September 22, 2023 7:00am

The next Mayor of Memphis will be...

Power Poll voters think Paul Young will win, and that's who they will vote for

Photo of David Waters
Memphis, TN Correspondent

The votes have been cast. The results are in. The winner of next month's Memphis mayoral election will be -- according to Power Poll members -- Paul Young.

Nearly half (47 percent) of Power Poll members who responded to this month's survey predicted that Young will win the Oct. 5 city election.

Meanwhile, more than half (53 percent) of the respondents said they will vote for Young, 43, president and CEO of the Downtown Memphis Commission.

Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner, 64, finished a distant second in both poll questions. Twenty-seven percent of respondents predicted Bonner would win the election; 18 percent said they will vote for him.

Young and Bonner are two of 17 candidates to succeed Mayor Jim Strickland, who is term-limited and unable to seek re-election.There will be no runoff, and with so many candidates on the ballot, the next Memphis mayor could be elected with 25 percent of the vote or less.

That concerns a large majority of Power Poll respondents. Nearly 80 percent agreed with the statement that there should be a runoff because no one should be elected mayor with less than 50 percent of the vote.

A runoff wouldn't be an issue if Power Poll members were the only voters. Fifty-three percent of respondents said they will vote for Young. Bonner and Van Turner, 48, former local NAACP president, were the only two other candidates to garner more than 10 percent
of the Power Poll vote.

Meanwhile, Power Poll voters believe the mayoral campaign is a one-person race, with Young easily outpacing and Bonner, Turner, and Herenton.

Young has been polling behind one or more of the other more well-known candidates -- Bonner, Turner, and former Mayor Willie Herenton, 83. But Young has raised more campaign funds than the other candidates -- nearly $600,000. Bonner has raised more than $540,000, and Turner more than $370,000.

Early voting in the election began Sept. 15 and ends Sept. 30. Election Day is Oct. 5. For more information about the polls, visit the Shelby County Election Commission website.

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About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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