Friend believes Herenton will resign soon - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Friend believes Herenton will resign soon

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Will Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton resign before his current term expires?  A reliable source inside city government believes Herenton may be preparing to step down, after telling city directors if they need anything signed, to get it to his desk by July 1.

This comes after the resignation of Herenton's right hand man, Keith McGee.  Meanwhile, Sidney Chism, a longtime confidant of Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, also believes the Mayor will step down.

"Yes, I do think he's going to get out before his term expires," Chism said Wednesday.

And, he believes the announcement could come soon.  Chism, whose job in the past has been to make sure Herenton wins every race, says there are two reasons Herenton will likely step down soon.

"One is that you guys are going to be on him every day if he's in the mayor's office and trying to run for congress," Chism said, adding the public could perceive it as conflict of interest.

Reason number two: running for office is a full time job.

"In order for him to win that seat, he needs to be out there every day," Chism said.

According to Chism, Herenton's desire to 'be out there every day' grew when former Congressman Harold Ford, Senior endorsed his opponent, Steve Cohen.

"Harold came out and endorsed Steve, and I think that just set a fire under him," Chism said.

If Herenton resigns before December, current Memphis City Council Chairman Myron Lowery would become interim mayor for 90 to 180 days.

"Citizens need to know if the Mayor resigns our government will be in good hands - good, capable hands," Lowery said Wednesday. "I've served as long as the Mayor's served, we have good members of the City Council and a strong team of division directors, so there will be continuity in our government."

Then, there would be a special election. Lowery said he would be interested in running in that election to serve out the remainder of Herenton's term, which runs through 2011.

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