Showdown between Carpenter and Wharton at CBU candidate forum - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Showdown between Carpenter and Wharton at CBU candidate forum

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis mayoral candidates Charles Carpenter and A.C. Wharton have known each other for more than 30 years. 
But what started with a civil greeting at a candidate's forum on the Christian Brothers University campus Thursday night quickly became a bit uncomfortable.
"I just want you to give me an answer to the debate proposal we submitted to you," said Carpenter to Wharton.
"Debate who?" said Wharton.
"I want to debate you on the issues, sir," said Carpenter.
Without giving an answer, Wharton proceeded into the auditorium.
"You see, he doesn't want to talk about this issues," said Carpenter, "He just wants to talk about how nice he is and how he'll show up at events."
Carpenter said he sent a letter to Wharton's campaign last week requesting a one-on-one debate, but never heard back.
Carpenter claims internal polling shows the mayoral race is between him and Wharton.
"A.C. Wharton likes to hide out, and give sound-bites, and make people feel warm and fuzzy," Carpenter told Action News 5.
The Shelby County mayor says Carpenter is a desperate man.
"It's pitiful, really," Wharton said.
He says he Carpenter's challenge is an attempt to get him to help bail out a "flailing, failing campaign."
"And he knows good and well there's no way I'd take a bottom-rung candidate and give him the dignity of being on the same stage with me," Wharton said.
Carpenter said the invitation is open and that he'd be willing to pay for the airtime.

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