The opening of a satellite headquarters opening at Whitehaven Plaza went without a hitch Saturday for 9th District U.S. Representative Steve Cohen.
Well, virtually without a hitch. The weather, which got up to 100 degrees during the course of the event, was no help. And because Cohen ally Randy Wade had a concurrent fundraiser/barbecue event scheduled in Millington for his campaign for Sheriff, Wade (left) could not stick around, as originally planned, to introduce the congressman’s remarks , as he is explaining here to Cohen and the congressman’s campaign manager, Craig Kirby. (Kick-boxer Anthony “Amp” Elmore ended up doing the honors.)
Several musicians performed in a tent on the Plaza parking lot before, during, and after the congressman spoke, and — with Cohen participating — they initiated a rap in his honor.
After his remarks, before a diversified crowd that contained civil rights legends Maxine Smith and Russell Sugarmon and several candidates, a perspiration-drenched Cohen took questions from reporters inside the HQ. One concerned the vanishing prospect of a debate between himself and former mayor Willie Herenton, his opponent. Cohen insisted again that he intended to keep his itinerary open for a scheduled July 11 debate at Channel 3, and he listed the various opponents he has debated in the past.
Finally, Cohen took some time out to distinguish between the duties of a congressman and those of a mayor -- and got a surprise visitor.