The following op-ed appeared in the Commercial Appeal in response to the Shelby County Democrats complained about the Shelby County Election Commission adding 5 new early voting sites and opening the Agricenter early.
This week, outside the doors of the Shelby County Commission meeting, Democrats held a hastily called press conference to condemn the county Election Commission for adding early voting locations and opening only the Agricenter for the first few days of early voting.
This was simply a stunt to drive turnout for the Democrat base. It’s the first play of the Democrat playbook. Yell about something loudly, get the attention drawn to you and claim that there was a foul when no foul exists at all.
The truth is, the election commission added five early voting locations and took away none. This brings the total number of early voting locations to 26.
During the primary election, there were only 21 early voting locations. Of the 21 early voting locations, a majority were in heavily Democratic areas.
There were places in north Shelby County where voters had to drive 20-25 minutes if they wished to early vote. Hence, the addition of the Arlington location.
Because of the lack of locations in Republican areas, some locations had long lines. The additional sites were added to alleviate wait times at those locations.
As for the Agricenter location, it is in the geographic center of Shelby County. The data clearly shows that during early voting, the Agricenter is the only precinct that had a nearly 50/50 split between Republican and Democrat voters.
I would also point out that the Agricenter is also located in state House District 96 which is held by Rep. Dwyane Thompson, a Democrat.
I will concede that some voters in predominately Democrat areas may not be able to make it to the Agricenter to vote. However, there are equally as many voters in predominately Republican areas who would not be able to drive to the Agricenter to vote.
Alas, just a few days later all early voting locations will be opened, and all voters will be allowed to exercise their right to vote at their normal locations. At no time will any voter be disenfranchised.
I would also add that not one time in their press conference did the Democrats mention anything about county or suburban residents. Their only concern was African-American voters in Memphis. They once again brought race into a discussion where it has no place.
When it comes to elections, they always seem to forget that people of every race, color, creed and political affiliation also have a right vote.
When dealing with Democrats, don’t be distracted by their trick plays. Keep your eye on the ball.
Look at the data and see that the Shelby County Election Commission made the right call based on data; not emotion, race or religion or political affiliation. In other words, they did their job.
Lee Mills is chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party.
The Republican Party of Shelby County opened their 2018 Campaign HQ today in Cordova. The HQ will serve as a base of operations as we spread the Republican message throughout Shelby County.
The HQ will be open from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM Monday – Saturday until July 1. Then, it will be open from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM.
The address is 714 N. Germantown Parkway #21, Cordova, TN 38018. It’s located 2 doors down from Panera Bread.
The HQ is staffed by volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, please click on the following link to sign up for a shift:
The Republican Party of Shelby County is happy to announce that we have finalized the location of our 2018 Field HQ! The office will be located in the Trinity Commons Shopping Center. We will be located three doors down from Panera Bread where the old Radio Shack was located.
The address is:
714 N. Germantown Parkway #21
Cordova, TN 38018
Today at the May meeting of the Shelby County County Executive Committee (CEC), the full CEC unanimously passed the following resolution:
WHEREAS, the Republican Party of Shelby County believes that racism and white supremacy are totally unacceptable and cannot be tolerated in America or in our Party; and
WHEREAS, we fiercely oppose any kind of radical, racist bigotry or hate that these groups and individuals espouse; therefore
BE IT RESOLVED, the Republican Party of Shelby County denounces and condemns all white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups and individuals who share those beliefs.
While, we are unable to endorse candidates in a primary election, we have produced a voter guide for you to do your own research on each candidate running as a Republican.
Please visit the following link to learn more about our REPUBLICAN candidates: CLICK HERE
For a sample ballot, please CLICK HERE.
For early voting dates and times please CLICK HERE.
For election day voting location changes please CLICK HERE.
For ALL election day polling locations CLICK HERE.
Primary Election Day is Tuesday, May 1.
The Republican Party of Shelby County is happy to announce that the date for the 43rd Annual Lincoln Day Gala has been set. The date is February 24, 2018. The Gala will once again be held at the Holiday Inn – University of Memphis. The speaker will be announced in the next few weeks.
Tickets may be purchased online by clicking HERE.
Bill Giannini, former deputy commissioner of Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance and former Chairman of the Republican Party of Shelby County, was killed in a car crash Thursday.
Giannini was driving to Memphis from Nashville when the crash occurred at about 1:40 p.m. on Interstate 40 westbound in Decatur County, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Officials say he was driving eastbound on I-40 when his vehicle crossed through the median into the westbound lanes.
The driver of the other vehicle was injured in the crash, and it is unknown what his condition is.
Republican Party of Shelby County Chairman Lee Mills released a statement on Giannini’s death:
“Bill was an outstanding invididual and we have many fond memories of him. I will personally remember his enthusiasm, his quick wit and his infectious smile.
Bill’s work as Chairman of the Republican Party of Shelby County laid the groundwork for many of the successes we see today.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family during this difficult time.”
Today we celebrate the birth of Robert Reed Church, Jr. He was born on October 26, 1885, here in Memphis, TN.
He was the youngest son of Robert Church Sr., a prominent African American businessman in the city and his second wife, Anna Wright Church. Like his father, he became an important businessman, political activist, and politician during the 1920s.
Robert Church, Jr. was educated at Morgan Park Military Academy in Illinois. After high school, he earned a B.A. from Oberlin College in Ohio and an M.B.A. from the Packard School of Business in New York. He also spent two years working on Wall Street. When he returned to Memphis he managed one of the family businesses, Church Park and Auditorium on Beale Street. Afterwards, he became cashier of the Solvent Savings Bank and Trust Company, a bank founded by his father. Church became its President upon his father’s death in 1912. Church also presided over the family’s extensive real estate holdings in Memphis. On July 26, 1911, Robert Church, Jr., married Sara P. Johnson of Washington, D. C. They had one child, Sara Roberta.
In 1916, Church founded and financed the Lincoln League in Memphis which was established to increase voter registration and participation among the city’s black residents. He was convinced that one of the most effective ways for African Americans to gain political, social, economic equality was through being active participants in the political process. The Lincoln League organized voter registration drives, voting schools, and paid poll taxes for voters. Within a short period of time, the League had registered more 10,000 voters. That same year, the organization ran candidates for public office including an African American candidate for Congress for the first time. The candidates were unsuccessful but the effort created an organization that soon was recognized by Memphis political boss Edward M. Crump. The League evenly expanded into a statewide organization.
In 1917, Church organized the Memphis Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the first branch in the state of Tennessee. Two years later Church was elected to the national board of directors for the NAACP in recognition of his growing national influence. In 1924 the newly formed Congressional Country Club of Washington, D.C. invited Church to become a member. He refused because he was the only African American asked to join. Church was active in other organizations including the Iroquois Club of Memphis and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
Robert Church, Jr. was a perennial delegate to several Republican National Conventions from 1912 to 1940. His Lincoln League provided the swing votes that propelled Republicans to victory in several Memphis and Shelby County. National GOP Party officials acknowledged his leadership by consulting him on federal patronage in the region.
Aware of his political power through the Lincoln League, Republican presidents and other prominent party officials sought advice from Church about various political strategies. Church, however, refused to take an appointment to office, the standard reward for such influence. In 1922, for example, he declined a presidential appointment by Warren G. Harding to be chairman of the U.S. Commission to Study American Relations with Haiti. In 1924, he rejected a similar offer from President Calvin Coolidge to become part of a commission to study U.S./Virgin Islands relations.
With the rise of the New Deal in the 1930s and the increasing defection of African Americans to the Democratic Party, Church’s political influence began to wane. Not surprisingly, Boss Crump now cultivated Democratic leaders among Memphis African Americans Church and Crump were neither friends but the Memphis political boss had earlier recognized Church’s political influence. Now, the Crump machine challenged Church’s power directly. In the early 1940s, the Crump Machine used its influence with the Roosevelt Administration to weaken Church. When the Justice Department tried unsuccessfully to convict him of tax evasion, Church moved to Chicago.
At the invitation of his close friend, A Philip Randolph, President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, Church accepted a position on the board of the National Council for a Permanent Fair Employment Practices Committee. In 1944, he was elected chairman of the Republican American Committee, some 200 black Republican leaders in more than 30 states who pressured Republican congressmen to vote in favor fair employment and other civil rights legislation.
Church visited his hometown in 1952, after attending the Republican State Convention in Nashville to campaign for General Dwight D. Eisenhower for President. While discussing politics with friends, 64 year-old Robert R. Church, Jr. died of a heart attack on April 17, 1952.
Join us for the 1st Annual Republican River Cruise! The event takes place on Thursday, October 19, 2017. We will depart from Beale Street Landing and enjoy a two hour riverboat cruise down the Mississippi River.
The cruise will feature a BBQ Dinner, live band, cash bar and a chance to meet several of the 2018 Republican Gubernatorial Candidates. Tickets are $80 each. Dress is business casual.
To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.