Is Time Running Out on Jack Sammons as CAO Prospect for A C?

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Jack Sammons
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That Jack Sammons rumor may have run its course. At any rate, Sammons confirmed on Wednesday that he and Memphis mayor-elect A C Wharton have had no conversations, directly or indirectly, on the prospect of Sammons’ staying on as the new mayor’s CAO.

Sammons, a former long-term city councilman, is finishing up on two-months-plus service as CAO for Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery — a stint which won him plaudits overall. For several weeks now, Sammons has been the subject of rumors — perhaps encouraged, or at least acquiesced in, by himself — that he might remain in that position in the event of a Wharton victory.

Those rumors have persisted since Wharton’s smashing victory in last week’s election. Bur there is a general sense now that if the moment for such an appointment has not altogether passed, it may be passing — even as other names are being circulated, notably that of Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter, a co-chair of .Wharton’s transitional team.

Friends of Sammons have urged that he contact Wharton and make explicit his desire to continue serving in the CAO job, but Sammons has resisted the idea of doing so. Meanwhile, sources close to Wharton acknowledge that the mayor-elect has been persistently lobbied on the Sammons matter by others, with both pro and con views.

Ranking members of the Shelby County Republican hierarchy have tried to persuade Sammons to be the party standard-bearer in next year’s county mayor’s race, but Sammons appears to have concluded that his days as an active candidate are over. Moreover, his political interests continue to be almost exclusively cityside.

That feeling, which Sammons is candid about, would seem to dispel another strong rumor — which has it that Republicans on the county commission might try to barter with key Democrats on that body for their support in arranging for Sammons to serve as interim county mayor next year. At least one GOP commissioner, however, dismisses that talk as the wishful thinking of somebody in the Republican hierarchy unconnected with the thinking of Republicans on the commission.

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