MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Local 24 News political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shares his point of view on the Memphis Municipal Elections.
The dream of any elected official who is seeking reelection is to run unopposed. They don’t have to constantly raise money or spend a ton of time campaigning. But in the October 3rd city election, with 18 offices on the ballot, only one incumbent enjoys the luxury of having no opposition.
He is Division 2 City Court Judge Tarik Sugarmon, son of the late legendary judge and civil rights leader Russell Sugarmon. Every other position on the ballot is contested. And in most cases, the races are fierce.
Take for example the 13 city council seats. Ten incumbent council members are seeking to return for another four-year term. They all have opposition. And honestly, that’s a good thing. Elections should not be coronations. And the actions of the current council have been anything stellar. Remember the debacle late last year during efforts to fill three vacant council seats?
Of course, we all know that most voters, outside immediate family and close friends, know nothing about the council challengers. Which makes the likelihood extremely high that the incumbents will be reelected.
But that’s beside the point. Everyone on the ballot, from the mayor on down, should have to make the case to voters why they should be elected. It’s what democracy is all about. So, take the time to study the candidates. Then vote based on qualifications and competence, not just on a familiar name. And that’s my point of view.