Shelby County Commissioner Sidney Chism said if Mayor A C Wharton, a Democrat, wins a special election for Memphis mayor, the chairman of the County Commission would take over until the commission appoints an interim mayor. The interim would serve until the county mayoral race in 2010.
The commissioner most likely to take over - should Wharton win -- would be Republican Commissioner Joyce Avery, who is the current vice chair and is in line to become the next chairman in September. She would succeed current chairwoman Deidre Malone, who is already planning a bid for county mayor.
Chism, who had previously lobbied to become chairman instead of Avery, said he's backed off on those efforts.
But, he added, he would not turn down the interim mayor position, should the opportunity present itself.
"I am saying I will not politic for it," Chism said. "I am not trying to seek that position. Joyce is set up to be that."He added that with the county's massive debt and other difficult issues, "that interim mayor over there is not such an attractive job