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TN Politics: As Memphis Elections Near, Focus Moves to Impeachment

Early voting for the upcoming Memphis municipal elections ends Saturday (the elections are Thursday, Oct. 3), and turnout has so far been slower than four years ago. While the large ballot could represent a major turnover of local government, political analyst Otis Sanford says incumbents have funding and name recognition, and few surprises are in store for voters. 

Meanwhile, talk of impeaching President Donald Trump is bringing out his congressional foes and defenders in Tennessee. While Democrat Steve Cohen has long pushed for impeachment, recent transcripts showing that President Trump asked the Ukraine president for opposition research has begun to sway moderates such as Rep. Jim Cooper of Nashville to agree to a formal impeachment inquiry. 

Tennessee Republicans, however, dismiss any possibility that the President might have acted inappropriately. Rep. David Kustoff of East Memphis and much of rural West Tennessee, said that he would not "waste time on baseless political investigations."

While U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander has said he would wait to see more details before commenting, Sen. Marsha Blackburn took to the senate floor to call impeachment a "breathless revenge scheme."

Sanford says that voters and concerned citizens should try to put politics aside and simply look at the facts.

Reporting from the gates of Graceland to the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Christopher has covered Memphis news, arts, culture and politics for more than 20 years in print and on the radio. He is currently WKNO's News Director and Senior Producer at the University of Memphis' Institute for Public Service Reporting. Join his conversations about the Memphis arts scene on the WKNO Culture Desk Facebook page.