Ward Cammack, a prominent member of Nashville's financial services industry, has confirmed to NashvillePost.com that he is considering entering the 2010 governor's race as a Democrat.
Currently on leave from Diversified Trust, an asset management company where he is principal, Cammack said that he has formed an exploratory committee.
Cammack said, "I have formed and am growing an exploratory committee based the encouragement I have received from both the environmental and financial communities. Governor Bredesen continues to do an exceptional job, and the decisions we make today have a profound impact upon our standing as a state as we emerge on the other side of economic abyss. That's why I am interested."
Political campaigns are won and lost with fund-raising and Cammack appears to be well positioned to fund a race despite being something of an unknown to most of the state's political establishment. One Democratic fund-raiser who asked to remain anonymous when told of Cammack's interest said, "He has Haslam-type personal cash resources and he's not a daddy's boy or dripping in Saudi oil money."
Cammack earned a bachelor of arts in history from Tulane University. In addition, he earned an Owner/President Management degree from Harvard Business School. He also is a member of the board of directors of the Exchange Club of Nashville and the Friends of Warner Parks.
He is also a former trustee of The Webb School and the Harpeth Hall School, and has been involved with the Tennessee Environmental Council and the Tennessee Economic Council.
Prior to joining the Nashville office of Diversified Trust in 2006, Cammack spent more than 20 years with Nashville's Equitable Securities as a director and managing director prior to its sale to SunTrust in 1998. He formed and oversaw Equitable's investment management initiatives and served as chairman of the ESC Strategic Funds.
More recently, Cammack was with Antaeus Capital Advisors in Nashville. DTC, which has offices in Memphis and Atlanta as well as Nashville, was co-founded by Bill Spitz, the manager of Vanderbilt University's endowment whose acumen in that role won national acclaim.
Knoxville businessman and former Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Doug Horne, former Democratic Majority Leader of the Tennessee House of Representatives Kim McMillan of Clarksville Congressman Lincoln Davis, and State Senator Andy Berke of Chattanooga are all considering runs in the Democratic primary as well.
Republicans who have announced for the race are Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, Congressman Zach Wamp of Chattanooga, and Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons.