Former state legislator and city councilwoman Carol Chumney found new ways to compare Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton to former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, and at the end of the debate even implied a conspiracy by Herenton and Wharton to prevent her from becoming city or county mayor.
"I ran for county mayor in 2002 and was in the lead in the Democratic primary," Chumney began in her closing statement. "The Mr. Wharton who said he wasn't going to run jumped in the race and became the new mayor."
Wharton defeated her in the primary, 80 percent to 17 percent.
Chumney continued: "Then I ran for city mayor in 2007 and Mayor Herenton decided to run; after the election he told everybody he ran to stop me. So now I'm running for city mayor, a vacant position, and all of a sudden Mayor Wharton wants to leave county mayor and run for city mayor.
"At some point, you have to ask yourself, 'What is this about?' Isn't it time that we gave someone else a chance to have some leadership in this city?"
Earlier in the debate, Chumney made a plea to become the city's first female mayor: "Here I am running for mayor after finishing a close second (in 2007). What message does it send if someone like me doesn't get to be the mayor, ever? What message does it send to little girls? What message does it send to women we want to attract to our community?"