Kurita announced the end of her candidacy via a statement released at her Nashville headquarters at 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
Her exit leaves 9th District U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. , who is mid-way in a statewide bus tour on behalf of his candidacy, unopposed in his quest for the Democratic nomination.
Kurita's campaign was hampered by fundraising and organizational difficulties especially after the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee committed itself, in effect, to all-out support for Ford.
Though Kurita had meanwhile picked up a steadfast coterie of hard-core supporters in the state's urban centers, that proved no match for Ford's momentum, which was augmented by media neglect of Kurita and Ford's undeniable talent as a campaigner.
Following is the text of Kurita's withdrawal announcement:
Dear Friend & Supporter:
Today, I have advised the Coordinator of Elections for the State of Tennessee that I want to remove my name from the ballot in the Democratic Primary for the United States Senate. I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate this year.
For the last year and a half, I have traveled across the state and met wonderful people. I have been to strawberry festivals and bean suppers. I've been in parades, cafes, museums, nursing homes and schools speaking to the people of Tennessee.
My travels across Tennessee have given a new depth of meaning and urgency to my work on issues of importance to real people and families.
I have observed first-hand how important it is that we help our children reach their potential and I feel strongly that more of Tennessee's children need to go to college. We've got to work to make that happen.
Also I have come to a new level of awareness of the importance of jobs and economic development. We must have a real strategy to keep jobs in Tennessee. I have been to communities that have been devastated by the loss of local employers. And, in most cases, the families that lose their jobs also lose their healthcare insurance.
In this campaign, I have been able to hold the hands of senior citizens in nursing homes and look into incubators of premature infants in neonatal intensive care units. I have been able to visit clinics run by student nurses and see Red Cross workers comfort refugees of disasters.
Healthcare is an issue that impacts us all and we must find a way to make it accessible to those who need help.
I want you to know that I've never forgotten that this all started when I went to my children's school and discovered they didn't have a lunchroom. It wasn't easy, but we got that lunchroom built. That's when I first realized that one person could make a difference. That experience led me to this life of public service and I promise to continue my work for the people of Tennessee.
The reward is in the journey. I want to thank all of those who supported me with their time, their talent and their money. I have made many new friends and met so many people who share my vision for a better Tennessee and a better America.
I feel confident that my journey in public service is not over. There are other fights to fight, other roads to travel and many ways to make a difference.
Again, thank you all for your support over the last few months and for your commitment to making a positive change in Tennessee and America. I continue to believe that I am my brother's keeper and that each of us has an obligation to make a positive difference in the world.
State Senator Rosalind Kurita
Lott said Frist didnt have the experience to lead a political body as fractious as the Senate, adding, I dont think hell go down in history as one of the greats." Frist, who is dogged by questions about stock transactions involving his family company, plans to step down next year as majority leader to make a run for the presidency. Its a run that Lott doesnt think much of.
I dont think he has a shot at that, Lott said.
Lott is currently on tour promoting his memoir, Herding Cats. All we can say is meow.
To read more about Lotts comments on Bush, Katrina, and Tom DeLay, go here.
No mention of Whitneys position on bison at Shelby Farms or whether the comic might sign a lifetime contract for races Cooper has yet to run.