Though competitive races for governor and senator in both major parties will dominate public attention in 2018, the other marquee race on the local ballot for 2018 remains that for Shelby County mayor.
As of now, it’s a three-way on the Republican side, with the contenders being Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland, County Trustee David Lenoir, and Juvenile Court Clerk Joy Touliatos. Democrats running include state Senate Majority Leader Lee Harris and former County Commissioner Sidney Chism.
But, conspicuously, not all the shoes have dropped. Two major figures are on the cusp of decision: former City councilman and current Chamber of Commerce vice president Shea Flinn, and Harold Byrd, president of the Bank of Bartlett and a well-known former public official.
If Flinn runs — and that’s still a serious prospect — it will not be as a Democrat, though he served a brief interim term as a Democrat in the Tennessee state Senate, where, among other things, he broke away from orthodoxy by introducing the first serious measure to legalize marijuana.
He would run as an independent because he