|Rev. Charles Harrison|
Photo via Facebook
Personally, I don't know Harrison. I've only interacted with him via social media, and I do admire his work tremendously with the Ten Point Coalition. When no one was paying much attention in the Mayor's Office to the murders and violence going on in our city, Harrison was calling attention to it. Some would even argue that he's one of the few that got Greg Ballard to listen.
Getting the Mayor's attention on an important issue is one thing. Running for Mayor is another animal, and there's much more to it.
While Harrison has had a laser-like focus on violence in this city. He also has a good handle on those that live in poverty in our city. That said, I wonder how he would tackle a major snow storm or a budget battle with the City-County Council. What if a tornado cuts a swath through our city or if a major employer wants to come here to our city? These are the kinds of things that a Mayor deals with. The known isn't necessarily as dangerous as the unknown. If Harrison is to be a serious candidate, he will have to broaden his appeal past the issue of violence and of poverty in our city as I suspect Hogsett and DeLaney will.
He can certainly do that, but I don't know if he can muster the kind of support as a candidate to swing an election. He seems to have put a lot of thought into it, though. As the Swarens piece notes, he understands the financial reality of a run against a party-backed candidate.
I would advise Hogsett and DeLaney to reach out to Harrison. This may be the Reverend's way of getting the attention of the candidates to talk about very important issues facing our city and to figure out what they might do about them.
Sometimes the best way of grabbing the attention of the candidates is to threaten to run against them.
I believe that Reverend Harrison is serious about running, and I wish him the best as he decides. I've been in his shoes before deciding to run or not to run, and he's the only one that knows what's best for him, his congregation, the Ten Point Coalition, and his family.