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TN House Minority Leader Karen Camper announces run for Memphis mayor

The State representative made her announcement Friday in South Memphis, joining a field of at least four others.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — State Rep. Karen Camper is throwing her hat into the ring in the race for Memphis mayor.

The State House Minority Leader made her announcement Friday morning in South Memphis.

“I chose to announce my candidacy for Mayor from a front porch because as every Memphian walks out their door to start their day, they can see whether or not their city leadership is working for them,” said Camper in a news release. “From any front porch or stoop or stairs, you can see the potholes in the streets, the trash on the ground, the speeding vehicles, the effects of crime on your neighborhood.”

Camper is an Army veteran who spent 21 years in force and retired as a chief warrant officer. Elected in 2008, she is the first Black woman to lead a caucus in Tennessee’s General Assembly.

Camper joins Memphis Shelby County School Board Member Michelle McKissack, Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner, head of the Downtown Memphis Commission Paul Young, and former Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner in the race for the city’s top post.

Incumbent Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is term-limited and cannot seek reelection to a third term in office. The mayoral election will take place in 2023.

Camper was unopposed when she ran for reelection this year, securing another two-year legislative term earlier this week. She hasn't faced an opponent in the past six elections.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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