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Floyd Bonner Jr. to announce run for Memphis mayor

By , Daily Memphian Updated: October 26, 2022 12:20 PM CT | Published: October 22, 2022 3:25 PM CT
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Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. will announce on Tuesday, Oct. 25, that he is in the 2023 race for Memphis mayor.

Invitations to an event started showing up in emails to potential supporters Saturday, Oct. 22, billed as the “official announcement of Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. for City of Memphis Mayor.”

What the past 16 Memphis mayoral elections tell us about the next one

Bonner, who won reelection to a second term as Sheriff in August, joins a field that already includes former Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner and Downtown Commission President Paul Young.

Memphis-Shelby County Schools board member Michelle McKissack is considering joining the field along with First Baptist Church — Broad pastor Keith Norman and state House Democratic leader Karen Camper.

Retired Criminal Court Judge Joe Brown has appointed a treasurer for a possible bid.

Former Shelby County commissioner James Harvey has said he is running. So has attorney Michael Floyd.

Bonner does not give up the Sheriff’s office in order to run in the nonpartisan city race for mayor.

Bonner: ‘I have no issues with moving back into the city’ if he runs for mayor

He lives in Bartlett and has said if he decided to run, he would move within the borders of Memphis.

The city charter says candidates for mayor must have lived in the city at least five years before Election Day. 

But because of a 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down such requirements to register to vote in Tennessee, the city attorney’s office has long opined that candidates must live in the city by a month before the October Election Day.

Bonner drew Republican support in his reelection bid for sheriff in partisan county elections. 

He ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination. The Shelby County Republican Party decided not to hold a matching GOP primary for sheriff in May — the first time Republicans have not had a nominee for sheriff in the 30-year history of county primaries.

The race for sheriff is consistently a contentious political contest regardless of the contenders.

Republican Party leaders decided to focus most of their effort on the reelection of District Attorney General Amy Weirich on the August ballot — the only Republican holding countywide office in Shelby County.

But some party leaders also endorsed Bonner’s reelection over two independent candidates in the August general election.

Weirich was upset by Democratic nominee Steve Mulroy.

Politicos talking up Bonner’s possible entry in the contest believe it will keep the field of contenders to succeed incumbent Mayor Jim Strickland small.

Strickland is serving his second consecutive term and is term-limited from seeking a third consecutive term.

Young and Turner, who began campaigning in September, have each said they are in the race to stay regardless of who else might get into the race.


2023 Memphis Mayor's race Memphis Mayor elections Floyd Bonner Jr.

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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.