Herenton's Three Rs


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Blogger Tom Jones speculates about the possibility of a Herenton resignation this summer and the chain of events that would set in motion. But should there be a third "R" in the equation — first the mayor decides to run for Congress, then he resigns, then he gets a reprieve from federal investigators?

As with so many Herenton stories, the answer is "maybe." Remember, the 2010 Congressional election is 14 months away, and it was just over 14 months ago that Herenton said he planned to resign as mayor to seek the job of superintendent of Memphis City Schools.

But a run-resign-reprieve makes some sense. It gets the mayor out of office. It gives him a high-road, face-saving reason to leave. It spares the city the trauma of a racially tinged trial of the decade. And it gives successors time to get into a special election to choose the next mayor.

As Jones says, Myron Lowery, as chairman of the City Council, would have a leg up because he would inherit the job on an interim basis. But others would probably join the field, including former councilman Carol Chumney, who made a strong showing against Herenton in 2007. In a crowded field with no majority requirement, the winner might get 40 percent of the vote or less.

Would Herenton v. Cohen be "the clash of the titans" battling for votes and the support of Harold Ford Sr., and others? Or the longest running show in politics? All those folks have been around for at least 30 years. If you're under 40 or have lived in Memphis less than 15 years, there's a reasonable chance you don't even know who former congressman and Florida resident Harold Ford Sr. is.


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