MPA Throws Support Behind Ricky Wilkins - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

MPA Throws Support Behind Ricky Wilkins

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) - - When he handily beat back the challenge of Republican George Flinn two years ago Steve Cohen gathered up endorsements like they were apples in a barrel.

Two years later as he faces off against fellow Democrat Ricky Wilkins for his party's nomination in August there are signs there maybe a few more holes in that barrel.

It is the inescapable question constituents attempt to corner incumbent politicians with every election year. What have you done for us lately? In regards to the 9th District Congressional race, Memphis Police Association President, the ever outspoken Michael Williams, asserts Steve Cohen hasn't done enough to win his organization's endorsement for the August 7th election.

“It's time for change and Ricky Wilkins is that change that we need,” says Williams.

“He will be a far better representative of the 9th District than Steve Cohen. Cohen has turned a deaf ear to concerns raised by the MPA explaining that he does not get involved in local issues.”

In a political tag-team appearance at MPA headquarters, a grateful Wilkins gladly accepted a "reversal of fortune" by snagging the police union's unanimous endorsement that was awarded by its political action committee to Cohen in 2012. Williams took the occasion to blast the four time incumbent for personally ignoring his requests to look into former city employee pay cuts three years ago.

Williams said, “We went back and forth with a couple of correspondence and after that it was very evident to me that he was probably part of the problem and not part of the solution.”

With Williams providing the ammunition, Wilkins took broad potshots at Cohen's perceived hesitance to become "directly involved" in local issues from the federal probe of Shelby County Juvenile Court to the current outrage city employees and retirees are expressing over cuts to healthcare and pension plans.

“If there's an issue where he thinks that there's local gains to be established, he jumps in front. If there's an issue that he feels it would be harmful for him to do so, he runs from it like the plague,” said D Tenn. 09 candidate Wilkins.

Although, Williams said the endorsement had nothing to do with whether Cohen supported MPA views or the city's on the cuts, he still felt the Congressman has failed to sense the pain and recognize the plight of the effected workers.

“There's some tension in the city. And if someone from another level does not get involved, then I'm afraid where the city's going,” says Williams.


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