Cohen ready to vote on healthcare reform, take on Herenton

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Taking on healthcare reform, approving a fair hiring bill, and defeating Willie Herenton's congressional bid are among Rep. Steve Cohen's goals for 2010.

At city councilman Myron Lowery's annual prayer breakfast, Cohen, the featured speaker, welcomed Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford.

"A C Wharton had done such a good job that when he came into the Mayor's position, it wasn't that difficult, because A C had done such a good job," Cohen said. "Myron, you did the same thing for A C. I can't really say anybody did too much for you though."

It was a shot former Mayor Willie Herenton, a candidate in the 2010 congressional democratic primary.

"I saw this morning where a lady was running in the Republican race against me in November," Cohen said. "I look forward to running against her in November."

When pressed again about the August primary, Cohen compared Herenton to one-time challenger Nikki Tinker.

"It could be a contentious election, but I think we're going to win with the same type of results as we did last time," he said. "We got 79 percent when we ran last time. Miss Tinker was a very pedigreed candidate. Worked hard, well-funded."

Cohen said he plans to campaign through job performance, which will include the upcoming vote on healthcare reform.

"I would like to see some changes," he said. "I'm going to try to get some changes for Memphis on the newborn bill, possibly changes for The MED, but that's going to be difficult.  But that doesn't mean you don't try. Healthcare's going to be important that we have it, and we're going to have it. It's going to pass."

Over the past year, Mayor Herenton used an expletive to describe Cohen, and promised his own victory in the congressional primary.

The primary is scheduled for August 5, and the general election for November 2.

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