For intensity and persistence of message, Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner had nothing on Anthony “Amp” Elmore, the one-time kick-boxing champion whose thrusts these days are aimed at former Memphis mayor Willie Herenton.
Elmore, who says he supported Herenton in each of the ex-mayor’s five previous election campaigns, is backing Herenton’s opponent, incumbent 9th District congressman Steve Cohen, in the August 5 Democratic primary for Congress. In fact, Elmore has been pictured as one of three “Home Town Heroes” along with Civil Rights icon Maxine Smith and the late Isaac Hayes, on a Cohen reelection billboard.
But Elmore is not just supporting Cohen. He is vehemently opposed to Herenton. Why? As he explains it, at great length, both in personal meetings and on a website created for the purpose, Herenton failed as mayor to uphold the interests of black businesses in general and of Elmore’s businesses (he is the owner of Elmore Carpets and African Imports) in particular.
Citing a recent City of Memphis disparity study to buttress his claims, Elmore says the former mayor “personally discriminated against me” and had the “the worst record of Minority Participation of Black people doing business with a major City in the nation,” with only six African-American businesses listed among the 2800-odd businesses certified as doing business with the city’s General Services divisions.
In the video clips below, Elmore is shown making his case in a recent conversation with businessman Trennie Williams.
Here (http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=12576405) Elmore is the subject of a news report by WMC-TV reporter Kontji Anthony.