Multiple sources have informed NashvillePost.com that State Sen. Andy Berke (D-Chattanooga) has called them this afternoon to inform them he will not be a candidate for governor in 2010. Berke is currently serving his first full term in the State Senate.
First elected in 2007 after longtime Democratic State Sen. Ward Crutchfield pled guilty to bribery charges in the Tennessee Waltz scandal, Berke has widely been considered an "up and comer" in Tennessee Democratic Politics.
The Chattanooga attorney is secretary/treasurer of the Senate Democratic Caucus and serves on the senate education and transportation committees.
Berke had been telling prominent Democrats as recently as two weeks ago that he was strongly considering a run. But that was before State Sen. Roy Herron (D-Dresden) and Jackson businessman Mike McWherter entered the race. Former Democratic House Majority Leader Kim McMillan of Clarksville and Nashville businessman Ward Cammack have also declared their candidacies for the 2010 Democratic primary.