VOL. 124 | NO. 196 | Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Lowery Tells Rotary Forum He's Two Year Mayor
By Bill Dries
Memphis Mayor Pro Tempore Myron Lowery told an audience of 200 today that he probably would not run in the 2011 city elections if he wins the Oct. 15 special election for mayor.
Lowery made the declaration during a forum among four of the 25 mayoral contenders at the Memphis Rotary Club.
“I’m not running for 2011,” Lowery said at the forum held at Rhodes College. He later said he also would not be a candidate for Shelby County mayor in 2010.
The forum is the last Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. is expected to attend. Attorney Charles Carpenter and former state legislator and City Council member Carol Chumney rounded out the foursome.
Wharton was attacked by the other three during the hour long session. At one point, Carpenter questioned Wharton about the county’s $1.8 billion in bond indebtedness. Wharton countered that bond counsels like Carpenter were responsible for the debt which he claims credit for capping and gradually reducing.
Carpenter is bond counsel for the city of Memphis. He faulted Wharton for keeping the same bond counsel for county government over a 30 year period.
Chumney continued to portray herself as the only candidate who can deliver on change. She also emphasized her failed bids for Shelby County mayor in the 2002 Democratic primary and her 2007 campaign for Memphis mayor.
“What message does it send if someone like me doesn’t get to be mayor, ever?” she said. “What message does it send to little girls?”
Only the top four contenders, as judged by a recent Mason-Dixon poll of 400 likely city voters, were invited to the Rotary debate which is a political tradition.
Nevertheless, mayoral contender Robert “Prince Mongo” Hodges showed up at the forum. Dressed in an overcoat and wearing silver goggles and a white wig with a rubber chicken attached to his overcoat, Mongo watched most of the debate before leaving quietly.
Early voting in advance of the Oct. 15 election day runs through Saturday Oct. 10.
Through Monday, 28,687 citizens had cast early ballots. Go to www.shelbyvote.com for early voting locations and hours.
White Station Church of Christ and Bishop Byrne High School remain the most popular early voting sites with dramatic increases in turnout at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church and Greater Middle Baptist Church.
Read more about the campaign in Thursday’s edition of The Daily News.