Monday, April 05, 2010

Not Ned Ray

The presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Tennessee will remain a longshot:

I am not sure that I buy into the theory that some people in both parties hold which says that short primaries or no primary is good for their party, and as Humphrey himself pointed out, McWherter and current Governor Phil Bredesen both had to deal with heavy primary opposition and then fight a General Election, and both won. A contested primary for Governor in Tennessee is usually a sign that your political party is becoming dominant in State politics. Republicans have contested and won Statewide races before for Governor and U.S. Senator, but never as the majority party in State Government with a chance to increase that majority-potentially in a significant way during the same election cycle. The Republican Party is showing itself-in every historical sense-as the majority party in Tennessee that it has become.

Mike McWherter's problem is that there is a great difference between when his father ran for Governor and now, when he has chosen to stand, and it doesn't have as much to do with the current political climate as with the state of the political careers of the participants. The Republican nominee will either be a current Member of Congress, the present mayor of Tennessee's third-largest city, or the sitting Lieutenant Governor. Mike McWherter has been a successful businessman, but when his father ran for Governor, he had served 14 years as Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives. Mike McWherter is running on his father's record, not his own, and that is why his chances of victory in November remain slim.

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