MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Super Tuesday could end up being a super shocker in Shelby County. Voters are deciding primaries for the District Attorney, a County Commission seat and the Assessor. The most interesting race is, however, is for the General Sessions Court Clerk.
ABC 24's Jeni DiPrizio has the truth about why the hotly contested clerk's race could leave voters shaking their heads.
It's not every day you have a politician facing corruption charges to run for re-election. It's reality here in Shelby County.
When voters go to the polls, you just never know which candidate will emerge as the winner.
Court Clerk Otis Jackson wants another four years in office. Never mind the criminal charges he's facing for official misconduct, or the fact that he hasn't actually gone to work since being suspended from the job last August.
Jackson's legal trouble began last year when employees swore they were ordered to raise thousands of dollars for Jackson's re-election campaign. Despite the criminal charge, Jackson refused to step down.
"He feels to step down would be an admission of guilt and he firmly denies he has violated the law," stated Jackson's attorney, Jay Bailey, in August 2011.
In addition to the criminal charges, ABC 24 uncovered he arranged for employees to buy hundreds of days off work for donations to charity. Taxpayers picked up the tab for all that time off.
We also discovered Jackson liked throwing expensive Christmas parties for employees, once again, paid for by taxpayers.
Jackson faces four other candidates in the Democratic primary, including Shelby County Commissioner Sidney Chism and Interim Clerk Ed Stanton.
The truth is, despite the criminal charges Jackson could win the election.
Sound crazy? Former Memphis Congressman Harold Ford, Sr. won re-election twice while under federal indictment; he was later acquitted.
Jackson hopes he can do the same.
"I am not sitting in a situation I am proud of. I feel I will be vindicated of the charges but I've got to go through until the end, so I'll go through until the end," he told abc24.com.
Insiders say the clerk's race is really between Chism and Stanton - Jackson doesn't have a shot.
But the truth is until polls close and ballots are counted, nothing is for sure.