Cohen leading Wilkins in endosements, money

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen and his chief challenger in the Democratic primary, Ricky Wilkins, have dueling lists of endorsements, reports the Commercial Appeal. Cohen claims a lead both there and in fundraising.

(Former Memphis Mayor Willie) Herenton — who tried and failed in 2010 to unseat U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, just as Wilkins is trying now — was among a group of endorsers Wilkins assembled on the eve of the start of early voting in the 9th District Democratic primary. County Commissioners Sidney Chism and Justin Ford were there; City Council member Harold Collins was said to be out of town but praised Wilkins in a news release.

Wilkins said he was “humbled and blessed” for the endorsements.

Cohen released his list a bit later, a two-pager that started with President Barack Obama and included unions, pastors such as Kenneth T. Whalum Jr. and elected officials such as City Council chairman Jim Strickland.

“There’s no comparison in his list to mine,” Cohen said.

The dueling lists came in the same week in which Wilkins and Cohen both filed second quarter financial disclosures with the Federal Election Commission, offering a window into the state of each campaign.

Cohen held a 10-to-1 advantage over Wilkins in terms of cash on hand — $887,251 for Cohen, $87,304 for Wilkins — as of June 30.

Wilkins’ balance includes a pair of $50,000 loans he made to his campaign March 31 and June 30.