Mayoral candidates square off - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Mayoral candidates square off

Memphis Mayoral candidate Roosevelt Jamison watches from our lobby as three others debate just a few feet away.

"Several debates I wanted to be on," says Jamison.

But Carol Chumney, Herman Morris, and John Willingham lead the polls, and the charge to try and replace Mayor Willie Herenton.

"You know, there's an empty stool right here," points Chumney. "The current mayor won't even show up to face you, talk with you, be accountable," she adds.

Taking questions from a panel of journalists and the public, many answers come straight from their playbooks.

"I'm here to bring change," says Herman Morris.

Herenton's call to halt early voting happened since the last televised debate.

"I think it's reckless and irresponsible after an election has started to inject that kind of issue into it," says Morris.

"I know there are good people at the election commission and if there are any glitches, they're gong to make sure it's taken care of," says Chumney.

"Let's pay attention, the man knows how to get free publicity--he's the best in the business," says Willingham.

That's the only compliment for the current mayor.

"I wouldn't inject divisive racial rhetoric like the incumbent has into this election," says Morris.

"I've been married to the same woman for 50 plus years--I don't have any illegitimate children," says Willingham.

The importance of voting is another issue on which all could agree.

"And your vote is going to make a big difference," says Chumney.

Back in the lobby, our unofficial participant hopes people study all the candidates and not just those you usually see on TV.

"You know, if the people go out and search for the best mayor, they'll get the best," says Jamison.

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