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Carol Chumney

Carol Chumney

Carolyn Jean Chumney (born February 13, 1961) is an American lawyer and politician from the U.S. state of Tennessee. She served in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1991 to 2003 and represented the fifth district (East Memphis and Midtown) on the Memphis, Tennessee City Council from 2004 to 2007. Chumney came in second place in the Democratic primary for Shelby County mayor in 2002[1] and within 7 points of being elected the first woman Memphis mayor in 2007.[2] Chumney is a leading attorney taking the fight for election security to the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress.[3] She is also the author of "The Arena: One Woman's Story" [Lady Justice Publishing 2021].

Carol Chumney
Member of the Memphis City Council
from the 5th district
In office
Preceded byJohn Vergos
Succeeded byJim Strickland
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives
from the 89th district
In office
January 8, 1991  October 20, 2003
Preceded byPamela Gaia
Succeeded byBeverly Marrero
Personal details
Carolyn Jean Chumney

(1961-02-13) February 13, 1961
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Residence(s)Memphis, Tennessee
Alma materUniversity of Memphis


She attended school at:

As a Presidential Scholar, she earned her B.A. in economics and history with honors, magna cum laude, and was student government president (1982–83).

Chumney earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Memphis Law School in 1986, as a Herff Law Scholar. During law school she was the editor-in-chief of the law review.

As a trial attorney, Chumney began her private practice in 1987 at Glankler Brown law firm, where she later became a partner. Now she has her own law office in the White Station Tower. In 2001, she was honored by the Association for Women Attorneys for outstanding achievements in and for the legal profession.

House and legislation

From her election to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1990,[4] over thirteen years Carol rose to various leadership positions, including chair of the House Children & Family Affairs Standing Committee, House Majority Whip, and chair of the Shelby County delegation. She passed the child care reform law as reported in Time magazine, The New York Times, and statewide news publications. She also secured the $200,000 state grant to create the UT Memphis Center for Women's Health.


Chumney has been recognized for her leadership with awards

  • Tennessee Trial Lawyer's Consumer Protection Award (1995)
  • Tennessee Citizen Action Leadership Award (1995)
  • Tennessee Task Force Against Domestic Violence (1996)
  • Tennessee Association for Education of Young Children
  • University of Tennessee Health Science Leadership Award (2001)
  • Tennessee Sierra Club (2001)
  • Tennessee Development District Association Legislator of the Year Award (2003)
  • National Democratic Leadership Council's A100 New Democrats to Watch (2003)
  • Memphis Woman Magazine 50 Women Who Make a Difference (2003)

She created and hosts Tennessee Lookout, a public information show on the Library Channel 18.[5]


  1. Wiley Henry, "A new sense of pride seen in Wharton victory," Tri-State Defender,(Memphis, TN), May 11-15-, 2002.'
  2. Tom Charlier, "Mayor seeks unity, calls out 'haters'," Commercial Appeal,"(Memphis, TN), October 5, 2007.
  3. Shelby Advocates for Valid Elections, etal v. Hargett, etal,No. 19-1399 (U.S. Supreme Court June 9, 2020).
  4. Chumney banks on political dossier : Politics : Commercial Appeal
  5. City Government Profile Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
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