On the basis of a decision announced to his staff Friday morning, Knoxville businessman Doug Horne announced Friday that he was withdrawing from the Democratic race for governor, effective immediately
Horne had been scheduled to address several groups in Memphis on Saturday but has now canceled his engagements.
Horne's decision leaves former Nashville Mayor Phil Brerdesen, who was the party nominee in 1994, the odds-on favorite to win the Democratic nomination again.
The following bombshell announcement was sent out to Democrats and media statewide late Friday afternoon:
Horne withdraws from Governors race
"Candidate for Tennessee Governor, Doug Horne, withdrew from the Governors
race today. Citing the need for Democratic unity and a Democratic Governor
in Tennessee, Horne departed the Governor's race. "Our party needs a
consensus candidate and we do not need a divisive and costly primary next
year," stated the former Democratic Party chairman.
"Horne, the former chairman of the Democratic Party and Knoxville businessman
had traveled the state and visited all 95 counties in Tennessee. After
building up a campaign organization for his bid for the democratic
nomination, Horne decided to forgo a primary battle with other good
"I have been honored by all of the great support I have received
over the last several months, but now I need to do what I believe is best
for the party so we can begin to unite around one of the other great
candidates we have in the race," said Horne.
"Horne stated on numerous occasions that he was running if other credible
candidates did not enter the race. 'I've had the privilege of joining the
other Democratic candidates on the campaign trail and I know that we have
very credible candidates. Tennessee needs a Democrat to be elected Governor
and IÕm going to help make sure that happens,' said Horne.
'I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey across this great state and I hope to
serve again in the future,' stated Horne."
Deputy campaign manager Greg Wanderman
, who dispatched the faxes and emails that bore the surprise news, added that Horne had achieved his ends, which were to ensure that major Democratic candidates sought the office of governor, and had become concerned about the possible divisive effect of an extended primary contest. Wanderman said, however, that he thought Horne would have been well positioned to win had he chosen to continue the race.