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So Mark Brown quit the Democratic gubernatorial campaign of the unknown rich Republican, er, we mean newly converted Democrat named Ward Cammack, and we're all naturally wondering why. But the normally loquacious Brown is silent, apparently determined to leave graciously. We hate it when that happens. All he'll say is, "It was time for me to go another direction." What bullshit! So in desperation and single-minded pursuit of the truth, we have turned to our stable of smug anonymous insiders. Yes, dear Pith
reader, we use whatever means necessary to keep you informed. Here's what we have learned:
The word in Democratic circles is this: Cammack is toast. His fund-raising is really sucking, and there is talk that he will quit the race soon. Recall Cammack gave heavily to Republicans in the past. That's causing Democratic contributors to give him the stink eye. If Cammack can't raise a respectable amount from contributors, there's no point in sinking his own personal wealth into his campaign.
"Basically, he has no base of support," one source says. "He turned on his old Republican friends, and Democrats don't know him enough to trust him. He doesn't have the time before the primary to build a relationship with Democrats. He won't have the money to get his message out."
More: "The bottom line for Ward is that there are other viable options for Democrats in this primary. Why should they turn to a recent Republican convert? The smart money isn't going to Ward, and money is what counts at this stage."
So suddenly, the Democratic primary race that once seemed crowded now looks like it's down to only three: Kim McMillan, Roy Herron and Mike McWherter. That's assuming, of course, that Jim Kyle doesn't run, and it's looking like he won't.
Potentially, all three are strong candidates. Herron, in particular, gained credibility when he snagged Cathy Thomas, the premier Tennessee Democratic fund-raiser. Questions remain about whether McMillan can attract enough financial support to compete.
Update: Sean Braisted
"[A]ssuming Woods' source is correct...where would Cammack's departure leave the race? My feeling is that Kim McMillan has been the most steady of all the other candidates. No major screw-ups are stumbles (like pissing off major Democratic constituencies). She's got a track record, she's got as much or more name recognition as anyone else in the hunt (except Ned Ray's son), the main question for her is going to be dolla dolla bills ya'll. Does she have 'em, and can she get 'em?"