Local 24 News political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shares his point of view on Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland running for re-election.
The worst kept secret in Memphis for months was that Jim Strickland would seek another term as mayor. In recent weeks, Strickland tried to remain coy about his plans even as he was having fundraisers and stuffing his campaign coffers with hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Tuesday, he made it official. He will seek a second and final term. And his chances of winning may not be automatic. But they are the closest thing to it.
With fresh poll numbers showing Strickland with an amazing 72% approval rating, it will be a daunting task for anyone to raise enough money and put together the organization necessary to mount to serious challenge. And yet, the voters deserve a meaningful campaign in which Strickland’s record is scrutinized and dissected. If not by a worthy opponent, then by the press.
What we will likely discover is that Strickland has done a more than credible job helping to improve the city’s economic wellbeing. That includes doubling the participation of women and minority businesses in city contracts and working to expand much needed Pre-K classes, which will have long-term economic benefits for Memphis.
And yet, Strickland will even acknowledge that much more work is needed to reduce crime and poverty and improve conditions in neighborhoods that have been neglected far too long.
So, let the campaign begin. And for opponents seriously aiming to unseat Strickland, good luck. And that’s my point of view.