Halbert Mulls Run for City Mayor

By Andy Meek

Another potential mayoral candidate is considering stepping into the fray.

With the release of a brief statement Wednesday afternoon, Wanda Halbert floated her interest in October’s special election to choose someone to fill the rest of Willie Herenton’s mayoral term, which ends in 2011.

Herenton is retiring Friday and is a candidate in next’s year’s Democratic primary for the 9th District congressional seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen.

Halbert is a freshman member of the Memphis City Council. She was elected in 2007 after serving seven years on the Memphis City Schools Board of Education.

“I continue to have a diverse group of constituents encouraging me to offer my candidacy,” Halbert said. “If in fact Mayor Herenton officially retires from city government, I am strongly exploring the option. The citizens of Memphis need a change agent, someone eager to have every concern managed efficiently and able to regain the trust of the whole community.”

Halbert met last week with Shelby County mayor A C Wharton Jr. for a one-on-one chat. Wharton is a candidate for and widely regarded as the favorite in the October mayoral election.

Halbert declined to share details of what they discussed, but Wharton has stressed publicly he is not holding “get out of the race” meetings.

Those either currently in or weighing an entry into the mayoral race besides Halbert include:

D'Army Bailey, Circuit Court Judge (considering)

Charles Carpenter, attorney and bond counsel to the city of Memphis (confirmed)

Carol Chumney, former Memphis City Council member (confirmed)

Kemp Conrad, current City Council member (considering)

Edmund Ford Sr., former City Council member (considering)

James Harvey, Shelby County Commission member (confirmed)

Jerry Lawler, professional wrestler and television host (confirmed)

Thomas Long, city court clerk (considering)

Myron Lowery, City Council chairman and mayor pro tem for the next three months (confirmed)

Kenneth Whalum Jr., Memphis City Schools board member (confirmed)

AC Wharton Jr., Shelby County mayor (confirmed)

John Willingham, former Shelby County Commission member (considering)