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“One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” — Plato

Memphis & Shelby County Elected Offices

In order to determine the best candidate for office, it is important to understand the responsibilities of the elected position and the requirements necessary to hold the seat. For more information on the specific responsibilities and requirements of elected offices in City and County Government, please click on the links below.

City of Memphis Shelby County
City of Memphis Mayor Shelby County Mayor
City Council Shelby County Board of Commissioners
City Court Clerk Shelby County Sheriff
Memphis City School Board County District Attorney General
  Shelby County School Board

County District Attorney General

County Courthouse

The District Attorney's Office is responsible for prosecuting all violations of state criminal laws that occur anywhere within the boundaries of the county. All state criminal law violations assigned to Juvenile Court; General Sessions Criminal Court; the city courts of Collierville, Bartlett, Germantown, and Millington (which have been given authority by the Tennessee General Assembly to hear certain state law violations); and Criminal Court must be handled by the DA's Office.

In addition, the Distruct Attorney's Office has more limited authority to bring civil actions in state courts. However, these cases constitute a very small fraction of the office's caseload.

This is a partisan, full-time position, limited to one (1) eight-year term. A candidate for District Attorney must be:

  • At least eighteen (18) years of age
  • A citizen of the United States and of Shelby County, Tennessee
He or she cannot be:
  • Be convicted of offering or giving a bribe, or of larceny, or any other illegal offense.
  • Owe any back taxes.
  • Be an active member of the Armed Forces.
  • Be a member of any other elected or appointed office.
More info

Shelby County Schools Board

The Shelby County Schools (SCS) Board of Education:

  • Employs a Superintendent of schools.
  • Elects, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, teachers who are eligible for tenure; fixes those teachers' salaries; and makes written contracts with such tenured teachers.
  • Manages and controls all public schools under its jurisdiction;
  • Purchases all supplies, furniture, fixtures, and material through the executive committee.
  • Visits the schools whenever necessary.
  • Dismisses tenured teachers, upon sufficient proof of improper conduct, inefficient service, neglect of duty, insubordination, or incompetence;
  • Suspends, dismisses or alternately places students when the progress or efficiency of the school makes it necessary.
  • Requires the Superintendent of schools and the Chairman of the Board to prepare a budget for submission to the local funding body upon approval.
  • Prepares a copy of the minutes of each meeting of the Board; and mails those minutes to each Board member and the President of the local education association.
  • Adopts and enforces minimum standards and policies governing student attendance in compliance with state guidelines.
  • Develops and implements an evaluation plan for all certificated employees and to submit the plan to the Commissioner of Education for approval.
The Shelby County Schools system is divided into seven districts, each of which is represented by one elected Board member.

This is a non-partisan, part-time position with no term limits. Candidates for the Shelby County Board of Education must be residents and voters of the district in which they are elected. Only persons who are residents of the area served by the Shelby County school system are eligible to serve on the Shelby County Board of Education.

The SCS charter states that "it is desirable that members of the Board have a genuine interest in and devotion to public education, a willingness to give time and effort to the work, a capacity for understanding people, and the ability to work cooperatively with others." Candidates seeking election to the Shelby County School Board may not be current members of the Shelby County Commission or any other county office.

More info