It wasn’t much of a battle for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Tennessee this year, but Mike McWherter served up a victory speech at LP Field in Nashville all the same.
And while many have suggested that the real contest to see who’ll become Tennessee next governor was in reality determined by the GOP primary vote-tallying, McWherter indicated he’s certainly not among them.
“With your help, and with your support, I’m going to be the 49th governor of the great state of Tennessee,” the Madison County businessman promised more than one hundred cheering supporters gathered overlooking the Cumberland River.
“Over the past few months, while my opponents were playing politics and spending millions to out-Right one another, I’ve been traveling the state, working beside some of the hardest working Tennesseans I’ve ever met,” he said.
Among the throng of well-wishers was Gov. Phil Bredesen, who said he’d lend his star power to help McWherter pull off the upset.
“I’ll basically do what Mike asks me to,” said Bredesen.
McWherter, a Jackson beer distributorship owner and the son of former Gov. Ned McWherter, has been running alone since former Tennessee House Majority Leader Kim McMillan dropped out of the race in March to run for mayor in Claksville. Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle ducked out in February.
Without an opponent of his own, McWherter passed the time before Thursday’s election occasionally joining in debates alongside Republican candidates Ron Ramsey, Bill Haslam and Zach Wamp.
Haslam handily won the Republican nomination Thursday.
The two wealthy heirs to powerful fathers now have three months to woo voters for the Nov. 2 general election.