FOR Shelby County Mayor

Ken Moody – a trusted voice for leadership in the Memphis and Shelby County communities for decades – is running for Shelby County Mayor.

With a wealth of experience across government and private enterprise, Moody has collaborated with community leaders of all stripes to develop strategies and solutions on a variety of issues. Most recently, he has been the point person on Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s 16 member Reimagine Police Committee. He also provided guidance on the recent hire of Memphis’ first female Police Director, Cerelyn “CJ” Davis.

Leadership You Can Count On

I’m Ken Moody, I currently serve as the special assistant to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. I’m a native Memphian, the youngest of 11 children, born to a single parent. I grew up in South Memphis, attended Carver High School and then attended and graduated from the University of Memphis. I played basketball and obtained my BA and MBA from the university.

I have been married to my wife Gwen for 30 years and have 3 adult daughters. My family and my faith keep me grounded.

I love Memphis and Shelby County and have concerns about the direction the County is going in so I put together an exploratory committee to look closely at a run for Shelby County Mayor.

Over the last few months, I have spoken with community members across the County, business and religious leaders and other elected officials about a possible run for County Mayor and it’s been encouraging. After doing my diligence, I’ve entered the race for Shelby County Mayor and will be a candidate in the Democratic primary.

I want to announce the co-chairs of my campaign. I’ve known them for more than 20 years. Mrs. Vickie Finch, the wife of my late basketball coach Larry Finch, lifelong friend Ms. Gayle Rose and my former University of Memphis basketball teammate Coach Andre Turner. I’m humbled that they have signed on to advise me.

I now need your prayers, financial support and vote.

Ken Moody for Shelby County Mayor’s Platform

When you elect me as the next Mayor of Shelby County, these are some of the issues I would like to focus on to make our county a better place to live.

Economic Development

  • Increase minority and women-owned businesses participation in Shelby County as my team did with the City of Memphis from 12% to 27%.
More on Economic Development
  • Review the recommendations from the new disparity study and work with the commission on the implementation of those recommendations.
  • Set solid expectations for the EDGE Board of Directors around incentives for new business recruitment. These enticements are needed to recruit businesses to the area, and accountability matrixes are important to ensure Shelby County reaps the benefits.
  • Work with Shelby County employers and potential employers to identify skills needed to complement employees and future employees and abilities required fully.

Crime Solutions

  • Be a better partner with municipalities to develop strong relationships with the Sheriff and municipality Police Chiefs to work on a comprehensive strategy to combat crime in Shelby County. Convene working groups to discuss what needs to be done to fight crime in this county.
More on Crime Solutions
  • Propose expanding investment in wrap-around programs for our youth to help keep them on the right track. Build on an investment recently made in the Boys and Girls Clubs to offer incentives to stay in school and graduate from high school. Partnering with other non-profits providing these programs will be essential, and I believe, a deterrent to crime.

Rebuilding Our Community

  • Develop incentives for local developers to build or renovate houses on vacant lots to put properties back on the tax rolls.
More on Rebuilding Our Community
  • Creating the right strategy to put the property in the land bank back on the property tax rolls in a significant way is important.
  • Shelby County should work closely with municipalities on a countywide strategy for affordable housing. Memphis has an affordable housing trust that should be expanded. Shelby County should take the lead on exploring funding options for new homeowners to expand investment in homeownership. Or maybe this – Work with municipalities to create/redevelop livable communities to increase the tax base and affordable housing throughout Shelby County.


  • I will collaborate with the county school systems on funding needs and research additional funding options and assist with lobbying the state legislature to secure those fiscal requirements for our schools.



More on Education
  • Partner with area universities and college presidents, area chambers, and EDGE on a strategy to ensure that our workforce is prepared when industries are interested in coming to Memphis.

County Employees and Other Countywide Elected Officials

  • As County Mayor, I look forward to listening to Shelby County employees to hear their concerns and work with my executive team on improving county services.
More on Employees and Officials
  • I am committed to hosting quarterly staff town hall meetings with team members to hear directly from them and see what I can do as mayor to help make their workplace and conditions more appealing.
  • I look forward to working with the Shelby County Commission and other countywide elected officials. They will be my colleagues and I will work closely with them on a realistic budget to present to the County Commission for approval.

Leadership You Can Count On

About Ken Moody

Ken Moody has spent his entire life in Memphis and Shelby County. A standout athlete, he was a difference maker for the Memphis St. (now University of Memphis) Men’s Basketball team while an undergrad. He later earned an Executive MBA from the school After several years working as a mortgage officer for a bank, he entered public service.

Over the next 13 years he rose from Community Affairs Manager to the Director of Public Services for the City of Memphis – along with several other titles up the ladder. During this span, he developed relationships with not only government officials but community activists, religious leaders and educators and continued to maintain connections with the business community. 

In 2010, he joined Central Defense Security as a Human Resources Manager on an interim basis. He was soon named Assistant Human Resources Manager before settling in a somewhat familiar role as Director or Community Relations for the security staffing company.

With the election of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland in 2016, he was afforded another opportunity to serve his community. Named Special Assistant to the Mayor, Moody has played a role in various functions throughout the city’s administration.  He has been a sounding board between various stakeholders in business, nonprofit, faith-based, activists and government officials on all levels. He has also had a seat at the table when many major decisions have  been made.

An Ambassador…

For Memphis and Shelby County

Moody has been an ambassador for Memphis and Shelby County through his leadership on some of its most notable events like coordinating the month-long Memphis in May festival and maintaining the annual Heritage Bowl Classic as a long-term Mid-South tradition. He was key in securing a long-term contract for operations of W.C. Handy’s Beale St. home as a museum.


A Partner…

In Business and Community

Moody has worked to provide bootstraps through partnerships with public, private and nonprofit organizations like Kroger, Vanguard, Alpha Omega Veteran Services and the City of Memphis for reentry employment opportunities or assistance. He also updated Memphis’ reentry program for those trying to reobtain a driver’s license or access assistance.


A Liaison…

With the Faith-Based Community

As liaison to Memphis’ faith-based community, Moody coordinates Mayor Jim Strickland’s Annual Prayer Breakfast. He also spearheaded the effort for COGIC’s return to Memphis. Furthermore, it was through his continued working relationship with leaders of faith that helped secure $50,000 in grants for Memphis sanitation workers in celebration of MLK50.

On the Trail

News & Updates

Crime Campaign: The search for simple answers to a complex issue

By Bill Dries | Daily Memphian | 03.14.22 The race for Shelby County Mayor won’t come directly to Worth Morgan until after the May Democratic primary is decided. But the Memphis City Council member, running unopposed in the May Republican primary, is already knocking...

Ken Moody to face Mayor Lee Harris in May primary

By Arianna Poindexter | WMC-TV 5 | 01.21.22 MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The pool of candidates for Shelby County mayor is growing as Ken Moody legally filed to run for office Friday afternoon at the Shelby County Election Commission. “We’ve continued our conversations...

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Friends of Ken Moody
P.O. Box 4549
Cordova, TN 38088

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Volunteers Needed

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Speaking Engagements

If you are interested in having Ken Moody attend or speak at your upcoming event or meeting, please complete our speaker request form.

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Election Day (Primary)

May 3, 2022

Election Night Watch Party

Tuesday, May 3, 2022 • 7:30 p.m.
4466 Elvis Presley Blvd, 3rd Floor, Memphis, TN 38116

Interested in Learning More?


Friends of Ken Moody
P.O. Box 4549
Cordova, TN 38088

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(901) 579-8736

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