Early voting starts today in the lead-up to the Oct. 3 City of Memphis municipal elections. Political analyst Otis Sanford says that candidates who make a strong showing in early voting usually seize the momentum for an Election Day win.
Without a debate or any major controversies, however, the Memphis mayor's race may not encite as much enthusiasm as in past years. And with incumbent Jim Strickland vastly outspending his opponents on advertising while earning endorsements from key African American leaders, he is in a strong position at the onset.
This year's Memphis City Council election is notable for the number of challengers -- 78 across 18 different races. A young and diverse group of five candidates released a "Pledge for Progress" this week, listing some of their shared values. Sanford says it's unusual to see first-time candidates joining forces, but given the overall lack of money and recognition, they will still have a tough fight to beat better-heeled incumbents.