Democratic candidate Ward Cammack ends campaign for governor

On the heels of one campaign's change of plans, another calls it quits

Nashville businessman Ward Cammack has informed that he has ended his candidacy to become governor of Tennessee. Cammack stated that after careful consideration with his wife, Shelley, he will return to private business.

“Despite significant personal time, money and appeal of my vision for the state, long-standing political alliances proved impenetrable and fund raising ground to a halt, effectively ending the campaign,” Cammack said in a letter mailed to early supporters yesterday.

“This campaign stood strong for a year because of the enthusiastic supporters and our mutual belief in Tennessee becoming the primary global renewable energy leader,” Cammack said. “Tennessee has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead not only other states, but other countries. And I challenge the remaining candidates to make that a reality.”

Cammack was on leave from Nashville-based investment firm Diversified Trust, an asset management company where he is principal, at the end of 2008 to jump-start his candidacy for the 2010 gubernatorial election. He was the first candidate to throw his name in the race, entering as he said to "solely to lead Tennessee through this economic reset."

With no political background, Cammack generated some local interest early but as other Democrats joined the race his efforts stalled out as most party heavyweights gravitated toward those campaigns.

Already this week, state Sen. Roy Herron (D-Dresden) has dropped out of the gubernatorial campaign to run for the unexpected vacancy in U.S. Congress created by the retirement of West Tennessee Democratic Congressman John Tanner.

The remaining Democratic candidates are Jackson businessman Mike McWherter, state Sen. Jim Kyle, and former state Rep. Kim McMillan.

“I wish the best of luck to those fighting for Tennessee just as I did this year,” Cammack said. “It was a pleasure running in the same race together, the race to move Tennessee into the new, green economy by creating jobs, reconstructing education and fixing our health care system.”