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Shelby County Election Commission
Home >> Administration and Board >> O. C. Pleasant, Jr.
...O.C. Pleasant, Jr.O.C. Pleasant, Jr, has been employed by O. C. Pleasant Insurance Agency, a representive of Nationwide Insurance Companies in the sale of insurance and financial services, since September of 1981.
Past employment includes: mathematics teacher in Memphis City Schools
from 1963 to 1970; supervisor of employment and employee benefits services at Kimberly-Clark Corporation
, Memphis, from 1970 to 1978; and Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Department Head at State Technical Institute, Memphis
. Mr. Pleasant
, a native of Montgomery, Alabama, was educated in the Catholic schools of the Catholic Diocese of Mobile-Birmingham, Alabama
.A 1962 graduate of Alabama State University, Montgomery, Alabama, with a B. S. in Secondary Education, he graduated from Memphis State University in 1968 with a Master of Science in Mathematics and Curriculum and Instruction.He
has completed graduate studies in Mathematics at Indiana University, Bloomington; University of Minnesota, Duluth; and the University of Wisconsin, Madison
. He is a communicant of St. John Catholic Church where he serves as lay minister and lector.His
religious affiliations include: Chairman, African American Catholic Ministry Commission, Catholic Diocese of Memphis; member of the Strategic Planning Commission
, Catholic Diocese of Memphis; and member of the Diocesan Development Board, Catholic Diocese of Memphis
In addition to his
position as Chairman of Shelby County Election Commission
community and civic involvements include: Chairman, Board of Governors of the Memphis Health Center, Inc.; past Chairman and member of the Political Action Committee of the Memphis Branch, NAACP; Vice President, Tennessee Association of County Election Officials; member of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities
, Catholic Diocese of Memphis; member of Tennessee Real Estate Appraisers Commission; member of the City of Memphis Mayor's Task Force on Memphis
and Shelby County Consolidation; member of Tennessee General Assembly Study Committee on Voter Registration
and Absentee Voting Reform; and member of Bethel Grove Civic Club
. In 1977 he was a delegate to the Tennessee Constitutional Convention from State House District 93. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and is a past president of Memphis Alumni Chapter and a past regional president of the South Central Region.Pleasant
is married to Barbara King and is the father of two children, Darryl and the late Chandra Pleasant.
"What we're seeing is a shifting from Election Day to early voting," said O.C. Pleasant, chairman of the Shelby County Election Commission.
About 33 percent of his
county's 500,000 registered voters cast ballots in the primary, he
Voters in portions of Sullivan County had 12 Republicans and three Democrats on the ballot for Rep.Keith Westmoreland's seat.Westmoreland, a Republican elected to the House in 1992, committed suicide on June 19 after allegations that he
exposed himself to teenage girls in Florida and Nashville.
O.C. Pleasant, Jr.
O.C. Pleasant, Jr.
Such a dismal prediction is the result of bland campaigns for the 21 contested county offices, according to O.C. Pleasant, chairman of the Election Commission."Who knows that there is an election on May 7?"he asked.
Four years ago, 7.5 percent of county voters went to the polls.
By comparison, Tuesday's county primary turnout vote in Davidson County also is expected to be low.Only the Democrats are holding primaries there.
According to O.C. Pleasant, chairman of the Shelby County Election Commission, this year's primary will cost taxpayers as much as $800,000, which is equivalent to more than a half cent on the county tax rate.
That cost could have been $100,000 more had the Election Commission
not reduced the number of poll workers and cut back on the number of voting machines hauled to election sites this year, as they again prepared for a low turnout.
The March 2000 primary - which included the presidential primary and drew only 9.8 percent of registered voters - cost taxpayers $652,000, Pleasant
said.Of that sum, about 70 percent was used to pay poll workers, with the remaining costs going for various expenses such as advertising, rent for polling locations and the transport of voting machines.
"Political parties will tell you that local primary elections are worth it," said Pleasant
."But from the point of view of what it costs, I don't think it is worth it."
Local municipal elections are nonpartisan.
Shelby County had a long tradition of nonpartisan elections, going back to the days when Republicans were an ineffective political force here.But 10 years ago, county GOP leaders decided to hold a primary for three posts - a judgeship, General Sessions Court clerk and Shelby County assessor.
But after more than 20 years as head of the Election Commission
believes primary elections are designed to serve the political interests of party leaders rather than the people who must foot the Election Day bill.
"I think political parties should come up with other means to nominate their candidates for office," Pleasant
said."To spend this kind of money just isn't worth it."