The number one choice of almost 28 percent of those who voted, attorney Raumesh A. Akbari emerged the winner Tuesday night of the Democratic Primary for the District 91 House of Representatives seat long synonymous with the late Lois DeBerry.
DeBerry's death from pancreatic cancer earlier this year prompted the special election, which stimulated 1,812 voters to weigh in at the polls to see what Democrat would get the go-ahead to face Independent candidate James L. Tomasik when the general election rolls around on Nov. 21. No Republicans sought the position.
Akbari tallied 502 votes, outpacing runner-up Terrica Lamb (399) and Kemba Ford (355). Others in the race were Doris DeBerry-Bradshaw, Joshua R. Forbes, Clifford Lewis and Kermit Moore.
The Akbari-Tomasik winner will serve until the November elections in 2014.
Akbari graduated from St. Louis University Law School in 2009. She journeyed through the district telling potential voters that she would be "a fighter for the people of District 91 and will be an amplifier for the needs and concerns of the constituents."
The three most pressing issues of the district, said Akbari, are education, where she contends there needs to be a balance in dispersal of public and charter school resources; economic development to increase median income; and unencumbered access to healthcare.
Some in the district know her in conjunction with the clean up she initiated at Mt. Carmel Cemetery, an effort that included the support of members of the Memphis Police Department's C.O.P. program.
Tomasik, a Libertarian, has served as chairman of the Tennessee Libertarian Party and is an industrial projects manager.
(For more information, visit these sites: akbari91.com; votetomasik.com.)