Count State Sen. Lee Harris in when it comes to the race for mayor of Shelby County.
The District 29 representative let his intentions be known with a written statement distributed Wednesday.
“I am running because I believe we can make our community a place where our kids want to stay, and a place where the best and brightest want to move,” said Harris, the Senate’s Minority Leader.
Harris said he plans to force “a real conversation” about creating more meaningful opportunities for students and reducing poverty.
“It’ll be one of the first times that this has happened in this community,” Harris said.
“Despite the division in Washington, I really believe it’s time for all parts of our community to come together, time for the next generation of leaders to take the reins, and time for our community to start growing.”
Former Shelby County Commissioner Sidney Chism has made it known that he plans to seek the county mayor position.
Harris became the youngest senator in Tennessee history when he was elected in 2014. His selection as Senate Minority leader by Democratic senators made him the first African American to hold that post.
A member of the Memphis City Council, Harris is a tenured full professor of law at the University of Memphis Law School. A Morehouse College graduate, he earned his law degree from Yale University.
A product of public schools, Harris is marred to Alena Allen, a professor. They have two children, Lee Allen Harris (12) and Claudia Harris (9). Both attend public schools.