Two challengers look to unseat incumbent in District 6 race

By , Daily Memphian Updated: September 11, 2023 12:48 PM CT | Published: September 11, 2023 4:00 AM CT

Longtime Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford Sr. is facing two challengers during his latest re-election campaign. 

Keith D. Austin and Larry Hunter are trying to unseat Ford, of the Ford political family and the longtime representative of the district that includes Westwood and Whitehaven. 

Five compete for open City Council District 3 seat

Here’s what Ford, Hunter and Austin had to say, in alphabetical order, about their candidacy for District 6 on the council.

Keith Austin, employee at Blues City Brewery

“I really just got tired of causing my tax money not used in my neighborhood,” Austin said. 

He said crime is the number one issue facing the city and noted how easy it is for kids to join a gang. He said they lack things to do at community centers and anything to do after school lets out. 

Austin said kids are arming themselves to protect themselves from others. 

<strong>Running for Memphis City Council District 6 are (from left) Edmund Ford Sr., Larry Hunter and Keith D. Austin.</strong> (The Daily Memphian files)

Running for Memphis City Council District 6 are (from left) Edmund Ford Sr., Larry Hunter and Keith D. Austin. (The Daily Memphian files)

“We used to have nerds when I was going to school. I mean, the nerds got guns now. I mean, they don’t have a chance to get away from bullies or anywhere to go,” Austin said. 

District 2 Council race has six candidates and one main issue — crime

He said he has a plan for growth along Third Street. 

“It’s a little radical. I don’t want to say what I want to do off the top,” Austin said. 

Edmund Ford Sr., mortician, E.H. Ford Funeral Home, Memphis City Council member 

Ford said he wants to continue his work of bringing resources to his district, noting how he has worked for the city to prioritize the widening of Holmes Road and the rehabilitation of Southwest Twin Drive-In. 

“I’m trying to finish up some things that I’ve started. I don’t want these things to be put back on back burner again,” Ford said. 

Council District 1 incumbent calls public safety ‘top of mind with everybody’

He said he will continue to provide what he can for constituents. 

“I’ve accomplished quite a few things in my district. People know what kind of service that I give them,” Ford said. 

Larry Hunter, retired MATA bus driver, director of Touched by an Angel

Crime is the number one issue facing the community, Hunter said. He added that senior citizens needed better care and the community needs to relate better to young people. 

Political Roundup: 901 Day, too many candidates and not enough votes

Hunter said he was called by God to run for office after five people asked him if he would run. He said he would spend significant time in the neighborhoods when he was a member and continue the work his organization, Touched by an Angel, does now. 

“I’m gonna go back to the neighborhood twice a week, doing the same thing. Let the people know that I’m here for you. What else can I do to make life better for you?” Hunter said. 


Edmund Ford Sr. Larry Hunter Keith Austin Memphis City Council
Samuel Hardiman

Samuel Hardiman

Samuel Hardiman is an enterprise and investigative reporter who focuses on local government and politics. A native Rhode Islander who lives in Midtown, he enjoys tennis, golf and reading.


Want to comment on our stories or respond to others? Join the conversation by subscribing now. Only paid subscribers can add their thoughts or upvote/downvote comments. Our commenting policy can be viewed here