Wharton confirms intention to run in special election

Although County Mayor A C Wharton has already announced his intention to run for Memphis mayor, his spokeswoman confirmed that he is, in fact, interested in running in the special election to replace Herenton's seat.

"(Wharton) has made it known that he is interested in running in the special election if there is one that is called for," said spokeswoman Rhonda Turner, shortly before Herenton's announcement today.

Meanwhile, County Commissioner Joyce Avery said this afternoon that she's "absolutely" ready to step into the role of interim mayor if Wharton wins the special election.

"Certainly, any way that I can serve the community I will," said Avery, 70, a Republican representing a suburban district.

If she becomes interim mayor, her priorities would include bringing in new businesses as well as providing money for schools, the Sheriff's department and health care entities such as The Regional Medical Center at Memphis, she said.

Avery said she probably wouldn't run for a new four-year term as mayor once the interim period is up next year, but won't rule it out. "I have learned to never say never," she said.

Daniel Connolly contributed to this report

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