Chumney Announces: "I Want to be Mayor!" 


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.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment



Hungry Memphis

Sneak Peek at Ronnie Grisanti's

Hungry Memphis

Launch Process Expands with Penny Lounge

Intermission Impossible

The Typographer's Dream is Dreamy Comedy at TheatreSouth

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Don Lifted Premieres Contour Visual Album

Hungry Memphis

Open Flame Opens in Highland Neighborhood

News Blog

UPDATE: Six Arrested at Police Protest Released

Politics Beat Blog

County Commission in Busy Reorganization Session


More by Jackson Baker

Readers also liked…

  • The Buddy System

    Harris and Kelsey hope to effect a good public outcome on the TVA/aquifer issue.
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • Cohen Tells It!

    In which Memphis’ Democratic congressman Steve Cohen, addressing an apparent GOP effort to muddy the waters on the Russian inquiry, not only takes no crap but gives it back where it came from. This is worth watching from beginning to end -- even for those who might disagree on the politics of the matter.
    • Jul 26, 2017
  • In reading the May 1st election totals, it depends on what your eyes are letting you see.

    Dissenters to "blue wave" theory rely on 2014 Lutrell-Lunati baseline to make cases for GOP having better bounce th9s year.
    • May 10, 2018
© 1996-2018

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