UPDATE: Herenton Files Paperwork to Enter Race Against Cohen

Day After Ford Fundraisers For Cohen Announced

By Bill Dries

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton is running for Congress in 2010.

Late Thursday afternoon, Herenton sent paperwork to the Federal Election Commission making his candidacy in the Democratic primary official.

He told some supporters individually on Wednesday that he is in the Democratic primary race for the 9th Congressional District.

That was the same day former Memphis Congressman Harold Ford Sr. announced he would hold two fundraisers for Democratic incumbent Steve Cohen this month – one in Washington and one in Memphis.

Herenton has specifically filed an FEC Form 2 statement of candidacy, indicating he has raised at least $5,000 in the past 15 days toward the effort to challenge Cohen.

It authorizes a campaign committee to raise more money and spend it on behalf of the political effort. The campaign has another 10 days to submit a statement of organization that outlines who is heading the campaign.

Herenton stunned political observers in April after delivering his annual budget address to the City Council with a written statement announcing he was forming an exploratory committee to consider the congressional bid. But the papers on their way to Washington Thursday evening bypass the formation of an exploratory committee.