Herenton, Rep. Cohen’s Primary Foe, Quits as Memphis Mayor

Posted June 25, 2009 at 5:09pm
CQ Photo
Willie Herenton

Democrat Willie Herenton, the five-term mayor of Memphis, announced Thursday he will resign his current job effective July 10 to focus his 2010 bid for Tennessee’s 9th District House seat — and what looms as a heated Democratic primary challenge to two-term Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen .

“I look forward to the opportunity to take my local government experiences of dealing with tough urban challenges to the halls of Congress to benefit this great city, which I have served tirelessly for my entire career,” Herenton said while reading his resignation letter aloud during a press conference at City Hall.  

Herenton has headed Tennessee’s most populous city since 1991, and his upcoming battle with the incumbent congressman is sure to attract national attention.