Mayor has harsh words for Ford family

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton and Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton endorsed Steve Cohen in the Tennessee 9th District Congressional race. Never one to mince words, Mayor Herenton didn't shy away from telling reporters what he really thought after making his endorsement.

"How can anybody in their right mind can think that Jake Ford is better qualified to serve this 9th District than Steve Cohen?," the Mayor asked. "It makes no sense to me."
After endorsing Cohen in November's election race, Herenton took swipes at one of Cohen's opponents, independent candidate Jake Ford.

"I have nothing against Jake personally, but his qualifications are nowhere appropriate for him to represent the 9th Congressional district when compared to Steve Cohen," the mayor said. I mean, that's real simple."
Herenton said his comments had nothing to do with differences he's had with the Ford family in the past, but the Herenton - Ford power struggle is deep rooted, and it was clear the mayor wasn't only taking shots at Jake Ford.

"I've resented for decades the politics of the Ford family," the mayor said. "The family seems to think that they should have a monopoly on all elected positions in this state and this county.  I've always rejected that."

Jake Ford denied an Action News 5 request for an interview, but released a statement that said in part, "As a democrat, I am a supporter and admirer of both mayors; however, I disagree with their choice for Congress."  Ford concluded his statement by saying, "I am running to assure that the quality of life is better for the residents of Memphis and Shelby County."

You can view the full video of Herenton's interview, as well as video of Steve Cohen's comments, and written statements from candidates Jake Ford and Mark White, by visiting the links on the left side of this page.