Tag Archives: 8th district

Basar backs out of 8th Congressional District race

Shelby County Commissioner Steve Basar has announced he will not seek the Republican nomination for the 8th U.S. Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Stephen Fincher, reports The Commercial Appeal.

Basar said it’s not the right time for him to run and denied his decision had anything to do with county Mayor Mark Luttrell’s entrance in the race.

“It just makes sense for me right now to wait and find a better time to run, focus on my County Commission job and focus on my new position here at Smith & Nephew,” said Basar who recently joined the Memphis-based medical devices manufacturer as a supply chain director.

Basar’s withdrawal leaves at least 11 contenders for the Republican nomination, according to the Secretary of State’s office. They are Luttrell, state Sen. Brian Kelsey; former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff; Shelby County Register of Deeds Tom Leatherwood; Memphis radiologist George Flinn; Collierville businessman David Maldonado; Fayette County corrections officer Ken Atkins; Jackson businessman and political consultant Brad Greer; James Hart of Buchanan; Adrian M. Montague of Jackson and Mark J. Rawles of Jackson.

Two Memphis area Democrats, Michael McCusker and David Vinciarelli, have also expressed an interest in Fincher’s seat.

8th District GOP primary draws 9th candidate

Collierville businessman David Maldonado says he has filed his paperwork to seek the Republican nomination for the 8th Congressional District, reports the Commercial Appeal.

Maldonado has worked since 2013 with Ford Motor Co., where he works with the company’s dealer network to improve the sales and service experience for customers in the Memphis region. He worked previously as a district manager at Coca-Cola and Frito-Lay.

Eight other Republicans have announced plans to run for the seat being vacated by Rep. Stephen Fincher.

Norris won’t run for Congress

State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris won’t be joining the crowded field of Republicans running for the 8th Congressional District seat this year, reports the Commercial Appeal.

Norris, R-Collierville, said Thursday he won’t be a candidate for Congress and will run for a fifth four-year term in the state Senate.

“I have my own re-election to run and have pulled my petition to run for re-election to the state Senate,” he said.

There had been some speculation that Norris might run, heightened this week when he unveiled an online petition drive in support of a legislative resolution he is sponsoring challenging the federal government’s Refugee Resettlement Program. He unsuccessfully ran for 7th Congressional District seat in 2002 when that district included parts of Shelby County.

Luttrell becomes 8th GOP candidate in the 8th

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell declared his candidacy for for the 8th Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher at a Republican dinner in Jackson Monday night, reports the Commercial Appeal.

Luttrell, 68…announced his intentions to run at the Madison County Republican Party’s Reagan Day dinner, held at Union University.

…”I’m a product of the 8th District. I was born in rural West Tennessee,” he said by phone shortly after the announcement. “My roots are pretty deep.”

Luttrell joins a crowded field jostling to replace Fincher, who has served three terms but announced on Feb. 1 that he would not seek a fourth.

Luttrell makes at least the eighth Republican in the race or interested in running, including Jackson businessman and political consultant Brad Greer; state Sen. Brian Kelsey; former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff; Shelby County Register of Deeds Tom Leatherwood; Shelby County Commissioner Steve Basar; Memphis radiologist George Flinn; and Fayette County corrections officer Ken Atkins. Two Memphis-area Democrats have also expressed interest: Michael McCusker and David Vinciarelli.

Asked about the possibility that Shelby County’s vote could be split among a crowded field, Luttrell said his understanding of both rural and urban issues made him unique among candidates.

Note: See also The Jackson Sun’s report on the Madison County GOP gathering, where political operative Tommy Hopper got a “lifetime achievement” award, seven of the 8th District candidates spoke and they had a straw poll on the congressional primary. Results of the straw poll:

Brad Greer, 22.5 percent
State Sen. Brian Kelsey, 19.5 percent
David Kustoff, 15.5 percent
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, 11 percent
George Flinn, 9 percent
Shelby County Register of Deeds Tom Leatherwood, 6 percent
David Bault, 1.5 percent
Undecided, 15 percent

Two Democrats pick up papers for 8th District run

Two men have picked up qualifying petitions to run in the Democratic primary for the 8th Congressional District seat now held by retiring Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher, reports the Commercial Appeal.

They are Michael McCusker and David Vinciarelli.

McCusker, who announced Monday that he’s exploring a bid, has been an assistant district attorney in Shelby County since 2001 and is a decorated, retired major in the U.S. Army. He lives in Germantown.

Vinciarelli ran unsuccessfully for Memphis City Council District 7 last year. As was reported then, he was arrested for DUI in 2011 after he crashed his truck into a utility pole, and was found guilty of aggravated criminal trespassing in 1990. He also filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 1997 and in 2004. Both bankruptcies are closed.

The primary elections are Aug. 4, and the general election is Nov. 8.

After Fincher announced Feb. 1 that he wouldn’t seek a fourth term representing District 8, a wave of Shelby County Republicans announced their candidacies.

Andy Holt prayerfully considering run for Congress

News release/statement from state Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden
DRESDEN, Tenn., Feb. 12, 2016– A lot has been said, both negative and positive, about the fact that I am praying heavily over the decision of whether or not to run for Congress rather than just jumping in like a typical politician that smells blood in the water.

In my heart, I know that every decision I make must be guided by His grace, mercy and plan, as well as, my wife Ellie and our family. The decision to run for U.S. Congress shouldn’t be made in a split second. We are talking about a job that requires one soul acting as the voice of hundreds of thousands of people. This is a job that requires sacrifice, bravery, courage, grit, love, faith, grace; and most of all, a persistent will to stand firm when the wind is at your face. Do I believe I’m capable of that? Absolutely. However, to me, the idea of deciding (within mere moments of hearing Congressman Fincher isn’t running for reelection) to run for Congress without truly taking the time to fall on my knees and pray to God for his guidance with family and friends seems self-entitled and reckless. I simply am not that person.

I owe my family, friends, current constituents, as well as, potential future constituents more than that. These individuals deserve to be represented by someone that believes in something much more than their own ego and political agenda. I know that I cannot, nor should I make this decision on my own. At the end of the day, my family surrenders to a higher power. We surrender to His will and not our own.

If my wife Ellie and I decide to jump in this race with our family, I can promise you one thing… It’s because we have taken the time to humble ourselves before our Lord and pray that it’s the right thing to do for our community. And if we don’t jump in, it’s because we’ve taken the time to humble ourselves before the Lord and it’s simply not where He is calling us to go. Either way, we continue to love and value each and every one of you, and continue to pray that West Tennessee will be represented by someone that shares our values.

Note: Those jumping almost instantly into the race after U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher announced he would not seek reelection were George Flynn, a millionaire who has unsuccessfully run for Congress previously; state Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown; former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff, Shelby County Register Tom Leatherwood; and Shelby County Commissioner Steve Basar.

Sixth GOP candidate files in 8th Congressional District

Ken Atkins, a corrections officer and former car dealership owner from Fayette County, is the latest Republican to file a qualifying petition for the 8th Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Stephen Fincher, reports the Commercial Appeal.

Atkins described himself as a conservative and said he was running to bring jobs to West Tennessee, cut spending in Washington and support law enforcement.

“I’ve never been a politician. My whole life I’ve been living and breathing politics,” he said.

His entry brings the Republican field to six. State Sen. Brian Kelsey, former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff, Shelby County Register of Deeds Tom Leatherwood, Shelby County Commissioner Steve Basar and Memphis radiologist George Flinn have filed or announced their intention to seek the office.

McManus exits 8th District congressional candidate cluster

State Rep. Steve McManus of Cordova said today he’s reconsidered his decision Monday to run for the 8th Congressional District seat being vacated this year by U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher and will instead run for a final two-year term in the state legislature, reports the Commercial Appeal.

McManus (R-Cordova) was one of several candidates who jumped into the race on Monday after Fincher (R-Tenn.) announced he would not run for a fourth two-year term.

On the other hand, state Sen. Brian Kelsey and Memphis radiologist George Flinn both pulled qualifying petitions for the race on Wednesday, says the CA in a separate story.

The list of potential candidates has grown to include several prominent Republicans in addition to Kelsey and Flinn: former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff, Shelby County Register of Deeds Tom Leatherwood, Shelby County Commissioner Steve Basar and state Rep. Steve McManus. State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) said Monday that he hasn’t made a decision about entering the race.

Roll Call lists 16 prospective GOP candidates for Fincher’s seat

Roll Call, reporting on Congressman Stephen Fincher’s announced retirement from his 8th District seat in Tennessee, has a long list of possible Republican candidates to replace him. Five proclaimed their candidacy Monday (previous post HERE)

The Roll Call list, said to come from “Republican sources,” includes all five of those. It also throws into the speculation category other state legislators — beyond Sen. Brian Kelsey, who jumped in Monday — notably including Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris.

Here’s the Roll Call rundown of potential candidates:

State Sen. Brian Kelsey has already said he will run and is expected to be a strong contender.

Another favorite would be state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, who sources say has a substantial following and has been behind conservative reforms within the state party. He’s also been mentioned as a 2018 gubernatorial candidate.

State Sen. Ed Jackson

Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich

Shelby County GOP Chairman Mary Wagner, a lawyer in Memphis.

Republican National Committee General Counsel and committeeman John Ryder.

Former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff, who said on Monday he is running.

Scott Golden, Fincher’s district director and a member of the Tennessee GOP State Executive Committee.

Radiologist George Flinn, a perennial candidate and self-funder, who placed third in 2014’s Senate primary against Sen. Lamar Alexander.

Ron Kirkland, a doctor who lost to Fincher in the 2010 primary. He hails from Jackson, the other major GOP population center in the district, and has been an advocate for Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure TN plan to expand Medicaid.

Matthew Stowe, district attorney general for the 24th judicial district, who clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

State Rep. Bill Sanderson of Dyersburg

State Rep. Steve McManus

Among state legislators who may excite tea party supporters are state Sen. John Stevens and state Rep. Andy Holt.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell is expected to be able to raise money.

The primary race for the safe Republican seat will likely be crowded and with the filing deadline not until April 7, there’s plenty of time for more names to emerge. Many Republicans who had been eyeing this seat, one Republican source said, were banking on Fincher not making moves until 2018 and were caught off guard by his Monday announcement. “The question is, who can ramp up their operation at the drop of a hat?” the source said. So far, Norris and Kelsey are the two most widely-cited front runners.

Note: For a related read, see Politico’s report on the flood of retirements by Republican congressmen elected in 2010 — Fincher being the latest example.

Five Republicans enter 8th District congressional campaign

Within hours after U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher announced he won’t seek reelection to the 8th Congressional District seat, five prominent West Tennessee Republicans announced they would go for it, reports Michael Collins.

They are, so far: state Sen. Brian Kelsey, former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff, Memphis radiologist George Flinn, Shelby County Register of Deeds Tom Leatherwood and Shelby County Commissioner Steve Basar.

Roy Herron, former state senator and Tennessee Democratic Party chairman, who lost to Fincher in 2010, says he’s thinking about a run on the Democratic side.

“Yes, I’m in,” Kelsey announced on Twitter, complete with a logo that declared “Kelsey for Congress.”

In an interview, Kelsey, who has served as state senator for the past nine years and was in the state House for five years before that, said he is running because he wants to shake up Washington.

“I think the people of the 8th District really want someone who’s going to go to Washington to shake things up, and I think I have a solid record of having done that in Nashville and of accomplishing things in Nashville,” he said.
Continue reading