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Cohen to Endorse Marrero as Successor

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District 89 state representative Beverly Marrero, who is one of two Democrats hoping to succeed  congressman-elect Steve Cohen as District 30 state senator, got a New Year's Day blessing from the former senator on Monday.

Cohen, who resigned his state senate seat last month and will be formally sworn in as U.S. Representative from Tennessee's District 9 (Memphis) next week, was the featured speaker at the annual Prayer Breakfast of city councilman Myron Lowery at the airport Holiday Inn, and in his brief remarks he cited Marrero several times as someone with whom he had worked comfortably and productively in the legislature.

That prompted Jerry Hall, a campaign associate of the other Democrat running, former city attorney Robert Spence, to ask Cohen a question outright: Was he planning to endorse Marrero? Cohen allowed as how he was, both to Hall and to the Flyer. (Spence attended the last part of the Lowery breakfast, during which the councilman had praised Cohen's "persistence,". Spence had previously attended Mayor Willie Herenton's New Year's breakfast downtown.)

The new congressman, who won a crowded race to succeed Harold Ford Jr. in the District 9 seat, thereby resolved a question that has been hanging fire for weeks, during a period when Marrero and two other close Cohen associates - Kevin Gallagher and David Upton - had also considered running to succeed him. Gallagher went so far as to file for the seat, and his name will remain on the January 25th primary ballot, but he announced his withdrawal in Marrero's favor last week.

The winner of the Democratic primary will be opposed by Republican Larry Parrish in the March general election.

An interesting aspect of the Lowery breakfast was the fact that attendee Nikki Tinker, runnerup to Cohen in last year 's Democratic primary and a rumored opponent in 2008, made a point of working the room Monday.

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