Memphis' first black mayor was J.O. Patterson Jr., who was appointed interim mayor in 1982. Willie Herenton was the city's first elected black mayor.
Willie Herenton, Memphis' first elected black mayor, serving from 1992 to 2009, announced Thursday he will challenge incumbent mayor Jim Strickland in the 2019 election.
Herenton, 77, who made the announcement at LeMoyne-Owen College, said he would go with an old-school "theme" for the campaign: "Let's do it again."
"Let me tell y'all about 2019," he said. "Here's the theme: 'Let's do it again.'"
Strickland, who defeated incumbent mayor A C Wharton in 2015, has recently raised funds for another campaign and has privately talked about running for a second term — but has yet to make an official announcement he'll seek reelection.
"We don't have anything to say other than that we're proud of our record in these first two years," said Ursula Madden, a city spokeswoman who is not on his campaign staff.