Jerry Lawler headed to court over mayoral debate exclusion - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Jerry Lawler headed to court over mayoral debate exclusion

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The legendary wrestler running for Memphis mayor has faced countless opponents in the ring.

Now, Jerry Lawler is preparing to face off in court, after being excluded from an upcoming televised debate hosted by WREG, The Commercial Appeal and Mpact Memphis.

"Being shut out of a debate like this, I think it does not only the candidates a disservice - it does the voters and community a disservice," said Lawler.

Only the top four finishers in a recent poll - AC Wharton, Carol Chumney, Myron Lowery and Charles Carpenter - have been invited to participate.

"They're saying I pulled two percent and Charles Carpenter pulled three percent. He gets in an I don't," Lawler said. "They admit the margin of error is five percent."
    
On Wednesday, Lawler's lawyer hand-delivered a letter that said, "Despite the seriousness of Mr. Lawler's candidacy for the mayor's office, you have unilaterally and capriciously decided to exclude him from the debate."
    
But some experts say television stations have the right to set their own rules under the Federal Communications Act - something Action News 5 did during the first televised mayoral debate in August.
    
Therefore, Lawler may need to prove those behind the upcoming debate purposely set out to disenfranchise him.

"You've already spent thousands of dollars on a campaign, and something like this can cost you a win," he said. 
     
Lawler says his next step is to file a complaint with the FCC.


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