Early voting for the presidential primary election has concluded in Shelby County and now Tennessee voters are preparing for Super Tuesday on March 3.
It is called Super Tuesday because it is when the greatest number of states hold presidential primary elections and caucuses. Those events determine how many delegates candidates will have at their party conventions later this year. The results are crucial because they can boost or bust a candidate’s presidential nomination bid.
In Shelby County, so far, 43,698 voters have cast their ballots, according to a preliminary report from the Shelby County Election Commission Tuesday. The report also showed an overwhelming number of Democrat voters (34,263) compared to 9,435 Republicans.
Linda Phillips, Shelby County Election Commission administrator, is expecting a similar turnout next week.
“There’s just a lot of local and national interest surrounding the Democratic race this year,” Phillips said. “So I think we’ll continue to see more Democrats come out on Election Day.”
Many of the presidential candidates have garnered local support from prominent Shelby County leaders.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is a national co-chair for billionaire and former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg’s campaign.
“He was a really good mayor of New York City for 12 years. He lowered crime, increased graduation rates, brought in half a million jobs to New York, so he was extraordinarily successful,” Strickland has said about Bloomberg.
Other Bloomberg supporters include former U.S. representative Harold Ford Sr. and Tennessee State Rep. London Lamar (District 91). Lamar also serves as outreach director for Bloomberg 2020 Tennessee.
“Mr. Bloomberg’s economic policies for black communities – if implemented – I feel will be the best for cities like Memphis,” London told The New Tri-State Defender earlier this month during the opening ceremony of Bloomberg’s downtown Memphis headquarters.
“Right now we are at a very critical time in America where how we move forward as a country will be watched by the rest of the world, and the values and issues that we support.
Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris, along with State Sen. Raumesh Akbari (District 29), has rallied support around former U.S. vice president Joe Biden. Sen. Akbari said she’s confident in the response Biden will see in Tennessee and other Southern states.
“The South has something to say on Super Tuesday and I think you’ll see the diverse coalition Joe Biden has built really will show up on that Election Day,” Akbari said.
Presidential candidate and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren gained support from Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer early on during her campaign. Sawyer joined Warren at an event during her stop in Memphis last March.
“Elizabeth Warren came to Memphis and listened,” Sawyer wrote on her website. “She didn’t stump. She answered questions, shared her policy and got to the heart of what’s impacting us the most – from poverty to inadequate affordable housing options. ….”
Although the presidential primaries have been at the forefront of the upcoming election, residents won’t just be voting for the president on March 3. Also on the ballot are 15 candidates vying for Shelby County General Sessions Court Clerk.
Phillips issued a warning to voters, asking them to carefully review the ballot due to candidates dropping out of the race after the ballot was set.
“Some candidates who have dropped out of the race – their names are still on the Tennessee Ballot. Our ballot is set in December. Voters may see names of people who no longer have active campaigns,” Phillips said. “Please make sure you’re voting for someone who is still running.”
The Democratic clerk candidates on the ballot are Gortria Anderson Banks, Rheunte E. Benson, Joe Brown, Tanya L. Cooper, Adrienne Dailey-Evans, Wanda Logan-Faulkner, Deirdre V. Fisher, R. S. Ford Sr., Del Gill, Eddie Jones, Thomas Long, Reginald Milton and Tavia Tate.
The Republican candidates on the ballot for General Sessions Court Clerk are Paul C. Boyd, Michael Finney, George “Dempsy” Summers and Lisa W. Wimberly.
In addition to Tennessee, Arkansas will hold its presidential primary March 3.