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The Daily Memphian | The Early Word
The Early Word: Blue wave ushers Mulroy, Harris wins; Strickland won’t get third term

Congrats to all the winners from yesterday’s election! Today is Friday, Aug. 5, and we’ve got a rundown of your new (and old) county elected officials below. And by the way, The Daily Memphian’s election coverage is free to all readers, so please share with friends.

Binghampton’s Carpenter Art Garden turns 10 this year, and they’re hosting a party this evening. And the Cooper-Young’s Beauty Shop will celebrate 20 years on Saturday with a parade, a return of the original menu and live music with Harlan T. Bobo at Bar DKDC. You’ll find details on these events and more in The To-Do List.


Steve Mulroy dances with Towanna Murphy after declaring victory in the Shelby County District Attorney race. (Patrick Lantrip/Daily Memphian)

Mulroy defeats Weirich in D.A. race: University of Memphis law professor Steve Mulroy will serve as the Shelby County District Attorney for the next eight years, after defeating incumbent Amy Weirich in a hard-fought race. The race was one of the highest-profile contests on the ballot, and Mulroy campaigned on a platform of criminal justice reform, including decreasing the number of juveniles tried as adults, giving low-level offenders more lenient sentences with alternative programs and restructuring the bail system.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris speaks after declaring victory over challenger Worth Morgan on Aug. 4, 2022. (Patrick Lantrip/Daily Memphian)

A win for Harris and women: Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris, a Democrat, will be the county mayor for four more years, after handily beating out his Republican challenger Worth Morgan. Harris’ campaign focused on increasing health care access and better paying jobs. With four new Democratic newcomers elected, the Shelby County Commission will now have a nine-vote Democratic majority, and for the first time, the commission has a female majority as well.

Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert won her reelection bid Thursday, Aug. 4, over Republican challenger Jeff Jacobs and independent Harold C. Smith. (Daily Memphian file)

Clerks, judges and school board: Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert was reelected despite the recent backlog in license plate and tag renewals. And Memphis City Council member Jamita Swearengen will be giving up her seat on the council after winning the race for Circuit Court Clerk. In the most high-profile judicial race, Memphis City Court Judge Tarik Sugarmon defeated Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael (who had inherited a 2012 agreement for U.S. Justice Department oversight of Juvenile Court). That was one of several upsets in the long slate of judicial races. In the six-person race for Memphis-Shelby County Schools Board District 6, incumbent Charles Everett was ousted by challenger Keith Williams, executive director of the Memphis-Shelby County Education Association.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said he would run for a third term if the referendum to extend term limits passed, but voters have decided otherwise. (Brad Vest/ Special to The Daily Memphian file)

No extended term limits: Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland won’t get that chance at a third term since voters said no to extending term limits for the offices of Memphis Mayor and the Memphis City Council. It’s the second time in four years that term limits have been voted down. The proposed city charter amendment, put on the ballot by the current city council, would have expanded the current limit of two consecutive terms to three consecutive terms.

Jason Martin speaks at a press conference with his family on Thursday, Aug. 4, after declaring victory in the Democratic primary race for governor. (Ian Round/The Daily Memphian)

All the rest: Shelby Countians won’t have the chance to vote for a local for Tennessee governor later this year, after Nashville doctor Jason Martin defeated Memphis City Councilman JB Smiley Jr. and local activist Carnita Atwater in the Democratic primary. Incumbents swept state and federal primaries (including Tom Leatherwood for the House District 99 seat). Sitting candidates swept local races in Arlington, too. And municipal judges in Germantown and Collierville easily won in uncontested races. 



Molly, right, and Richard McCracken started Amplified Meal Prep in 2017 to help Memphians eat more healthfully. Now, they employ 30 people and have a 6,500-square-foot commercial kitchen in Cordova. (Brad Vest/Special to The Daily Memphian)

Richard and Molly McCracken, owners of Amplified Meal Prep in Cordova, got their start creating meals for a couple of friends who knew Richard had a background in the health food business. The requests snowballed from there, and Amplified Meal Prep was born. The McCrackens now have 30 employees creating and delivering customized, prepared meals made from local ingredients. The meal service is popular with athletes on meal plans: “For people who are working with a trainer or have a very specific diet or just general dietary restrictions, they can order from that menu and hit their macros or calorie counts or omit things they can’t have,” said Molly McCracken.



The two-million-square-foot Helen of Troy facility near the Tenn. 196 exit of I-40 in Gallaway, Tenn., is set to open in early 2023. Helen of Troy also has two facilities in DeSoto County — one in Olive Branch and one in Southaven. (Rendering courtesy Helen of Troy)

Brand name business: Helen of Troy is coming to Fayette County, and it’s going to be big — like Trojan Horse big. If you’re not familiar with the company, you’re no doubt familiar with their products: Hydro Flask water bottles, OXO brand kitchen utensils, Vicks, Honeywell and plenty of other household names. Some of those items will soon be housed at Helen of Troy Limited’s new $200 million, two-million-square-foot distribution center in Fayette County. The warehouse is nearing completion and should be operating by early 2023.

The South Philly sandwich at Fino’s is now a salad, too. (Chris Herrington/The Daily Memphian)

For the keto crowd: I love bread, and I like to say I’m on a high-carb diet. You know, to fuel my running and stuff. But a lot of you are still watching carbs or, in Chris Herrington’s case, just eating a little lighter during the summer because it’s hot “and sometimes you don’t want to work as hard,” as he says. Lucky for you, this week’s $10 Deal features a hack for the carb-conscious. At Fino’s on the Hill, you can make any sandwich into a salad. If, like me, you’d rather go with gluten, there’s an affordable option for you as well.

University of Memphis Tigers football fan Chris Thomas submitted a nomination to have Danton Barto’s No. 59 jersey retired. (Courtesy University of Memphis Athletics)

Retiring Dan Barto’s number? Former University of Memphis linebacker Dan Barto, who played for Memphis from 1990 to 1993 and holds the school record for the most career tackles, died last August from COVID at age 50. Alumnus Chris Thomas asked the university about retiring Barto’s jersey last fall, but the U of M didn’t have a formal process in place for that. So they developed one, and Thomas submitted his nomination on Tuesday.

Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (13), and guards Desmond Bane (22) and Ja Morant (12) give each other fives in a playoff game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, in Memphis. (AP Photo file/Brandon Dill)

Continuity is key: Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant agreed to a max contract this summer that should keep him in Memphis for at least six more seasons. Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane should be next up for a big payday; he’s eligible for an extension next summer. Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman has said the team won’t have “any issues paying anyone who we want to pay.” Bane told The Daily Memphian’s Drew Hill that he’s encouraged by what that can mean for retaining the team’s continuity, but a big payday isn’t what he’s most looking forward to.



This is really just a Great Pyramid of Giza Lego set, but this clever marketing makes me want to buy it. 

That said, if we’re selling this thing as a Memphis Bass Pro Shop Lego set, we’re going to need to make some changes. 

Have an awesome weekend!