Herenton: Voters Need to Send ‘Just One’ African-American to Congress

Bill Dries, Memphis Daily News, June 11, 2010

As he gears up for the Aug. 5 Democratic congressional primary, former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton came out swinging this week, guaranteeing a victory because “no other African-American got in this race.”

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He also unveiled the new “Just One” campaign slogan for the 9th Congressional District race.

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The campaign slogan is a reference to an interview earlier this year on the Thaddeus Matthews radio program when Herenton was making his case for having one black congressman in the Tennessee delegation to Washington.

Matthews later blogged “Why can’t blacks have just one representative?” It echoed a similar remark Matthews made during the interview.

Herenton is touting 100,000 direct mail campaign ads with the now famous flyer showing Tennessee’s all-white Washington delegation and asking, “What’s wrong with this picture?” along with the slogan “Just One Herenton.”

He also took shots at his Aug. 5 opponent, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen.

“You know how Cohen was elected (in the 2006 Democratic Congressional primary)?” Herenton asked. “He played a race card. They knew that every black who thought he was somebody–they would get in the race.

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Cohen, one of 15 candidates in the 2006 primary race, was in Washington and didn’t respond directly.

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Herenton also continued taking shots at federal prosecutors, who he said unfairly targeted him for corruption charges that never came despite a grand jury investigation of his private business affairs and a target letter from prosecutors.

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