Joe Ford, Jr., announces run for Congress

A member of the Ford family threw his name into the hat for the Ninth Congressional District race now that another Ford is about to leave.

An entourage of Fords arrived at the Shelby County Election Commission Friday. Despite the political savvy of this family there was confusion as Joe Ford, Jr., filed to run for Congress.

"These are copies; we can't accept the copies," said an Election Commission worker.

Copies of signatures, not the originals. The Fords say they will correct the problem.

A Ford has held the Ninth Congressional District seat in Congress since 1974. Harold Ford, Sr., for more than 20 years, before giving way to son Harold, Jr., in 1996.

Harold, Jr.'s now running for the U.S. Senate. But the Ford name is now tarnished, one of the reasons Joe, Jr., says he's running.

"People are forgetting the things that the family has done," said Ford, Jr. "They've forgotten the good things."

State Senator Steve Cohen is leaning toward a run for the same seat.

"Twenty-four years as a State Senator, I think that's the experience you need to go to Washington," said Cohen.

One thing's for certain, it will be a crowded race. So far, more than 20 people have filed to run for the district nine seat. But both Senator Steve Cohen and Joe Ford, Jr., say that's not a concern.

"It really doesn't concern me because I think a lot of these people that are in this race, once you put their qualifications up there, they won't be relevant anymore," said Ford, Jr.

Ford, Jr., despite his name, may be considered an outsider. He still lives in California where he practices law. He would be one of at least three candidates coming back to Memphis to run.

"It's good for tourism that people come back to Memphis," said Cohen. "I think it's wonderful and maybe this will be the biggest thing since Elvis died in bringing people back to Memphis."

A crowded race that could be anyone's to win.