Monday, June 1, 2015

Harold Ford Jr. for Mayor?

There's a trial balloon up for the former Memphis congressman as Mayor -- of New York.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 1, 2015 at 8:00 AM

So guess who's being touted for Mayor. Yep
Harold Ford Jr.
  • Harold Ford Jr.
, Harold Ford Jr.

But not of Memphis, Ford's erstwhile home base, where petitions can still be drawn for the mayoral race of 2015.

No, the transplanted former 9th District congressman and 2006 U.S. Senate candidate, is apparently being talked up for Mayor of New York, his current abode — the most recent hints of such a prospect coming from Bloomberg Business, which reported last week on a Lincoln Center “American Songbook” gala that, according to the periodical, honored Ford for his fundraising efforts on behalf of the Center.

Said the article: “Mayor was on the lips of some guests, though not Ford’s. Asked about his interest in leading the city, Ford, who once considered a run for a U.S. Senate seat from New York and has endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race, said ‘I’m a new father for the second time, that’s what I’m focused on.’”

Ford’s second child, Harold Eugene Ford III, was born May 17. Granddad is the first Harold Eugene Ford, who also represented the 9th District for many years and was a celebrated political broker in Memphis for decades. The senior Ford now divides his time between Florida and Memphis, where he recently opened a new state-of-the-art funeral home.

Ford Jr. and his wife, the former Emily Threlkeld, have another child, daughter Georgia, now a year and a half old.

According to the Bloomberg article, Ford, an executive at the Wall Street firm of Morgan Stanley, “spends half of his time on the institutional side, half on wealth management.”

The article quotes numerous members of New York’s elite financial community as extolling Ford. Ronald O. Perelman of MacAndrews & Forbes, said that Ford “still has the throbbing heartbeat of one day going back into public service.” More from Perelman: “He’s smart, tough, charming, clever, and in-you-face but at the same time, very smooth about it. We’ve had what my wife, a psychiatrist, called ‘man love,’ which is love without sex.’”

At some point in the aftermath of his 2006 defeat for the Senate by Republican Bob Corker, Ford left Tennessee for New York and has clearly managed a successful personal and business transition to the Big Apple.

It remains to be seen if he can resume his political career there, however. A previous trial balloon as a potential U.S. Senate candidate in 2010 from the Empire State failed to get off the ground, leading to the election in her own right of Kirsten Gillibrand, who was then serving an interim term.

The next Mayor's race in New York will occur in 2017. Current Mayor Bill de Blasio, an avowed liberal, is in some quarters considered vulnerable to a challege from the center or right.

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