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Nothing Will Rain On Wharton's Party

By Candice Ludlow


Memphis, TN – Drizzly weather did not stop Memphis from electing its first new mayor in 17 and a half years. AC Wharton celebrated his decisive victory at the Minglewood on Madison Avenue. But that doesn't mean there aren't any clouds hanging over the mayor-elect. Candice Ludlow reports.

A visibly disappointed Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery conceded the election to AC Wharton earlier tonight. Wharton has big plans for Memphis.

"You can expect me to try to breathe some life into those words which some may say platitudes you're going to see me going to extra lengths to bring divergent groups together. Those who have been warring you're going to see me bringing them together on common ground in every sense of the word you're going to see the biggest push you've ever seen to just get folks together. Show them all that we have more in common than we do that different...that divides us," Wharton said.

Wharton won by a whopping 60 percent. But still not everyone is confident about Wharton's ability to lead. Carol Chumney came in third and is skeptical about the mayor elect's sincerity.

"While I was out there fighting for childcare reform he was making money representing the childcare broker. I was doing things in the state legislature and he was bragging about how much money he made as an attorney. I gave a lot of that up to serve the people and, you know, I don't regret that," Chumney said.

Turn out was low. Wharton will have work to do winning the trust of those who didn't vote. And the 40 percent that didn't vote for him.

But nothing anyone says tonight, or the dreary weather is going to on Wharton's party.

"First, I'm grateful to the voters. I'm grateful to that better side of Memphis which some said didn't exist. That better side of us. That better person that I often refer to. Deep down inside all of us. Waiting to be born. That's those are the people who spoke tonight. Not the Memphis that has been, or the Memphis that is...but the Memphis that can be. And I'm just grateful for that," Wharton said.