Attorney Charles Carpenter walked across Beale Street from his law office to Church Park Thursday to declare his candidacy in the coming special mayoral election.
He also crossed a line from campaign manager and strategist to candidate. Carpenter has been a close political advisor to outgoing Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton and ran all five of the Herenton campaigns.
Carpenter said citizens are “tired of the same old recycled ideas and professional politicians.”
“They have told us, we don’t need the same old process filled with stale ideas, inflexible thinking and mediocre results,” he said. “But for the suffering that the citizens of Memphis are enduring and but for the lack of leadership that we see with our current staff of elected officials, I may not be here today.”
Asked if he was excluding Herenton from the criticism, Carpenter said: “I don’t think I qualified my remarks by excepting anyone. I’m talking about as a whole. I wasn’t pointing out any particular elected official and I wasn’t excluding anyone.”
Carpenter’s campaign chairman will be CME Church Bishop and Tennessee Valley Authority board member William H. Graves. His campaign treasurer is accountant Stan Sawyer. Also among the group of 30 supporters standing with Carpenter in the park were business leader Frank Banks and former city treasurer Osby Howard. Banks and Howard were a critical part of the fundraising engine that complimented Carpenter’s tactical management of Herenton’s historic 1991 upset election win by 142 votes.
Carpenter said Herenton urged him not to run for mayor. Earlier Carpenter said he had questioned why Herenton wanted to run in the 2010 Democratic Congressional primary.