UofM professor, former county commissioner announces campaign for Shelby County District Attorney General

Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 8:51 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - In front of a group of supporters Thursday, University of Memphis (UofM) professor and former Shelby County commissioner, Steve Mulroy announced his campaign for Shelby County District Attorney.

“The policies we’ve been pursuing the past 11 years are not working. They are not making us safer. We need change,” he said.

Mulroy says he’s been toying with the idea of running for district attorney for about eight weeks now.

He’s backed by supporters, including City Councilman Jeff Warren, former County Mayor Joe Ford, and Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris.

“When you think of legal reform in Memphis and Shelby County, the first name and face that pops into mind for all of us all the time is Steve Mulroy,” said Harris.

Mulroy says change is needed within the Shelby County justice system. He says he’d like to focus less on non-violent crime and more on violent crime.

“My philosophy is simple. Every person who breaks the law must be held accountable. Now, that’s the case if you’re a street criminal but it’s particularly the case if you’re a violent criminal. But unfortunately every year in Shelby County since our incumbent DA has taken office, violent crime in Shelby County has risen, and has risen, and has risen.”

Mulroy will run against Democratic attorney and former police officer, Linda Harris, in the Shelby County primary election in May.

The winner of that race will go against incumbent District Attorney Amy Weirich during the general election in August, who is running unopposed for the Republican ticket.

Weirich was appointed by former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam in January 2012 and then elected in August 2012. She was re-elected for a full eight-year term in August 2014 and is now seeking reelection for 2022.

She released the following statement regarding Mulroy’s announcement:

“I think it’s highly unlikely that Professor Mulroy can even win the Democratic primary with radical ideas so out of step with the citizens of Shelby County. I can assure you the answer to violent crime is not letting more violent criminals on the streets as Professor Mulroy and his supporters have advocated doing. And if he is my opponent, I look forward to having that debate.”

Action News 5 reached out to Mulroy’s Democratic opponent for the primary election.

In a statement, Harris said: “It’s up to the voters to decide but once they get to know me and my background as a constitutional attorney and former police officer, I think they will see I’m the best person for the job.”

Action News 5 Political Analyst Mike Nelson says with the backing of so many county officials, Mulroy will likely be the Democratic front runner in what’s shaping up to be a major election in 2022.

“Shelby County has become more Democratic in the eight years since Amy Weirich was last on the ballot, which is why even though she is the incumbent, she’s a strong incumbent. She will face a strong challenger and a different political environment than it was when she was last elected eight years ago.”

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