Candidates respond to Herenton's comments

A C Wharton
A C Wharton
Myron Lowery
Myron Lowery
Kenneth Whalum
Kenneth Whalum
Carol Chumney
Carol Chumney

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - "Get your popcorn children.  It's going to be off the chain this afternoon!"

Talk show host Thaddeus Matthews meant what he said when former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton agreed to be his guest Monday.  During that three-hour interview, Herenton announced he would not run to succeed himself, and shared candid thoughts about several candidates.

On Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton, Herenton declared, "It's a title.  He has not been a mayor, a real mayor for one day."

Herenton also lashed out at Memphis Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery.

"I think Myron will do anything necessary to get elected, and by the way he will not get elected," said the former mayor.

Herenton said Reverend Doctor Kenneth Whalum, Junior had no chance of winning.

"I think he'd stop if you all would stop paying him attention," responded Rev. Whalum.

Tuesday, some of the candidates Herenton spoke about were ready to respond.

"He's still trying to control things in this city when he is no longer mayor and the citizens understand this," Lowery said.

"In the bible you've got examples of people whose time has passed who just can't accept that and that's what we see," said Whalum.  "So whatever man."

"I'm not going to spend any time commenting on what any would-be or actual candidates might say," Wharton responded.

While Wharton would not respond to the harsh comments, he did respond when Herenton revealed his 88-year-old mother plans to vote for Wharton.

"I want to say thanks for her expression of confidence in me," he said.  "I will do my best."

Herenton said Wharton should thank him for pulling, out because Wharton will now win.

The former mayor also said he ran for a fifth term to prevent former Carol Chumney from becoming mayor.

Chumney is in a federal trial, and was not available for comment.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.