Chooch Pickard at his meet-and-greet last week
"I think everybody will have to." That was City Councilman Jim Strickland some weeks back discussing the deadline he — and presumably all others — would need to observe in deciding whether to run for mayor in 2015. "The end of the year," was how he set it. Contacted anew this week, Strickland let himself extend the date a little further — to "the end of January of February at the latest."
Whatever the actual deadline should be, it surely is drawing close. Incumbent Mayor A C Wharton has basically announced for reelection and has begun raising money. Anybody who wants to challenge him — a task that will be formidable — will have to start playing catch-up right away. For the record, Strickland, who maintains the option of running for reelection to his District 5 Council seat, has long since begun having fundraisers.)
Others are gearing up, too, Councilman Edmund Ford Jr. a candidate for reelection, was the beneficiary of a well-attended fundraiser last Thursday night at the river-bluff residence of Karl and Gail Schledwitz, and architect Chooch Pickard, who is considering a run for the Council, held a preliminary meet-and-greet the same night at the Jay Etkin gallery on Cooper.
Pickard, who espoused a preservationist platform, said he was meditating on a candidacy for the District 5 seat now held by Strickland if Strickland should run for mayor. There must — as the incumbent himself acknowledged — be a serious handful of others in the Midtown/East Memphis area with the same idea — one of them being former Shelby County Commission chair Mike Ritz, who has moved into District 5 from his former Germantown residence.
Meanwhile, Pickard has floated his balloon, Crowd-wise, he undoubtedly benefited from the fact that his event on Trursday night was held just prior to, and next door to, the Shelby County Democrats’ annual Christmas party at the Alchemy Club