Chumney Announces: "I Want to be Mayor!" 

by JACKSON BAKER

It's official! Well, not quite, since candidate petitions for this year's city election aren't even available yet, and won't be until April. But if there was any remaining suspense about Carol Chumney's mayoral intentions, it was laid to rest at the University of Memphis-area Holiday Inn on Central Avenue Thursday evening.

Before an appreciative crowd of more than a hundred well-wishers in the hotel's second-floor Kemmons Wilson ballroom, the maverick first-term city council member from Midtown, declared loud and clear: "I want to be mayor!" Likening herself to the innovative Wilson, late co-founder of the world-famous hotel chain, Chumney promised to apply original thinking to the problems of Memphis - including crime, out-migration, and an up-and-down economy.

To accomplish her goals of civic regeneration, Chumney promised she would build a wide-ranging coalition. She also went out of her way to praise local media for its attentive coverage of her activities over the last few years.

Chumney spoke in front of a montage of Wilson's autobiographical statements, including one which read: "I had no master plan. I just rolled with the punches."

That last part certainly describes the former six-term state legislator's experience during her own brief but dramatic tenure on the council.

Displaying the same combative spirit that has earned her something of a following citywide but cold shoulders within the ranks of city government itself, Chumney made it clear that she is likely to throw a few punches herself in this year's campaign.

In the course of a single sentence, she condemned both the Fed-Ex Forum garage deal which enriched the Memphis Grizzlies' management but ultimately cost the city $6 million in federal funding and the ill-fated Networkz investment initiative pursued some years ago by Memphis Light Gas & Water.

The former mischance can be laid, arguably, at the feet of one opponent, incumbent mayor Willie Herenton, and the latter one can be blamed on a second likely opponent, former MLGW head Herman Morris. Morris was also plainly targeted by a Chumney jibe at would-be candidates who, unlike herself, had not yet brought themselves to announce.

Strickland Starts Council Race

Meanwhile, lawyer Jim Strickland, a Chumney opponent during her District 5 council race four years ago and a candidate for that seat again this year, was holding a well-attended fundraiser a few blocks away at the East Memphis home of current city councilman Jack Sammons.

Strickland, who battled a name recognition problem back then, starts out the favorite in this year's race. He made his own semi-official announcement for the council race in a news release earlier Thursday and netted some $41,000 at Thursday night's affair.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • New Names on the Marquee

      Ford in the future, Bredesen in the present, and Fincher versus Blackburn?
    • Filling in the Blanks

      Harris jumps into county mayor’s race; Blackburn declares for Corker’s seat; other big names contemplate a race.
    • TN Races for Governor, Senator, Heat Up!

      At a geometrically increasing rate, aspirants for significant public office on the 2018 ballot are coming front and center with announcements of candidacy, kickoff events, and the like

Blogs

Fly On The Wall Blog

A Post About Gluten Free Strippers and Effing Traffic

Music Blog

A Week's Tribute to Jimmie Lunceford

News Blog

MATA Proposes to End Ikea Route, Alter Others

Beyond the Arc

Beyond the Arc Podcast #84: The Dillon Brooks Era

Tiger Blue

#25 Memphis 42, Houston 38

Music Blog

Butthole Surfers and Bad Seeds Salute the Man in Black

Music Blog

Soulsville USA Festival Lights Up McLemore Ave.

We Saw You

Emo and you

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Jackson Baker

Readers also liked…

  • Filling the Space

    For all the in-fighting, we’re all looking for the same thing, and sometimes we can realize it.
    • Jul 14, 2016
  • Democratic Discontent in Philadelphia

    After WikiLeaks revelations of DNC efforts favoring Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders moves to tame the tempest.
    • Jul 26, 2016
  • Jill Stein in Memphis

    An impressive turnout for Green Party presidential nominee at Amurica.
    • Oct 6, 2016
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation