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TN Politics: New Entries in Shelby County's 2022 Election


Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris announced his re-election bid this week, arriving comparatively late to the campaign. Back in March, political analyst Otis Sanford predicted that any Harris challengers would likely focus on his pandemic response and some blunders with vaccines at the Shelby County Health Department.

But with that crisis overshadowed by state Republicans passing recent laws to overrule local health departments, Mayor Harris has emerged from the pandemic in a strong position for reelection.

Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich, one of the few Republicans holding a top office after the Trump administration provoked a blue wave in local government, will try to keep her job in 2022. But Democrats are also interested in the job, which comes open every eight years. Former Shelby County Commissioner and U of M law professor Steve Mulroy announced his bid this week.

Sanford says that while Weirich has wide support among both local Democrats and Republicans, her party affiliation could hurt her at the polls in Tennessee's bluest county.

Finally, Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn has been teased as a possible running mate of Donald Trump should he decide to try for reelection. In a recent column, Sanford writes that Blackburn, despite being a diehard conservative, may still not pass Trump's loyalty test.

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.