Willie Herenton will formally announce his candidacy for a fourth term as mayor of Memphis at a rally next Tuesday night, April 3rd, at the Adam's Mark Hotel. The mayor made the revelation at a fundraiser Tuesday night at the East Memphis home of supporter Gene Gibson. "I intend this as a pre-emptive move," Herenton told a crowd of some 50 people about his decision to announce now, two years before the election. "I'm going to build my war-chest and re-tool my organization, starting now," the mayor vowed. As reasons for his decision to run again in 2003, Herenton cited the still undeveloped riverfront and a need to see through to conclusion various other projects, including final arrangements for accommodating a National Basketball League team.

On that score, the mayor, a backer of the drive to bring an NBA franchise to Memphis, expressed disagreement with a suggestion made earlier Tuesday by State Senator Jim Kyle that proponents of any forthcoming general obligation bond issue for completion of arena construction should call a referendum on the matter. "That's how Nashville did it when they were building the arena for the Titans," Kyle, a likely candidate next year for Shelby County Mayor, said by telephone from Nashville, "and it unified the community as only a public vote of confidence can. My first rule of politics is 'Run to the fire,' and I'm encouraging the backers of a new arena to do just that." While not disavowing a bond issue, Herenton indicated he was disinclined to pursue a referendum strategy and said he was considering a variety of other local financing alternatives, including a local restaurant tax.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.

Add a comment