MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) – After local, state and national lawmakers voiced support for Rep. Steve Cohen in the 9th Congressional District primary race Monday, challenger Willie Herenton described his opponent as running scared.
Cohen held a news conference Monday to announce his key supporters:
- Randy Wade
- Beverly Marrero
- Shea Flinn
- Ophelia Ford
- Bill Morrison
- Steve Mulroy
- Regina Morrison
- Jim Strickland
- James Harvey
- J.W. Gibson
- Edith Moore
- Jeanne Richardson
- Mike Kernell
- Edmund Ford Jr.
- Minerva Johnican
- Myron Lowry
"He's why poor people can get good health care today," Criminal Court Clerk Minerva Johnican described of Cohen from the days when the two were fellow Shelby County Commissioner voting to build the Regional Medical Center.
"He hasn't lined his pockets with anything, any dollars. He just wanted to serve," Memphis City Council member Myron Lowery added.
Reached for comment, Cohen's Democratic challenger, former Memphis Mayor Dr. Willie Herenton, said Cohen's running scared.
"If Congressman Cohen is at a point in his campaign where he has to go out and seek endorsements from other political figures, then he's not assured that he's competitive in this campaign," Herenton said.
Calling Cohen's list of supporters a "weak slate," Herenton showed off his own, endorsement-free campaign ballot.
"I want the endorsement and the vote of the people in the 9th Congressional District," he said. "I'm not seeking any endorsements personally from any elected official."
Meanwhile, a buzz is moving through political circles that Cohen will get an endorsement from President Barack Obama.
"That's something we'll be talking about very soon," he smiled.
Herenton played down the rumor.
"I would hope that the President of the Unites States would have more important matters to engage his attention than to focus on the 9th Congressional District representation," he said. "I think that's highly unlikely."
The primary election is scheduled for August 5th, and the winner will go up against a Republican challenger.