NASHVILLE — West Tennessee businessman Mike McWherter, son of former Gov. Ned McWherter, announced today he is running for the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
“This campaign will be about jobs, investing in education to build a strong economy, and government that continues to be fiscally responsible,” Mr. McWherter, 52, said in a statement.
He said Tennesseans “face challenges today that are tougher than many have ever faced before. Families are struggling to pay their bills and make ends meet.”
“In the months ahead, I will talk with Tennesseans from all 95 counties about how our state can better serve them during these difficult times,” Mr. McWherter said. “I will outline the ways we can work together to create more good-paying jobs across our state.”
He pledged to work “together to give our students the education they need to be successful after graduation, and we will work to ensure Tennesseans have access to affordable, quality health care. We will also build on Gov. Bredesen’s successes to make our state government more effective, responsible and accountable to Tennessee taxpayers.”
Mr. McWherter, a native of northwest Tennessee, is married and the father of two children. He owns and runs Central Distributors, an Anheuser-Busch distributorship.
His father, Ned McWherter, was the long-serving House speaker who served as governor from 1987 to 1995 and remains popular within the Democratic Party.
He joins a Democratic field that includes former state Majority Leader Kim McMillan, D-Clarksville, Nashville businessman Ward Cammack and state Sen. Roy Herron, D-Dresden. State Senate Minority Jim Kyle, D-Memphis is weighing a bid as is state Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga.
Announced Republican candidates are U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...