. Events will be held at the Peabody, which is especially good news for Midtown Republicans as it is nearby.
The RNC hopes to boost enthusiasm in our area. We need to be sure and get out the vote in August and November.