MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Maybe you didn’t think Willie Herenton would do it, that he wouldn’t run for Memphis Mayor again.
You were wrong. He’s running.
In two weeks, he turns 79 years of age.
“We’re going back to City Hall,” he told cheering supporters at the opening of his campaign headquarters. “We’re going back!!”‘
There might not be a single political columnist, or reporter, or consultant that knows the former longtime Memphis Mayor better than Susan Adler Thorp.
“Once Mayor Herenton says he’s doing something,” she says, “… you can take it to the bank that he will.”
Political events can sometimes remind you of old-fashioned tent revivals.
Music, food, crowds, cheering, it is the religion of the ballot box.
It makes no difference if its Herenton, or incumbent Mayor Jim Strickland, or Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer.
But only one gets the endorsement of a group.
In this case, the group is the Memphis Police Association.
While at the campaign headquarters opening, an excited MPA President Mike Williams yelled, “Today!! Today!! The Memphis Police Association is endorsing Dr. W.W. Herenton for 2019.”
Three and a half years ago, the very same Mike Williams ran for mayor, and he got his police union support.
It was good enough for a fourth-place finish behind Jim Strickland, AC Wharton, and Harold Collins.
It is just Thorp thinks Herenton will need more than just the endorsement.
“It’s really more of a feel-good thing than anything else,” Thorp says. “I mean, it looks good on a brochure, it makes the candidate feel good, but, 30 or 40 years ago, a union endorsement was pretty important.”