Candidates Forum

Last night the Midtown Republican Club hosted candidates who will be running in the August 2nd election. District Attorney General Amy Weirich, County Commission candidate Steve Basar, Court Clerk candidate Rick Rout and 9th Congressional district primary candidate Wilson Stooksberry all took the podium to discuss their views.

Listening to candidates and being able to ask them questions is a very satisfying endeavor. It seems to be pure, raw democracy in a way that no other medium provides. For the audience it provides information on which to make a decision at the ballot box. For the candidates it gives a great opportunity to find out what’s on constituents’ minds and to hone the craft of addressing crowds.

Last night every candidate showed he or she was worthy of your vote. They were all informed and helpful. DA Amy Weirich even took down information an attendee gave her concerning a case that is worrying her. It doesn’t get more personal than that!

Weirich showed how good she is as our DA and how much she deserves to retain her post. “Locking up people is not the answer,” she said about crime in our city. “Prevention and intervention play a big role. We have a duty to engage the community and to enrich it.” What she does “affects every one in Shelby County” and she says that presses her to do her best.

Noting that people probably recognize his last name (he’s the son of mayor Jim Rout), Rick Rout went on to introduce himself and to describe why he thinks he can best carry out this job.

“It’s not a glamorous job,” he said, “but I want to bring accountability back to it. It’s been in the news because of the indictments against the former clerk, but that’s way too much bad publicity,” Rout said. He explained that when Republican Chris Thomas ran the office the county gave back $11 million. Under the Democrat the County is $3.7 million in the hole and has lost a million. Rout called for a task force to go in and find the misappropriated money.

“Every dollar we get back means another dollar saved in your pocket,” Rout continued. An answer he sees is to work with legislators in Nashville and get access to records.

Rout also said the Midtown Republican Club and the East Memphis Club are key to victory for Republicans in elections. Why? “Because we can get conservative Democrat votes there. Getting people out to vote is key.” Rout believes the August election is also a precursor to the November 2012 election. “I want to let Democrats know the 2010 election wasn’t a fluke.”

County Commission candidate Steve Basar also noted the importance of the Midtown Republican Club. “You helped me out a lot and I thank you for your support.” He will return during the campaign and asks for our help in man power.

A newcomer to the group was Wilson Stooksberry. He faces Charlotte Bergmann and Dr. George Flynn in the primary August 2nd that will determine who faces incumbent Congressman Steve Cohen.

“I was born and raised in Memphis and I want to see the city thrive,” Stooksberry said, adding that 9/11 spurred him. “I enlisted in the Special Forces in the Air Force for six years and I’m still in the Guard. The experience in the military formed my world view and love of country.

“I wanted to take the problems in the country and do something about it rather than throw my shoes at the TV. Steve Cohen has been in my sites because he is spearheading the wrong direction our country is going in.”

Stooksberry wants to laser focus on jobs and the economy. “Steve Cohen said five times that free market capitalism is the problem. If you don’t share that opinion, you will want to vote for me.”

Another issue Stooksberry sees is education. “Let the republic work and let the local people take care of it. Only in DC could you think people in DC understand kids in Memphis.”

You can find out more about him at

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