MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – I don’t think you will see any debates in the Memphis Mayor’s race.
No big surprise.
Challengers normally want them badly. Tami Sawyer has said she is upset the other candidates aren’t debating. It’s a way she can get her message out on TV for free.
In this case, if all three of the major candidates don’t agree to debate, there won’t be any debates.
We saw this week the Memphis Fire Fighters Association announcing they were endorsing former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton for Mayor. They now join the Memphis Police Association in backing the same guy.
It should not come as any surprise. These groups have not liked Jim Strickland since their benefits and insurance plans were cut. Strickland was a member of the city council at the time but supported the changes.
He has raised salaries, and changed the benefits packages a bit for police and firefighters since becoming Mayor. But not enough to suit them.
The problem is a lot of police and firefighters can’t vote in the city elections. They live outside the city limits.
Four years ago, Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams ran for Mayor and ended up in fourth place. He had supporters, but many of them couldn’t vote.
Former Mayor Herenton knows that he needs more supporters than the associations, but he will take what he can get.
I’ll keep you informed.