West Memphis mayor’s race comes down to two in runoff

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A high-stakes mayoral runoff election in West Memphis is getting contentious.

There were originally six people running, but no one got a majority of the vote. Now two candidates remain.

Wayne Croom and Marco McClendon are both West Memphis city council members running for mayor. One got 24 percent of the vote, the other 27 percent, and that's what landed them in a runoff.

But the candidates say they could not be more different.

"You have a choice of almost between Obama and Donald Trump. That depends who you want as your mayor,” McClendon said of his race against Croom.

Croom says when McClendon makes a statement like that, he’s trying to bring race into the election. But he isn’t backing away from the comparison.

"I’m glad they’d compare me to someone who’s a sitting president. That makes me feel good," Croom said. "Not so much as Donald Trump, but a sitting president.”

Putting the rhetoric aside, when you get down to the issues, both candidates say their priorities include public safety and economic development.

"We have so many advantages here in West Memphis," McClendon said. "We have two interstates with over 60,000 vehicles that come through our city. I wanna take advantage of that.”

Croom said he wants to look at the wages for the fire and police department, because "were losing firemen, policemen.”

But a big part of this runoff election will probably be decided by voter turnout..

People in West Memphis say they’re frustrated. On social media, someone saying they’re “abstaining” because they already cast a vote for someone else.

The runoff election is Dec. 4. Early voting starts the Monday after Thanksgiving.