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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis mayor’s race has been marked by accusations of racism, a magazine caricature widely viewed as offensive, a candidate’s refusal to mention a female opponent by name and a dustup over homophobic tweets from years ago.

Even in an era known for divisive politics nationally, the fight to lead this Mississippi River city stands out.

On Thursday, voters will choose from among three candidates.

There’s Willie Herenton, the Southern city’s first black mayor who has returned to politics.

Then there’s Tami Sawyer, a 37-year-old social activist and Shelby County commissioner seeking to become the first female mayor of Memphis. She too is African American.

In the middle is Jim Strickland, the 55-year-old white incumbent who has helped lure economic development to the city.

10 Bada** Women In Politics
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