Wednesday, June 5, 2002

FATHERS AND SONS

FATHERS AND SONS

Posted By on Wed, Jun 5, 2002 at 4:00 AM

The sons of some famous political fathers are making news-- or attempting to-- in their own right. Rick Rout, the son of outgoing Shelby County Mayor Jim Rout, is, of now, the only candidate who has declared for the chairmanship of the county Republican Party to succeed current chairman Alan Crone in intra-party balloting next year.

Rout has had business cards printed out proclaiming his interest.

And Sir Isaac Ford , the youngest son of former 9th District congressman Harold Ford Sr., and brother of current U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. seems determined to remind voters of his often overlooked independent candidacy for Shelby County mayor. On his own initiative, says a spokesman, young Ford solicited posters boosting education from students at the 64 Memphis schools recently found substandard in state testing. He is hosting a banquet this week for some 85 entrants at the downtown eatery Jillian’s.

Other members of the Ford family, including the former congressman, are still presumed to be backing the mayoral candidacy of Democratic nominee A C Wharton, who faces a well-financed challenge from Republican nominee George Flinn, an independently wealthy doctor and broadcast magnate whose main concern right now is bringing aboard the partisans of his defeated mayoral rival, State Rep. Larry Scroggs of Germantown.

If Isaac Ford’s independent candidacy, which has attracted minimal attention so far, gets any traction, it may have to be factored into the total picture, too. Young Ford has set forth his mayoral program in a series of position papers, some of which espouse ideas that are, to say the least, potentially controversial.

One such proposes that African Americans in the county should receive “billions of dollars worth of local bonds, federal money, state money, and local big businesses’ money” as “reparations” for slavery.

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