Two Democratic County Mayor candidates whose quest for their party’s nomination has increasingly had them in direct conflict were still competing hard on Monday, making last-minute bids on the eve of Tuesday’s final primary vote.
Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy, who had already publicly claimed endorsement from 9 Shelby County-based trade unions, upped the number to 10 and 11 at a Monday afternoon press conference at the downtown headquarters of Local 1733 of the American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees.
The endorsement by AFSCME, the county's largest union, followed a statement of support for Mulroy by the United Campus Workers.
Prior to the endorsement ceremony, AFSCME officer Netra Wetherbee said, “This was a no-brainer for us. White or black doesn’t matter for us. Steve is clearly the pro-labor candidate.”
AFSCME, which has a predominantly African-American membership, is the union which represented the city’s sanitation workers during the 1968 strike which was finally resolved in the wake of the tragic assassination in Memphis of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Mayoral candidate and former County Commissioner Deidre Malone also was boosted by an eleventh-hour event The Malone for Mayor Campaign scheduled a “faith-based news conference” early Monday afternoon at the Shelby County Election Commission.
The purpose, said a news release from the Malone campaign, was to “bring… clergy from across the county together to encourage all citizens to get out and vote tomorrow….”
Among the participating ministers were the Rev. Basil Brooks, Minister Dawn Carter, Rev. LaSimba Gray Jr.,, the Rev. Anthony Henderson, Pastor Sherman Helton, Jr, the Rev. Stanford Hunt, the .
Noel Hutchinson, the Rev. Roslyn Nichols, and the Rev. Gina Stewart