Halbert re-elected in county clerk’s race, Swearengen takes Circuit Court Clerk

By , Daily Memphian Updated: August 05, 2022 1:46 AM CT | Published: August 05, 2022 12:28 AM CT

The Daily Memphian is making our election coverage free to all readers. Please consider supporting local journalism and this community by subscribing to this site or by donating to our organization. Thank you for your continued participation and support.

After months of delays in motorists getting new license plates and renewed tags, Democratic County Clerk Wanda Halbert narrowly won her re-election bid Thursday, Aug. 4, over Republican challenger Jeff Jacobs and independent Harold C. Smith.

And Memphis City Council member Jamita Swearengen will be giving up her City Council seat after winning the race for Circuit Court Clerk.

County Clerk says license plate backlog cleared, blames Harris administration

Halbert pulled out her re-election bid a week after claiming she had caught up to a backlog of thousands of new license plates and renewed car tags that began in the spring.

With all 142 precincts reporting in all races, the results were:

  • Halbert 64,399
  • Jacobs 53,815
  • Smith 13,461

Swearengen, the Democratic nominee, beat Republican nominee Sohelia Kail by the unofficial results of:

  • Swearengen 77,938
  • Kail 51,161

Swearengen joins Shelby County Commissioners Eddie Jones and Chairman Willie Brooks in moving to elected administrative county offices from local legislative bodies after upsetting Democratic incumbents in the May primaries.

Jones and Brooks end their second terms on the County Commission at the end of this month and take office Sept. 1 in their new full-time positions in county government.

The ultimate guide to the judicial races on the August ballot

Swearengen now has a decision about when to resign from her council seat with a little over a year left in her four-year term on the council.

Depending on when she resigns, within the 90-day period specified by the county charter, there could be a special election to fill the seat or the council could appoint her replacement through the October 2023 city elections.

Jones beat Republican nominee Dewayne Jackson in the race for Shelby County Probate Court Clerk. The unofficial results were:

  • Jones 77,933
  • Jackson 50,749

Brooks beat Republican contender Bryan Edmiston and independent George “Dempsy” Summers in the race for Register of Deeds:

  • Brooks 75,452
  • Edmiston 49572
  • Summers 4,832

Democratic incumbent Assessor of Property Melvin Burgess Jr. survived a challenge by Republican Steve Cross a former supervisor in the office:

  • Burgess 80,387
  • Cross 50,886

Democratic Criminal Court Clerk Heidi Kuhn held off a challenge by Republican Paul Houston:

  • Kuhn 79,754
  • Houston 49,210

Democratic incumbent County Trustee Regina Morrison Newman completed the Democratic sweep of the countywide contested offices by beating Republican nominee and former Shelby County Commissioner Steve Basar:

  • Newman 78,887
  • Basar 51,120

Democrat Janeen Gordon was uncontested in her bid to become Juvenile Court Clerk, succeeding her mother, Janis Fullilove, who did not seek re-election.


2022 clerk's races

Bill Dries on demand

Never miss an article. Sign up to receive Bill Dries' stories as they’re published.

Enter your e-mail address

Bill Dries

Bill Dries

Bill Dries covers city and county government and politics. He is a native Memphian and has been a reporter for more than 40 years.


Reading comments and joining the conversation are some of the many benefits of subscribing. Join the conversation by clicking the View Comments button below. Not a subscriber? Click here. 

Our commenting policy can be viewed here