So who will the Democrats field to take on Republican gubernatorial candidates Bill Haslam, Zach Wamp, or Bill Gibbons? Given John McCain’s numbers in Tennessee in the recent election some Democrats may be reluctant to run for governor. Congressman Lincoln Davis, D-Pall Mall, is seen as one Democrat who can run to the right of the Republicans. The Blue Dog conservative can talk Republican better than a lot of Republicans.
But insiders say Davis has gotten a spot on the influential appropriations committee, he has a safe seat, he’s in the Congressional majority, and he is unlikely to risk it all on a throw of the dice running for governor. They say if Davis intended to run he would have surfaced some sort of trial balloon during the flurry of Republican announcements in recent weeks.
Wamp should be able to raise money as will Haslam. Davis would be drawing from a much smaller fund-raising base; he is from a poor district and is not well known in the big cities where the money resides.
Knoxville businessman, UT trustee, and former state Democratic Party Chief Doug Horne has been traveling the state, talking with prominent Democrats and sounding them out about the race. He has deep pockets. He and Davis are friends and it is unlikely that they would both run. So if Davis is out, Horne may be in.