Corey Strong challenging Congressman Cohen in Democratic primary

Rep. Steve Cohen to face primary challenger

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The former chairman of the Shelby County Democratic Party hopes to unseat U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen in next year’s Democratic primary.

As chairman, Corey Strong helped lead the Shelby County Democratic Party to big victories last year.

The so-called 'Blue Wave' swept Democrats into the county's top offices, including mayor and sheriff.

The Navy veteran says he's ready to take on another challenge: trying to unseat Cohen.

"I see a pretty big challenge. There is no doubt a seven-term incumbent with a lot of money in the bank is a pretty significant challenge," said Strong. "At the end of the day, I'm less concerned about what he has done and more concerned about what we can do."

He says while he agrees with Cohen on many political issues, including standing up to President Trump, he says Memphis deserves more and pledges to pursue policies that leave no one behind.

"I believe that our expectations of the Congressman have been too low," Strong said. "I am presenting a different vision of what you should expect of a congressman."

Cohen doesn't seem too worried about Strong.

"He's been talking about running for a long time, so I suspected he would. I've had people file against me before and I suspect I'll have people file against me again," said Cohen.

Cohen says his four decades of experience as a lawmaker, along with his seniority and record in Congress sets him apart.

“My campaign has always been about my record and my relationship to my constituents. It’s always proved to be successful, and I’ll be running in 2020 and 2022 as well,” said Cohen.

But WMC political analyst Mike Nelson says Strong could be stronger challenge than Cohen expects.

“I think this might be the most serious challenge Cohen has faced so far,” said Nelson. “Somebody who is young, somebody who is up and coming, somebody who is African-American, and somebody who really has spent a lot of time with great success rebuilding the Democratic Party in Shelby County.”

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