Things are starting to warm up in the Tennessee Democratic Party Chair race.
After local attorney Ben Smith withdrew on Monday, it brought the field down to four: current party treasurer Dave Garrison, former state Sen. Roy Herron, former party communications director Wade Munday and vice president and political liaison for the Chattanooga Area Labor Council Jane Hampton Bowen.
With the Jan. 26 election by the party's executive committee bearing down, the candidates are counting votes and shoring up support. On Tuesday, the mayors of the three biggest cities in the state — Nashville's Karl Dean, Knoxville's Madeline Rogero and Memphis' A C Wharton — endorsed Garrison.
The endorsement after the jump . . .
Dear Executive Committee,
Our political system impacts the citizens it serves most directly at the local government level. As Mayors, we have an up-close view of how politics and government can affect the lives of people on a daily basis. This is why having pragmatic, but principled, governments at the national, state, and local level is so important to us.
In Tennessee, it is no secret that the Democratic Party is in a rebuilding process. As we rebuild, it is critical that we do so in a way that demonstrates to voters that the Democratic Party stands for pragmatic solutions to the challenges we face. Whether it's improving our public education system, building our infrastructure, or offering bold initiatives to spark economic development, Tennessee Democrats must offer a new vision for the new challenges we face.
On January 26th, you have an important decision to make that will impact this rebuilding process. While we do not have a vote, we want you to know that we strongly support Dave Garrison's candidacy to serve as Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party. Dave represents a new generation of leadership for our Party and is committed to shaping a new vision for how we grow as a Party. Moreover, Dave has proven himself as a capable leader and fundraiser for our party.
We thank you for your leadership in the Tennessee Democratic Party, and we appreciate your taking our views into consideration.
Karl F. Dean, Mayor of Nashville
Madeline Rogero, Mayor of Knoxville
A C Wharton, Mayor of Memphis