Running RamseyWhen the story appeared a couple of days ago in the Kingsport Times-News that Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey is considering a run for Governor, Ramsey's quoted words were straightforward and precise:
“I think that I would be one of the handful of front-runners on the Republican side,” Ramsey, a Blountville Republican state senator who represents Sullivan and Johnson counties, said of that thought. “Obviously the most important thing right now is to be re-elected in November 2008. But I am making a name across the state, so it’s not something I’ve ruled out for sure.”
Governor Ramsey also admitted that it is "a hard time to raise money.
“You have (former Tennessee U.S. Sen. and expected presidential candidate) Fred Thompson who is doing all he can to raise money,” Ramsey explained. “You have (current Tennessee U.S. Sen.) Lamar (Alexander who is running for re-election in 2008) who will soon be doing a fund-raiser where I will be one of the co-hosts. Everybody right now is asking for money, and I’ve not started my own campaign. I need to make sure I have a pretty good nest egg by the time we go back into (legislative) session because from January on we can’t raise money until we get out of session.”
I have known for several months that Ramsey has been considering a run for Governor. By the time the Times-News report was released (I saw it in a link at Volunteer Voters), what the story contained was old news. In spite of the money problems that Ramsey was extremely honest about in the piece, I also think that he would be the most viable conservative option of any candidate in a GOP Gubernatorial Primary, and he would likely have my support.
The great problem that I see for Ron Ramsey, however, is that the field may be too crowded for him to run a winning campaign in 2010. If Bill Frist is anywhere near the 2010 Gubernatorial race the establishment will back him, and that would likely leave conservative votes split between Ramsey and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (if she should run). I also do not believe Ramsey could win a one-on-one Primary against Frist because Bill Frist will always have better name recognition (and yes, in such a race my personal support goes to Governor Ramsey).
Ramsey's best chance at victory in 2010 will come if Bill Frist does not run. Then it would stand to reason that he becomes the frontrunner by fiat even if he is still battling issues of name recognition. Perhaps the reason Ramsey is considering a run in spite of the possibility if facing Frist is that he just may not feel up to doing it four years later-maybe he feels that when it comes to running for Governor, it is now or never.
Labels: Tennessee politics