City, state leaders rally around Memphis Mayor-elect Paul Young

Published: Oct. 6, 2023 at 7:29 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Mayor-elect Paul Young has vowed to bring the city together following a hard-fought campaign.

“There were incredible candidates that were in this race, and we all have an opportunity to give back to our community from respective places,” said Young on Friday afternoon.

Young won his first election Thursday night, but he’s no stranger to most city and statewide leaders.

“His parents and I go back a long way, and I remember the very first time I did my expungement clinic when it wasn’t even popular to do, Paul Young was right there to help and to volunteer,” said State Representative Karen Camper, who was also one of 17 candidates for Memphis mayor.

In his previous role as director of the City of Memphis’ Division of Housing and CEO of the Downtown Memphis Commission, most government officials say they know or worked with Young.

Despite different allegiances to different candidates, there appears to be a sense of letting bygones be bygones.

“I was a Van Turner supporter, but I really liked Paul, so I think he’s going to do a great job,” said Dr. Jeff Warren, who ran unopposed to be re-elected to his seat on the Memphis City Council.

Young will have to work closely with the Memphis City Council to get much of his agenda accomplished, including lowering the city’s skyrocketing crime rate.

However, Young says he’s going to first focus on assembling his transition team, moving from the Strickland to the Young era of city government.

“It’s really important over these next two and a half months that you get a quality team together. You have to recruit a quality team, that’s almost, it’s more important than mapping out the policies by which you govern,” said incumbent Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.

Strickland declined to say who he voted for but echoed a number of other elected officials who are offering their support to Young.

“Paul is smart. He’s hard-working. He’s experienced. He’s got that judgment and he’s a good person,” said Strickland.

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