So last night was both disappointing and eventful.
First, I would like to echo the sentiments of Tennessee Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Lowe Finney, about the Adrienne Pakis-Gillon campaign. She worked her butt off without much visible support from the establishment powers outside of Shelby Co. and deserves kudos for running a clean campaign against an opponent whose actions and legislative record literally begs for mudslinging.
Speaking of State Senator Finney, there was some interesting news in his neck of the woods last night that has taken the state by storm.
As if you didn’t already know, Rep. John Tanner (D-TN08), a founder of the Blue Dog Coalition announced his retirement after several media outlets reported his impending retirement based on an anonymous source.
This led to a weird series of events that started out with a whole lot of speculation on who would run for the seat and ended up with Democratic Gubernatorial candidate, Roy Herron, dropping out of the Governor’s race to run for TN-08.
Herron’s decision to run isn’t all that surprising. While he has been successful at winning straw polls all over the state, and is to be commended for out organizing his primary opponents at said straw polls, REAL polls suggest that his candidacy wasn’t really getting the reach required to overcome the presumed front runner in the race, Mike McWherter, who hails from the same area. For Herron, the political math made sense, and he did his math quickly dropping out of the race less than four hours after the first report hit Tennessee media.
Despite Herron’s early jump into the TN-08 race, several other elected and former officials have expressed interest in the seat or at least been mentioned, including; Phillip Pinion of Union City (burnout?), Mark Maddox (He’s more likely to run for Roy’s State Senate seat), and Lowe Finney (who is up for re-election in the State Senate in 2010).
In the mean time, Republicans have wasted no time in attacking Herron as an Obama lovin’ gay sympathizing socialist, which is funny on several levels. Herron has a pretty solid moderate to conservative voting record. Painting him as a wide eyed liberal is not just a stretch, but pure bull. As I said on twitter earlier today
If the GOP thinks Roy Herron is a “libural”, then I guess those (R) state legislators that voted for an unconstitutional gun law are too!
We’ll see how this pans out in the coming weeks, but unless Herron really screws up, he’s in pretty good shape to win the primary in August despite not being able to use the funds he’s already collected for his Gubernatorial bid, as noted by Goldni and Braisted.
There are lots of other good posts about this out there, but I have a show to load out. Back in Memphis tomorrow. Thank God!