It has come to my attention that the Memphis Democratic Club has released a ballot which makes selections in Democratic primaries and judicial races. I know you have heard this spill several times before but this is not the official Shelby County Democratic Party ballot. The good thing about this ballot is that it has all of our county-wide Democratic candidates listed. It appears, however, that I cannot say this about forthcoming ballots.
While the Ninth Congressional race is heating-up, and that's a good thing for Democrats, it is putting our county-wide candidates in the precarious situation of having to choose between either Cohen or Herenton. This is not fair for our county-wide candidates. All of them deserve to be on both Cohen and Herenton's ballots because they are the Democratic nominees for the these positions.
We are at a crossroads in this community. The Democratic Party is the only political organization in this community which actually forces you to walk the walk when it comes to racial solidarity and unity. The Democratic Party is the only political organization in this county which by the very definition of its core values and principles, invites the Midtown or East Memphis suburbanite white voter to vote for a Whitehaven or Orange Mound inner city black candidate and visa versa. You are not merely allowed to talk a good game, but we ask you to walk the walk by putting your vote where you say you mind, heart and beliefs are. In other words, we put principles into practice.
It is no secret that many white voters will vote for Congressman Cohen and many black voters will vote for Dr. Herenton. Instead of allowing this race to become racially divisive and polarizing, I am asking that both Dr. Herenton and Congressman Cohen endorse all of our county-wide candidates because it's the right thing to do. It would be an injustice to make our county-wide candidates choose between these two powerhouse candidates when they need every vote they can get on August 5. Let's unify and coalesce around our county-wide candidates because we may never get this opportunity again.
Van Turner, Jr., Chair
Shelby County Democratic Party