The filing deadline to run for election in Memphis passed on July 18, and all 13 city council seats are on the October 3 ballot. As of July 19, 42 candidates had qualified for the ballot, and another four potential candidates’ papers were still being verified.
Including the four candidates who are still in the process of making the ballot, an average of 3.54 candidates filed per seat. Each seat has at least two candidates on the ballot or in the process of getting on the ballot. The District 7 seat drew the most candidates with nine facing off in October. Six city council seats drew two candidates each, two seats drew three candidates each, two seats drew four candidates each, one seat drew five candidates, and one seat drew six candidates. Nine incumbents filed to run for re-election.
The most recent election for all 13 city council seats was held in 2015. Sixty candidates appeared on the ballot, and all 13 seats were contested. An average of 4.62 candidates filed per seat. That year, District 7 also saw nine candidates file for the seat, which was again the highest number of candidates in a race. One city council seat drew two candidates, six seats drew three candidates each, one seat drew four candidates, one seat drew six candidates, two seats drew seven candidates each, and one seat drew eight candidates. Seven incumbents filed to run for re-election in 2015, and all seven won.
Memphis is the largest city in Tennessee and the 20th-largest city in the U.S. by population.