So what do we know about the field that is shaping for November, in the first truly open mayoral race since the beginning of the next-to-last decade of the last century?
To start with the known: Weve got former council member Carol Chumney and ex-MLGW head Herman Morris, Willie Herentons foremost opponents in the 2007 mayors race just concluded (When was it exactly? Yesterday? Seems like it). Both have spoken to the various TV tubes about their eagerness for a re-do Chumney with a replay of her new-broom rhetoric of last year, Morris more redemptively, as if grateful for a second chance.
And we have this from John Willingham: Ive got the itch, and Ill probably have to scratch it.
This cautionary note from Willingham: Im not sure hes going to get out anyway, and if he does, Im not sure the School Board will have him. The former county commissioner also believes that former councilman Jack Sammons, who thought about running last year, will follow through and actually do it now.
Blogger Thaddeus Matthews tells us that city court clerk Thomas Long will run, and, as I previously reported, Shelby County Commissioner James Harvey is determined to seek the office of mayor.
And, of course, theres the dapper, persuasive little man who is the undisputed Big Enchilada of the likely field: Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton, who will be the hands-down favorite. (See The Wharton Hypothesis.) The serious likelihood of an A C candidacy has been reinforced by his discreet deflections of media questions aimed at finding out for sure. Right now a bet on Whartons running is a better likely yield than almost any stock or 401-K out there.
Ill make an effort to keep updating this list, which is only preliminary. But, just looking at the known quantities so far, it seems obvious that Chumney believes shell have a favorable split. She made it clear, in private conversations after last Octobers election that she would have run even if both Wharton and Herenton had. (!!) Most everybody else believes that a lot maybe most -- of her vote would have drained away to A C in that eventuality, but she didnt see it that way.
In any case, nothing not Pattons tanks nor the Apocalypse nor funding problems nor any number of tomes about Realpolitik will keep Chumney out of the race.
More to come. Watch this space.