Potential candidates line up for special mayoral election - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Potential candidates line up for special mayoral election

Action News 5 Team Coverage

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Minutes after Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton announced his resignation Thursday, potential candidates began lining up to run for his position.

Herenton was still taking questions about his resignation when Shelby County Mayor A.C. Wharton said, "I do intend to run."

Considered by many as the man to beat, Wharton said he was prepared to run whenever Herenton bowed out.

"The City of Memphis has a bright future, and I'd like to be a part of that," he said.

Former councilwoman Carol Chumney plans to appear on the special election ballot as well.  One of Herenton's biggest critics, Chumney came in second during the last municipal election in 2007.

"We've had scandal after scandal after scandal," she said. "Car inspections, special perks for public officials...nobody's looking out for the interest of the people."

Serving as interim mayor could end up giving city council chairman Myron Lowery a boost. His intention is to serve well beyond his 90 to 180 days.

"I have long said if there was a special election, I would be a candidate. So, yes, I will be," he said.

Knowing Herenton is no longer competition, the field of candidates looking to fill the mayor's shoes may continue to grow as the election draws near.

Other names making the list of potential candidates are Herenton confidant Charles Carpenter and school board member Kenneth Whalum, Jr..

"I try to keep it real and tell people, 'you've got to take responsibility for yourself - it's not somebody else's responsibility to take care of your community,'" said Whalum.

Some observers say there could be well over a dozen names on the ballot on election day.

Officials at the Shelby County Election Commission said that if Herenton resigns as announced, the qualifying deadline for candidates would be July 16 and the special election would be held October 8.


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