Gloves come off for District 9 race - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Gloves come off for District 9 race

Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen
Candidate Dr. George Flinn Candidate Dr. George Flinn

(WMC-TV) – The gloves are off and both candidates running for District 9 are coming out swinging.

Critics say both Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen and Candidate Dr. George Flinn are flinging mud at each other.

It all began when Cohen held a news conference to announce a $32 million dollar grant for Memphis International Airport.

The announcement ended with Flinn calling Cohen a hypocrite and Cohen dubbing Flinn a "campaign terrorist".

At the end of Monday's airport news conference, a woman asked Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen if he voted against the very bill that brought the airport grant money he was announcing.

"I didn't vote against it twice. I voted for it this year, so you've got your facts wrong," Cohen responded.

But the Congressional roll call shows Cohen did vote against the "FAA Modernization and Reform Act" in February.

And he voted against the "FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act" last April.

"It amazed me someone would be taking credit for something and they were the only one in the Tennessee Delegation that voted against it," said Dr. Flinn.

Cohen's Republican opponent, Dr. George Flinn, blasted a press release to media Monday night, calling Cohen hypocritical.

Cohen made a dig that Flinn, a radiologist, had less experience in government.

"You take the principals of being a physician, interacting with people, being responsive to their needs. That's what politics needs," Flinn argued back.

Cohen explained his votes. He said he supported the act until Republicans changed it.

"I was a sponsor of the bill until it turned into an anti-labor bill. I wasn't there to talk about my vote," he said.

Then, Cohen accused Flinn of planting a mole at Monday's news conference.

"Did you put a mole in Congressman Cohen's news conference?" Action News 5's Kontji Anthony asked Dr. Flinn.

He replied, "It was a news conference. We had someone there to record so we would know what he's saying."

Dr. Flinn said a member of Cohen's camp even questioned Flinn at his campaign open house.

Political insiders say you can expect more of this on the 9th Congressional campaign trail.

The election is November 6.

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