Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton announced that he would challenge Cohen in the 2010 Democratic primary. In a guest column in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Herenton wrote that while he hoped the campaign would focus on issues rather than race or religion, "it remains a fact that the 9th congressional district provides the only real opportunity to elect a qualified African-American to the all-white 11-member delegation representing Tennessee in Washington. " Herenton also denied having supported Cohen in his 2006 bid against Jake Ford, writing, "I did not support Steve Cohen the individual for the 9th congressional district. I supported an idea that was bigger than him as an individual. I supported the principle of fairness. " During the 2006 campaign, Herenton endorsed Cohen, saying, "Steve Cohen is the best-qualified candidate for this leadership role". While Cohen's commanding win in the 2008 primary suggested that he had strong support among the district's African-American community, Herenton was easily his highest-profile opponent to date.