Ken Moody, special assistant to Mayor Jim Strickland, took a day off to announce that he was “exploring” a run at the Shelby County Mayor’s office.
Moody made his case for considering the run during a Midtown press conference on Wednesday.
A Carver High School graduate, Moody noted references to it as “a troubled school” and said he would be an example to Memphis students.
“These kids can look at Ken Moody and say this guy came from our community, he came from our high school, and he is where he is right now, we can have that same opportunity.”
Moody, who served as the director of public services and neighborhoods under former Mayor Dr. Willie W. Herenton, is also a former University of Memphis basketball player.
Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris has not yet announced whether he will seek reelection. Moody said his decision would not be dependent upon whether Harris goes for a second term.
With paperwork filed with the Shelby County Election Commission naming a treasurer for a political campaign, Moody is expected to make a decision in six to eight weeks.
Moody said he has proven himself a role model “in the way he has lived his life, and the way he has raised his kids, and the challenges he has had.”
He praised the effort of his mother, struggling to raise 11 children by herself.
“…To see my mother, a Black woman in the ’70s, raise 11 kids, struggle and to never complain was the best earthly example I could ever have. To see her pour into all of my brothers and sisters, which she did, motivates me and gives me encouragement every day.”
“The main thing,” he said, is that he is a Christian with faith in God.
Fielding questions, Moody said he would definitely be on the Democratic ticket, if he chooses to run for county mayor.
Asked about his strategy in dealing with Republican-dominated state government, Moody said, “I think we would have to be straight-forward. I think that’s a good opportunity for the county mayor’s office. I think that collectively, he should get with those suburban mayors, with the city mayors, and with the elected bodies of the county commission and the city council. Let’s unite with one voice when we go to Nashville…”
It’s important to “get as many peoples’ perspectives as you possibly can,” said Moody.
“And then at the end of the day, what a leader does is he gets all the information he can, makes an informed decision on what he thinks is in the interest of the majority of the people.”
Politics over people must never drive the decision-making of a good leader, he said.