VOL. 124 | NO. 182 | Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Byrd Enters 2010 Race For County Mayor
By Andy Meek
Seven years after he first ran for Shelby County mayor but reluctantly called off his bid, longtime Bartlett banker Harold Byrd is back.
“I’m Harold Byrd, and I want to be your Shelby County mayor,” is how he put it in a video on his campaign Web site, www.haroldbyrdformayor.com, he unveiled Tuesday.
The founder, vice chairman and president of Bank of Bartlett, Byrd made his intentions known about next year’s county mayor race the day before Shelby County Commission member Deidre Malone kicks off her bid for county mayor at the University of Memphis.
Malone’s campaign launches tonight at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis.
A group of more than 60 Byrd supporters, calling themselves the Harold Byrd for Mayor Support Group, sent out this e-mail Tuesday: “Please join with us in our support of Harold Byrd as our next Shelby County Mayor! Harold has demonstrated talented, tireless, and effective leadership in government, business, and the community! We need a leader that can make a difference. Please show your support by visiting www.haroldbyrdformayor.com and joining the winning team!”
The group includes a broad cross-section of Shelby County residents, everyone from former U of M basketball players Penny Hardaway and Elliot Perry to former county Mayor Bill Morris. Also included in the group are civil rights activists Maxine and Vasco Smith, developer Jackie Welch and his daughter, Dawn, Shelby County General Sessions Court Clerk Otis Jackson, developer Terry Dan and Allie Prescott, the former general manager of the Memphis Redbirds.
Byrd told The Daily News Tuesday’s development does not represent a formal campaign announcement. It’s an acknowledgement supporters are urging him to run, so he wants to see what kind of response the news generates.
Current Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr., whose term ends next year, is running in next month’s special election to succeed former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.