MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Tuesday, Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton said he was planning a run for city of Memphis mayor, even though he has not yet pulled a petition.
Though the is technically not an official candidate, he has appointed his wife Ruby as treasurer of his campaign, and will hold a fundraiser next week.
In an interview with Action News 5, Wharton said he is not going to campaign for the city's mayoral position until 2010, after he steps down from his post as Shelby County mayor.
"I'm in this job now, and I'll be there until midnight, the end of August 2010," he said. "That's my job."
Wharton said he hoped to see the consolidation of Memphis and Shelby County governments.
"Pulling these governments together - the city and county government - is just so critical to the city and county remaining financially viable," he said.
The Shelby County mayor isn't wasting any time as he pushes the metro form of government, while keeping the city and county school systems out of the consolidation discussion.
"Whether it's in Tokyo...whether it's in Berlin...whether it's in Singapore or whatever, we'll have one voice- one legislative body," he said. "That will give us a leg up."
Wharton said one of his top priorities is to make Memphis more attractive for young professionals.
"Our talent is leaving here," he said. "It's not coming back. It's not staying here for the new generation to come in. I want this to be one of the most attractive places. That's one of the things we have to work on developing talent here but keeping it here and making sure that the opportunities are here."
Wharton is not the first candidate announce he is running. Former Memphis City Council member Carol Chumney announced earlier this year that she is also planning to run again for Memphis mayor.