MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two prominent names in Memphis politics announced their support for Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg on Saturday.
Both former U.S. Representative Harold Ford Sr. and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced their support for the candidate.
According to a press release, Ford made his first political endorsement since 2006 at a breakfast he hosted for local clergy and community leaders at his family’s funeral home, Ford’s Serenity Place.
“If you look at some of the issues Mike is out front on, he’s not afraid of the NRA, he’s not afraid of speaking up, and he’s not afraid of representing Americans,” Ford said. “I have not been actively involved in local politics for a long time, and I decided on Mike Bloomberg.”
Ford continued to say he firmly believed Bloomberg would be able to take on President Donald Trump in November.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is the Mike Bloomberg 2020 National Co-chair. He echoed Ford’s sentiment on Bloomberg’s qualifications for the presidency before introducing Ford.
“I’m supporting Mike because he is uniquely qualified. Mike gets things done,” said Strickland. “He helped create 500,000 jobs in New York City. He increased graduation rates by 42 percent. He reduced crime by 45 percent, murders by 50 percent and helped pass common sense gun laws.”
Strickland reminded the crowd that Bloomberg unveiled his healthcare plan in Memphis and has made Tennessee a priority for his campaign.
“It appears to me the Democratic nomination is down to two people: Senator Sanders or Mike,” said Strickland. “I ask you to keep that in the back of your mind.”
Ford and Strickland were among other big names within local and state politics including: State Rep. Antonio Parkinson, Mike Bloomberg 2020 Tennessee Outreach Director and State Rep. London Lamar, State Rep. Larry Miller and Shelby County Commissioners Willie Brooks, Reginald Milton and Van Turner. Former Flint, Michigan Mayor Karen Weaver was also present.
Early voting ends Tuesday, Feb. 25. Super Tuesday, which is also the Tennessee primary, is Tuesday, March 3.