Presidential candidates pick up prominent supporters in Memphis

Presidential candidates pick up prominent supporters in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - This weekend is the final weekend to vote early in the March 3rd presidential primary in Tennessee.

As the primary nears, candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination are getting help from prominent supporters in Memphis.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is a national co-chair for billionaire and former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg's campaign.

"He was a really good mayor of New York City for 12 years," said Strickland. "He lowered crime, increased graduation rates, brought in half a million jobs to New York, so he was extraordinarily successful."

Strickland joined former Congressman Harold Ford, Sr., for an early vote event on Saturday for Bloomberg.

The event featured several other prominent Mid-South leaders who have endorsed Bloomberg, including State Rep. London Lamar, State Rep. Antonio Parkinson and Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner.

"I support him because I like his issues. I like what he stands for," said Ford, Sr.

Bloomberg is not the only candidate with prominent Mid-South supporters.

Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer has tossed her support behind Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

“Elizabeth Warren came to Memphis and listened,” Sawyer recently tweeted. “She didn’t stump. She answered questions, shared her policy and got to the heart of what’s impacting us the most from poverty to inadequate affordable housing options. I’m with Warren because she hears all of us.”

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and State Senator Raumesh Akbari are backing former Vice-President Joe Biden.

"Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of African Americans and 99.8 percent of Hispanics have not had a chance to vote," said Akbari. "The South has something to say on Super Tuesday and I think you'll see the diverse coalition Joe Biden has built really will show up on that Election Day."

Candidates have also been blanketing the airwaves.

Bloomberg, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, businessman Tom Steyer and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar are each running TV ads in Memphis.

Those not on the air with ads yet, like former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, are relying on their supporters going door to door.

But many voters have already made up their minds.

So far more than 18,000 people have voted early in Shelby County.

And as primary day draws closer, interest is sure to pick up.

In addition to Tennessee, Arkansas will hold its presidential primary on March 3rd.

Early voting in Shelby County runs through Tuesday.

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