Arlington candidates eye final stretch of election

By , Special to the Daily Memphian Updated: July 24, 2022 4:00 AM CT | Published: July 24, 2022 4:00 AM CT

With the municipal Election Day less than two weeks away on August 4, early voting is in full swing in Arlington.

Three alderman positions and three Arlington Community Schools (ACS) board seats are up for election this year.

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Two of the town’s incumbent alderman are being challenged by newcomers, with Alderman Jeremy Biggs enjoying an uncontested run to secure his second four-year term in Position 6.

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The town’s early voting site is the Arlington Safe Room at 11842 Otto Lane, and early voting runs until July 30.

In the race for Position 5, Alderman and Vice Mayor Harry McKee is squaring off against Steven Smith.

McKee is spending as much time as possible at the town’s early voting site. He was first elected alderman in 2005 and has served as vice mayor since 2007.

“I’m going to out to the polls and greeting people and answering any questions they might have about the Town of Arlington,” said McKee, who has lived in Arlington for nearly 20 years. “I’m chairman of the Finance Committee, and our town’s in good shape and I want to see it continue that way.”

Smith, who is running for an elected position for the first time, has also been at the polls holding up signs and trying to meet people.

“It’s exciting to be a part of this process this country’s given us, Smith said. “It’s kind of a privilege to actually see it in motion and see the other side that a lot of people don’t normally see.”

Smith is a former chairman of Arlington’s Cemetery Preservation Restoration Committee and serves as president of the town’s APTA (Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities).

“I’ve been doing a lot of door-knocking and going to different fundraisers and community events, just trying to get myself introduced to people who don’t know me,” he said.

Incumbent Alderman Oscar Brooks is being challenged by Jordan Hinders for Position 4.

Brooks, who originally ran for alderman after serving in youth sports in the town for many years, has held Position 4 since 2003.

“The opportunity to continue to serve the community I grew up in and raised my family would be a great honor,” said Brooks, who works for Methodist North as a facilities manager and has lived in Arlington since 1979.

He is sticking to his normal campaign routine this year.

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“I usually don’t go to the polling places until Election Day just because that’s the way I’ve always done it,” he said.

Hinders is running for office for the first time. He grew up in Arlington, served in the Army for six years and joined the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy last year.

“As a law enforcement officer working the midnight shift, and with the uptick in crime, it has been very difficult for a more personal approach to campaigning,” he said. “I never wanted a faceless campaign, but rather for my voters to know me personally. I continue to place myself out there for citizens to meet but on a more opportune basis. This is not ideal, but my first and most important duty to the citizens is protecting and serving even if it has encumbered my campaign.”

Citizens have told me they would like to see a way for golf carts to be legally driven on streets as well as better pay and benefits for the town’s fire department.

He thinks that with the race so focused on the ACS board, it has been hard to break through to the citizens.

“What normally works in a campaign like Facebook, flyers, and signs, are intentionally ignored,” he said. “This is likely due to the undesired attention attracted to the school board race.”

Jonathan Dunn and incumbent Hugh Lamar are running for the ACS Position 3 seat, while incumbent Dr. Dale Viox and challenger Dr. Cathy Wilson are vying for Position 5. Incumbent Scott Benjamin is running unopposed for Position 1.


Arlington Arlington Community Schools 2022 municipal elections

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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