The dean of Memphis political reporting goes into depth on the WMC-TV debate between County Mayor Joe Ford and Sheriff Mark Luttrell:
The consensus of almost everybody who was on site at the Union Avenue studios of Channel 5 was that interim mayor Ford put on one of his best performances ever, looking mayoral and confident and scoring especially well with several improvised sallies, while Luttrell looked and sounded cautious, sticking close — with one significant exception — to the safety of previously established responses.
It appears that Mayor Ford’s aggressive anti-consolidation push and the response of voters may have gotten Sheriff Luttrell to take a stand, and not FOR the consolidation, either:
Previously Luttrell, while stating for the record that he had never been a “proponent” of city/county consolidation, had carefully held on to his options on the matter. While not quite a sea change, the Shelby County sheriff’s new tack was a definite policy shift — potentially as comforting to the GOP suburban base as a recent misstep by Luttrell on the issue of illegal immigration had been disconcerting.
Hmm, I guess moving to Bartlett and holding those coffee meetings with County residents is starting to pay off for Mayor Ford.
Even though he apparently had his usual problems with language, he still made a strong case for his term as Mayor:
The fact was, Ford made a compelling case that he had run an efficient government — one symbol of which, besides the Med (whose final salvation Luttrell, perhaps with justice, continued to dispute) was his newly passed budget, a something-for-everybody affair without new taxes or layoffs and with a modest employee raise.
Beyond that, the interim mayor kept resolutely and with some ingeniousness to his major talking points — that he single-mindedly committed to the task of governing and that he was “mayor of all the people,” mentioning Germantown, Millington, and Collierville as objects of concern frequently.
Read more here: this race is only going to get more interesting as it goes on.