Mayor of Shelby County
Lee Harris is a progressive State Senator elected to serve in the legislature in 2014, and then selected by other Democratic senators as Senate Minority Leader - the first African American leader in the state of Tennessee. Prior to the 2014 election, he served on the Memphis City Council.
He’s dedicated his life and career to championing the causes of everyday Tennesseans, and working for economic and racial justice. He has passed more more bills into law than any other Democrat during his time in the legislature, and more than many Republicans. He’s led successful pushes for treatment coverage for persons with sickle cell, a condition that plagues communities across the state; advocated for new laws to protect children from abuse; initiated an expansion of recycling and environmentally-friendly practices in state government; and called for the public release of investigative reports from officer involved shooting deaths - a bill the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government called the bill likely “the most meaningful transparency law passed this session.”
Lee Harris also serves as a tenured full professor of law at the University of Memphis, having earned his undergraduate degree from Morehouse and law degree from Yale. He’s a proud product of the public schools in Memphis, married to Prof. Alena Allen, and lives in Memphis with his two children, Lee Allen Harris (12) and Claudia Harris (9), both of whom are public school students in Memphis.
He’s running for Mayor now to fight for shared progressive values in his home community of Memphis - the poorest metro area in the entire country. This race for Shelby County mayor, the largest county in Tennessee, is winnable for Democrats. Democrats outnumber Republicans by a significant margin. Yet, the term-limited county mayor is Republican and almost every elected office in Shelby County is held by Republicans.
Lee Harris’ grassroots, people-powered campaign is ready to flip Shelby County and help make sure City Hall reflects the will of the people of Shelby County, not just the wealthiest few.