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It's Official: Cohen Gets the Mayors' Vote!

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The two biggest names among local African-American office-holders headed an all-star cast which, at a Wednesday morning press conference, conferred enthusiastic support on the Democratic nominee for the 9th District congressional seat, state Senator Steve Cohen.

Speaking before a festive crowd on Cohen's behalf at a stand set up in front of the Federal Building downtown were Memphis mayor Willie Herenton and Shelby County mayor A C Wharton. "It is very simple: Steve Cohen is the best qualified candidate for this job," Herenton said of Cohen, whom he characterized as having "a wealth of experience and a knowledge of the governmental process." In his turn, Wharton said, 'This is a joyous day in which we're looking at those things which unite us and not those things that divide us."

Also speaking were two figures whose personal histories link them to the history of the Civil Rights movement - just-retired General Sessions Judge Russell Sugarmon and longtime NAACP head Maxine Smith. (For more, go to "Political Beat".)

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