With the polls closed and the votes tallied, Lee Harris celebrated his victory in the Shelby County Mayor’s race with his father. (Photo: George Tillman Jr.)

Shelby County Mayor-elect Lee Harris has turned to two community leaders to help him transition the county government to his new administration. 

Lionel Hollins, former Memphis Grizzlies head basketball coach, and Paul Morris, president of Jack Morris Auto Glass and former president of the Downtown Memphis Commission, will lead the transition team, helping outline the early priorities of Harris’ administration.

Harris, who stepped away from a state Senate seat to run for mayor, claimed a strong win in the Aug. 2 election, turning back the challenge of County Trustee David Lenoir by a comfortable margin.

 “We are building a transition team that reflects the astonishing diversity of talent in this county. I am pleased that Paul and Lionel have agreed to lead this effort,” Harris said. 

After voting on Election Day morning at Mississippi Blvd. Christian Church, Harris emphasized that local government directly impacts lives every day. 

“Our county government is responsible for schools, healthcare, and incarceration. It matters who leads. Now, it’s time for the voters to decide.”

About 12 hours later, he declared victory at The Columns at One Commerce Square (40 S. Main).

Lionell Hollins
Paul Morris

On Wednesday, Harris touted Hollins and Morris as local residents “knowledgeable and highly respected in this community. They have made this community their home by choice. They have raised kids here. They care deeply about our community.”

Morris said, “I am pleased to work alongside Mayor-elect Harris and build out a team of hard-working leaders and stakeholders who love our county.

Hollins said he was to get the transition process started.

“I believe we have a real opportunity to advance this community. We have a real opportunity to build a community that we can all embrace.”

Also joining the transition team is Danielle Inez, who will serve as executive director. Community members who wish to be considered for Harris’ transition team should send a notice of interest through the website, www.transitionshelby.com.

 Harris was elected to the State Senate in 2014, becoming the youngest senator in the state of Tennessee. He also became the first African-American leader in the Tennessee State Senate when democratic senators selected him as Senate Minority Leader.

Prior to the 2014 election, Harris served on the Memphis City Council. A tenured full professor of law at the University of Memphis Law School, he is married to professor Alena Allen. They have three children, Lee Allen Harris (12), Claudia Harris (9), and newborn baby boy Lou Harris.