Did political endorsements really matter in 9th congressional district race?

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Fresh off his win over Ricky Wilkins in the 9th congressional district Democratic primary, incumbent Steve Cohen said his victory shows Memphis voters have confidence in his work.

"After last night's results, there are a lot of people who think their congressman is doing a good job," Cohen said.

Cohen received 66 percent of the vote to Wilkin's 33 percent. The race had both camps seeking endorsements from unions and other organizations, but do those endorsements still carry the same weight as they did decades ago?

More than a dozen prominent African-American ministers campaigned with Wilkins to unseat Cohen, but without success.

WREG asked Pastor Keith Norman of the NAACP what that said about voting traditions.

Norman just said, "It really has no value after the election."

The Reverend Dwight Montgomery is the president of the SCLC in Memphis. He supported Cohen and said this race wasn't about endorsements, color, or voting traditions, but about Cohen's track record.

"Congressman Cohen has been an effective congressman for all of the community. Dr. King believed in diversity. He believed we shouldn't judge a person by the color of the skin, but the content of his character," Montgomery said.

WREG political commentator Otis Sanford said neither candidate really campaigned on race and voters looked at the bigger picture without being influenced by organizations and their endorsements.

"Voters are confident with Steve Cohen. they know his record and reputation and they looked beyond race,"  Sanford said.

"We have to support people who are going to work in the best interest of all people regardless of race, creed or color," Montgomery said.


    • Aubrey

      One issue no one wants to address in elections is money. Seems only the people who have plenty can be elected. This seems to be true of Memphis, Shelby County and Tennessee. What happened to government of the people, by the people and for the people? Seems to be government by those who have money and status only!

  • lawman

    I have to disagree. There is a young lady who won and at no time did she give interviews or sling mud. I call that a lesson in being humble. The other politicians spent time in the media for all the wrong reasons all the money in Memphis couldn’t help them. All this young lady did was sit back and watch the other challengers attack each other. Some politician’s aliened themselves with individuals who brought a negative light to cause. The lesson learned is keep your circle small, except nothing for a favor. The favor will come back and destroy you in the end.

  • Shirley Q L

    Track record .. whatever … SCLC is full blown Democrat organization.. NTU.org gives Cohen and F every year in office .. They base their ratings on who votes on items that will cost the taxpayer more money out of their pocket .. Yea Cohen brings home the bacon but not in the forms of companies nor jobs.. He did get us a bike bridge over the Mississippi … He knows how to play the game to keep the masses in line…

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