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Opinion | 2023 race for Memphis mayor is picking up steam | Otis Sanford

ABC24 political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shared his point of view on the race in 2023 for Memphis mayor.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The contest next year for Memphis mayor is picking up steam with the announcement expected Tuesday that Sheriff Floyd Bonner will enter the race. Bonner has been dropping hints here and there for weeks that he might seek the office being vacated at the end of 2023 by Jim Strickland.

So before Bonner’s official declaration, let’s look at the road ahead for the 62-year-old career law enforcement officer.

Most observers agree that once he enters the race, Bonner will be the leading candidate, if for no other reason, because of his countywide popularity. He won reelection as sheriff in August with 76% of the vote against token opposition that did not include a Republican opponent. Four years earlier, Bonner became sheriff with 60% of the vote against highly respected challenger Dale Lane, who is now police chief in Collierville. But Bonner’s expected frontrunner status means very little nearly a year out from the election.

This will be a campaign, not a coronation.

Meaning Bonner will have to face tough questions – not just about law enforcement, but economic development, fighting blight, the city’s role in education, our second-class treatment by the legislature and the future of Memphis Light Gas and Water.

And don’t expect all the other mayoral candidates to go away quietly. All in all, it promises to be an interesting campaign – and a crucial one for the city’s future.

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