The Commercial Appeal Endorses Racquel Collins

The Shelby County Commission does not get the credit it deserves.

The 13 commissioners are more than a collection of part-time politicos who get together every other week to say grace (or not) over the work of the county’s full-time elected and appointed officials.

They are the county’s legislative body. They set our county property tax rate and other county taxes and fees.

They control the county’s $1.2 billion annual budget — and that includes general, school and highways funds, and debt service.

They make laws, rules and decisions that impact all of us — including those of us who live in Memphis or the suburbs.

After the Aug. 2 election, the next county commission will be very different.

The current commission will lose at least eight incumbents — five of six Republicans and three of seven Democrats.

It’s a good time for voters to welcome new ideas, fresh perspectives and an even wider range of life experiences to a commission that represents an ever challenging and diversifying population.

For those purposes, we endorse the following candidates for Shelby County Commission:


Collins, who holds a PhD in cancer and radiation biology, has served various research and administrative roles at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since 2008.

She also served her country for four years in the 1990’s, training fighter pilots as a senior airman. That experience will serve her well in a district that includes the Navy base in Millington, where her husband is a commander.


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