The decision by former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist not to run for governor got three Republican candidates to announce and begin running: Bill Haslam, Zach Wamp, and Bill Gibbons. But noticeably silent has been Marsha Blackburn, the Congresswoman from Brentwood, long thought to have a governor's race in her future.
Blackburn's silence is being read as an indication she won't enter the race. Two East Tennessee candidates splitting the primary vote would be a benefit for the Middle Tennessee candidate, but Wamp and Haslam supporters do not believe she will run.
Insiders say Blackburn is too conservative and not popular with the Republican establishment that funds gubernatorial campaigns.
She was also embarrassed recently when a foreclosure notice was filed on her house in Williamson County. She says the bank erred in not making electronic transfer payments to cover the mortgage, held by Countrywide.