Like his competitors in the Democratic primary race for governor, Memphis Sen. Jim Kyle has a while yet to convince voters he’s the best choice to represent his party on election day in November.
But Kyle also understands that now is his time to shine: The attention of the state’s Democratic Party — even that of campaign rivals Kim McMillan, a former state House majority leader, and Mike McWherter, a businessman from Jackson — is on him.
How he handles the legislative and political struggles over the coming 100 or so days will likely define how he’s perceived and received by voters come the August primary election.
Not surprisingly, his most pressing concern at the moment is demonstrating leadership in helping guide a sound state budget through the General Assembly, Kyle told TNReport.com during an interview in his Capitol Hill office this week.
It’s a task filled with political booby traps, including possibly voting on tax increases, layoffs and implementing cuts to the state’s health care program for the poor.
“There’s political peril with it all. I mean, that’s the case. But I knew that when I signed up,” said Kyle, who is the Senate Democrat leader.
Kyle, who has spent 26 years in the Senate, is a founding member of Memphis law firm Domico Kyle, PLLC, is married with four children and lives in Memphis.