Herenton comments on possible Wharton run for city mayor

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - At Memphis City Hall, the top spot is occupied by Mayor Willie Herenton.  During the last election cycle, Herenton indicated his fifth term would be his last.

With the next election now three years away, sources say Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton is already organizing a campaign to run for city mayor.

Wednesday, Wharton wouldn't respond to the rumor.
"I don't answer hypothetical questions," he said.

But Jackson Baker, political analyst at the Memphis Flyer, believes Wharton will, and says he has good information.

"He's gonna run," Baker said Wednesday.  "He fully intends to be our next mayor."

Thursday, Mayor Willie Herenton said he believes Wharton wants to be the city's next mayor.

"I think Mayor Wharton has every right to aspire to be city mayor," Herenton said. "I think politics in the future is going to be really interesting."

Wharton and Herenton are good friends.  During the last election cycle, community groups tried to draft Wharton to run against Herenton.  He declined.

Whether or not his fifth term will be his last, Herenton would not say.

"I have a life after political office," he said. "Obviously, I'm looking forward to be a private citizen.  I have a lot of things I want to do that's outside the public domain."

It's an answer making the mayor's race one to watch, even now, three years ahead of time.

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