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With a bit of creative accounting in his first campaign financial disclosure, Roy Herron succeeded in preventing Mike McWherter from claiming the frontrunner mantle in the Democratic governor's race. That's according to Pat Nolan
, who also says Kim McMillan raised "barely enough" to stay in the race.
Why is this important? Well, so far, this Democratic race has not had a clear frontrunner. If Mike McWherter, the son of the former Governor Ned McWherter, had been able to use these financial disclosures to show some distance between his campaign and the rest of the field, it could have allowed him to claim to be the frontrunner. Now the situation is probably muddied up enough, that that's not going to be possible, although clearly McWherter and Herron are head and shoulders above their other Democratic rivals, former House Majority Leader Kim McMillan of Clarksville ($294,957) and Nashville businessman and former Republican Ward Cammack ($189,467 including $72,00 of his own money).
McMillan's numbers are probably just barely enough to keep her competitive for now. I've also heard there might be some pressure coming from other state Democratic leaders for her to drop out, which I kind of doubt she will do just yet. These first disclosures always represent the "low hanging fruit" or the easiest money for them to collect. The question now is can all these candidates keep it up or even step up the pace as the race intensifies in the months ahead?