Shelby County Commissioners selected Edith Moore, a retired IBM worker from Murfreesboro, to replace Joe Ford. Representing District 3, position 3 on the Shelby County Commission. Moore is not a political novice. Five rounds of voting failed to produce a candidate with a majority of commission votes, and narrowed a field of four nominees to Moore and Justin Ford, the son of the interim county mayor. A member of the Ford family has held the seat since 1994 when James Ford, brother of Joe Ford and uncle of Justin Ford, claimed the seat. Ford left to become interim Shelby County Mayor. Moore faced off against Joe Ford’s son, Justin, in the final round of voting. After a 7-3 vote, Moore was selected for the position. When the vote was announced, Moore lifted her fist in triumph. Minutes later, she said she couldn’t believe it was true. “It’s like David slaying Goliath. Moore was immediately sworn in by minute clerk Carealine Tuggle.

Moore moved to Memphis in 1968 from her native Murfeesboro, Tn. but left Memphis in the 1980s for a promotion out of IBM’s Memphis operation to the corporation’s Atlanta headquarters. Moore was appointed to the Cobb County, Ga. Human Relations Council in the 1980s. She also worked with Georgia state officials as an appointed liasion and lobbyist. She moved back to Memphis in 2002 after she retired from IBM.

Edith C. Moore; Age: 61; Previous government experience: This will be her first elected office, but she’s served on various boards, including some in the state of Georgia; Education: Attended Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Memphis. Did religious studies at the Tennessee School of Religion; Career: Retired from IBM, substitute teacher at Hamilton High School and other Memphis City Schools; Family: Widowed, two adult daughters and a teenaged grandson; Personal: She’s a member of Gospel Temple in North Memphis and an avid player of the card game pinochle.

Several factors contributed to Moore’s surprise win. Marcus Holliday dropped out after he spent much of his public interview earlier this month explaining a record that included driving under the influence and related problems. Candidates, James T. “Jai” Boyd and Jarvis Harris, don’t live in the South Memphis district they would represent on the commission. George Flinn and other Republicans on the commission were forced to pick among a slate of Democratic candidates. Moore appeared relatively nonpartisan. That left Moore with just three competitors: Ford, former high school principal James O. Catchings and Memphis City Schools teacher Ike Griffith. Seven votes were needed to win. Voting for Ford were Chism, Steve Mulroy and Deidre Malone, all Democrats. Voting for Moore were Republicans Avery, Mike Carpenter, Flinn, and Mike Ritz, as well as Democrats Henri Brooks, J.W. Gibson and James Harvey. Republican Wyatt Bunker voted “pass.”

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