Additional candidates enter Bartlett alderman races

By , Special to the Daily Memphian Updated: July 20, 2022 6:06 AM CT | Published: July 20, 2022 4:00 AM CT

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With the qualifying deadline just a month away, another alderman candidate is getting his signatures together to file a petition in Bartlett.

Victor Michael Read will make a run for the city’s alderman Position 1 seat.

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“After getting involved with some of the meetings and seeing the way Bartlett’s going, it seems to me like it’s turning into Cordova, and I don’t like the policies that are being exhibited by leadership,” Read said. “So I’m trying to get involved to see what I can do to keep Bartlett Bartlett.”

Read, who works in the mechanical industry, has lived in Bartlett since 2019, his mother and grandparents are long-time residents and he has a son who attends Bartlett schools.

His interest in running for an elected position began with COVID-19 and the way the Bartlett City Schools Board of Education reacted to parents and issues they had with COVID restrictions. As an alderman, his ability to dictate school system policies would be limited. 

<strong>Victor Michael Read</strong>

Victor Michael Read

“There was not a good response and there was not good policy,” Read said. “I didn’t move into Bartlett to have Shelby County policies on me. They basically just Xeroxed whatever Shelby County said and went forward, and there was no option of looking into other alternatives.”

He also fears federal policies could worsen the situation.

“And they will implement them because they have proven that they will not turn down the federal dollar,” said Read, who cites how Bartlett schools got additional funding by following the mandates set forth by the Shelby County Health Department.

He also has issues with how the Bartlett Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the special use permit for the Union Depot mixed-use project on the 74-acre site of the former Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home.

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“When you have 30 people show and take up as much time as they’re given to say they did not want that special permit ... and then they only read the one letter that thinks it’s going to be a good thing and then every single alderman votes for it — the people didn’t want that,” Read said.

He also thinks the city should start looking at how it is going to expand the school system to get the head count down per teacher and explore ways of keeping and getting better teachers.

“None of this is being talked about when you go to these board meetings,” said Read, 32, who touts himself as the city’s youngest alderman candidate.

“I’m the youngest, I’m the newest and I have no experience in politics. And that doesn’t bother me because just having common sense about what’s been going on in the country for the past two or three years tells you all you need to know about what we need to do for local, state and federal politics.”

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Brad King and Jimmy Norman have also pulled petitions to run for Position 1.

Earlier this year, Christopher Michael Barnes announced intentions to run for Position 1, but he has since decided against running this year.

“Looking at the timing of everything and some things that have uncovered for me personally, I’m going to subtract out,” Barnes said. 

He is still interested in doing some public service but is unsure at what level.

Robert GriffinStephen Spencer and Brandon Weise have pulled petitions to run for Position 2, with Griffin already having filed.

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Paul Kaiser has pulled a petition to run for Alderman Position 3, and his opponent David Reaves has filed his petition with the required signatures.

In the city’s mayoral race, Brent Hammonds, David Parsons, and Kevin Quinn have filed their petitions to run, and John Lackey has until Aug. 18 to file.

Early voting starts Oct. 19 and runs until Nov. 3, with Election Day Nov. 8.


2022 Bartlett elections Bartlett City Schools Victor Michael Read

Michael Waddell

Michael Waddell is a native Memphian with more than 20 years of professional writing and editorial experience, working most recently with The Daily News and High Ground News.


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