Herron Drops Gubernatorial Bid, Announces Congressional Run

Posted December 2, 2009 at 10:24am

Just hours after Rep. John Tanner (D) announced his plans to retire at the end of his term, Tennessee state Sen. Roy Herron (D) informed his supporters that he was ending his gubernatorial bid in favor of a Congressional campaign in 2010.

In a formal announcement statement Wednesday morning, Herron saluted Tanner’s service and talked about his roots in the west Tennessee 8th district.

“My family’s lived in Tennessee since 1819,” he said. “This has always been my home, and it always will be. During 23 years I have represented people from 11 West and Middle Tennessee counties in the General Assembly. I’ve worked hard for my neighbors and fellow Tennesseans. In 23 years, I’ve missed only one legislative session –‘the day our youngest son was being born. I have held more than 1,000 listening meetings with those I represent. I believe I understand their needs and can represent their values.

Herron, a long time friend of Tanner, may not have the Democratic field to himself next year. Other potential candidates being mentioned in Democratic circles Wednesday morning were state Rep. Judy Barker, former state Rep. Phillip Pinion and state Sen. Lowe Finney. But in a sign of his potential strength Herron has already draw fire from national Republicans, who recruited farmer and gospel singer Stephen Fincher (R) to try to flip the 8th district earlier this year.

“Lawyer-politician-professor Roy Herron’s 23-year Nashville record is a veritable smorgasbord of Obama-style liberalism,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Andy Sere said in a statement Wednesday. “With his gubernatorial bid circling the drain, he’s embarked on a quixotic quest to take his job-killing agenda national. Christmas has come early for Stephen Fincher.”

Now that Herron is out of the gubernatorial contest businessman Mike McWherter, the son of former Gov. Ned McWherter, appears to be a strong bet for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination although he continues to face a crowded field.