McWherter Enlists Ken Givens for Gubernatorial Campaign

Political bloggers scoffed when Democratic nominee for governor Mike McWherter had a press conference last week to announce that Commissioner of Agriculture Ken Givens will resign and join McWherter’s campaign senior staff. “You call this news?” was a common refrain.

We think it’s news. Givens was a popular Democratic legislator from Republican Hawkins County back in the day. He was a key ally of Gov. Ned McWherter and was frequently a conduit between McWherter and the machine of Republican Congressman Jimmy Quillen in upper East Tennessee. Quillen’s support for Ned McWherter against Republican Winfield Dunn was key to McWherter’s being elected governor.

If Mike McWherter plans to reach out to the Ned McWherter/Quillen people in rural upper East Tennessee, Givens is the ideal choice. Can Givens knit together the boys from the old days into allies for Mike McWherter? It will be something to watch during the coming months.

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Comments » 7

gayle.alley#207390 writes:

Givens was a popular Commissioner of Agriculture. Outstanding decision by McWherter to bring him into the campaign. Givens will bring energy, experience, and a solid, positive reputation.

churchhillguy84 writes:

I am from Hawkins County where Givens is from. He was elected for 7 consecutive terms as State Representative. He held the position for 14 good years. I believe that he is the only Democrat from East Tennessee to even hold the seat at all. The enlistment of Givens is a good move for McWherter because Givens has the ability to reach out to Republicans, Democrats, and Non-partisan persons alike just as he had to do in order to be re-elected so many times in East Tennessee.

lrodshotfixens#207408 writes:

Givens was an outstanding State Representative and Commissioner of Agriculture. He never lost touch with the issues of the working class. I give McWherter two thumbs up for bring Givens to his team.

lrodshotfixens#207408 writes:

in response to gayle.alley#207390:

Givens was a popular Commissioner of Agriculture. Outstanding decision by McWherter to bring him into the campaign. Givens will bring energy, experience, and a solid, positive reputation.

I agree. Givens has energy, experience with a positive reputation.

lrodshotfixens#207408 writes:

in response to churchhillguy84:

I am from Hawkins County where Givens is from. He was elected for 7 consecutive terms as State Representative. He held the position for 14 good years. I believe that he is the only Democrat from East Tennessee to even hold the seat at all. The enlistment of Givens is a good move for McWherter because Givens has the ability to reach out to Republicans, Democrats, and Non-partisan persons alike just as he had to do in order to be re-elected so many times in East Tennessee.

Your comments are correct about Givens.

doc_c803 writes:

There may not be a better man who has worked or represented in state government than Ken Givens. If Ken is taking part in this campaign then McWherter must be a great guy and the only choice for Governor.

Teacher writes:

Great decision to add Ken Givens to the staff. . . he knows TN!

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