Sympathy for mayor could have impact on election

It's a role Mayor Herenton seized Thursday afternoon.

"I stand before you today as a victim of a politically motivated conspiracy," he said during a press conference at city hall.

The mayor has already won the sympathy of some of those who showed up to hear him speak.

"God is love and I believe Godly love is in Mayor Herenton," supporter Cherry Echols told us.

Many other voters may end up showing the mayor some love at the polls as a result of this alleged sex plot.

"It's hard to see the events of today ending other then a gigantic coup for the mayor," said longtime political observer Jackson Baker.

Baker says it is especially true among black voters.  And the mayor may use this as yet another tool to win them over.  His speech was certainly peppered with racial overtones.

"White people have the wealth in this community--black people are basically economically disenfranchised," said the mayor.

"And I think voters, especially black voters who the mayor appealed to, are going to think long and hard about punishing the opponents for this," said Baker.

Opponents in the race for mayor probably had nothing to do with this alleged plot.  But Baker says they could end up paying a price as a result of it.

"I think it might be interesting to see what a poll might say a week from now," Baker said.

We did speak with councilwoman Carol Chumney.  She has lead in some of the early polling.  She told Action New 5 that she has faith that Memphis voters will not be distracted.