Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lincoln Davis Says He Won't Run for Governor

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 7:27 PM

click to enlarge davis.jpg
While Republican Bill Haslam was raking in an impressive $1.4 million today for his campaign for governor, Democrats lost  a potentially strong candidate of their own. Congressman Lincoln Davis represented, in fact, perhaps the Democrats' best shot at winning the office in 2010. But tonight, he said in a statement that he wouldn't run. As his only reason, he cited his appointment to the important House Appropriations Committee, calling it "an opportunity for the district I represent that I could not easily turn away from."

The timing of the announcement, if not Davis' decision, comes as a surprise. Most observers thought he wouldn't make up his mind until early this summer after gauging the political climate at that time. It means the congressman, who is 65, is likely giving up his ambitions to hold statewide office.

This news will please many Democratic insiders. Davis isn't known as the sharpest knife. His nickname among reporters is Foghorn Leghorn because, like the Looney Tunes character, he talks a mile a minute and never says a thing. He's also too conservative for many in his party.

But barring the unlikely entrance of Harold Ford Jr. into the contest, Democrats are left without a big name to run for governor. Who else is on the list of possible candidates? Kim McMillan, Roy Herron, Andy Berke, Doug Horne, Matt Kisber, Mike McWherter--all are basically unknown lightweights. The pressure on Ford to run just went up exponentially.

Update: Kleinheider cites "the handover of his own party to a radical band of Obama activists in stark rebuke of his wishes" as one possible factor in Davis' decision. Can Democrats blame (or thank) Chip Forrester for this?

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