...and the Backstory (Cohen, Cybill Shepherd, and a Presidential Intercession) 

Among those present in front-row seats for former President Clinton's visit were (l to r) state Senator Steve Cohen, actress Cybill Shepherd, Shelby County mayor A C Wharton, and Memphis mayor Willie Herenton. Rep. Ford introduced the two mayors as a group and Shepherd separately but did not introduce Cohen. Clinton, however, made a point of acknowledging Cohen later when he was introduced by Rep. Ford and took the dais.

Cohen is the Democratic nominee for Rep. Ford's soon-to-be-vacated 9th District congressional seat, which is also being sought by Republican Mark White, who was not present, and independent Jake Ford, the congressman's brother, who was.

Jake Ford himself was never introduced by name, either by Rep. Ford or by Clinton, but both acknowledged the presence of the Ford "brothers."

In yet another of the confrontations that have marked his congressional race, Jake Ford, also in a front-row seat along with brother Isaac, declined a handshake and aimed harsh words at local Democratic Party chairman Matt Kuhn, who happened by before Wednesday's program began. Kuhn said Ford was apparently miffed at remarks he made in support of party nominee Cohen during an East Memphis Rotary Club debate last week

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