PHILADELPHIA —The mayors of Tennessee’s five largest cities have all been in attendance at the Democratic National Convention here this week, and all have addressed a Tennessee delegation breakfast at one time or other.
All, that is, except Jim Strickland of Memphis, a former Shelby County Democratic Party chairman who, as of his successful election run last year, said he still considered himself a Democrat.
The mayors gathered in Philadelphia, also self-avowed Democrats, are Mayor Megan Barry of Nashville, Madeline Rogero of Knoxville, Andy Berke of Chattanooga, and Kim McMillan of Clarksville.
From the time of the first delegation breakfast, on Monday at the Raddisson Valley Forge Casino Tower, where the delegation is housed, those members of it from Memphis have been wondering about Strickland’s whereabouts and anticipating a possible late arrival.
But, as of Thursday, the day of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s highly awaited acceptance speech and the occasion for the last formal gathering of Tennessee Democrats here, Strickland was still a no-show.
State Democratic Party chair Mary Mancini did plug in Strickland’s name, however, when, in her final remarks to the delegation, she enumerated the names of each of what she described as “Tennessee’s Democratic mayors.” Strickland’s name was included, last on her list, a fact which generated renewed speculation about the mayor’s itinerary (and some grousing) on the part of delegation members from the Bluff City.
has not yet been able to contact the Mayor’s communications office, although one of Strickland’s regular professional associates theorized that his absence from the Democratic conclave (and from last week’s Republican conclave, for that matter), were due to his unusually busy work schedule in Memphis.