Race for Mayor heats up the Mid-South - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Race for Mayor heats up the Mid-South

Did you get a message from the mayor this week? It's just the first of many moves the mayor plans to make as he gears up for a race his camp says could be the closest in Herenton's political history.

We're coming down to the wire in this tight race for the top spot at City Hall. Early voting began Friday with campaigns working at a feverish pitch working hard to get every last vote.

Volunteers stumping for their candidates outside early voting precincts as the countdown to election day falls under three weeks.

"We think that it may be close only because of the apathy that is generated in the community," says Charles Carpenter with Mayor Herenton's campaign.

As a result, Herenton volunteers have been picking up people, driving them in vans to polling places and asking for votes in person and over the phone -- sometimes through automated messages from the mayor saying: "This is Mayor Willie W Herenton. I would appreciate very much your vote in the upcoming mayoral race."

"We've had calls from some people who have been offended to get calls from Mayor Herenton whether it has been the robo call or the live call. We apologize but that's part of the political process," adds Carpenter.

At Carol Chumney's camp, volunteers are making calls as well, canvassing neighborhoods and releasing a televison ad to the press airing now until election day.

"We feel very good that we're going to do an effective job of getting that message out because it's time for a change," says Charles Blumenthal. 

Herman Morris' campaign is doing much of the same sending its candidate outside of polling places and making calls as they expect a tight race.

"This is the hardest campaign that the mayor's ever had. It's because of our candidate. Herman Morris is an exceptional good candidate," says Minerva Johnican. 

Expect the rhetoric to intensify up until election day.

Herenton's campaign manager calls this race the bloodiest campaign the mayor's ever been a part of but he insists his stragedy will help the former Golden Gloves champ deliver a knockout punch and win on election day.


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