Former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., announced today that he will not be a candidate for governor in 2010. While some in the Democratic party had speculated that he might run, most political insiders always felt it a remote possibility at best.
Ford ran in the 2006 U.S. Senate race, falling to Republican Bob Corker. Here is a complete copy of the statement issued today:
After long thought, consultation and prayer with my wife, Emily, I've decided now is not the right time to re-enter elected politics. Therefore, I won't be a candidate for Governor this year.
I want to personally thank the many across our state and country who urged me to run for Governor. There will be another race and time to ask for your support.
There is no way to adequately express my deep gratitude to those who share my passion for public service and, more importantly my strong desire to help our citizens through this trying economic time.
I also want to encourage my supporters to align with one of the other Democrats running. I urge our Democratic candidates running for Governor to organize your campaign around how to make Tennessee the most attractive 21st century economy of any state in the nation. Tennessee can lead the nation in job creation over the next decade if we find ways to get investors, innovators and entrepreneurs to deploy capital, create new businesses and industries and make our state a model for ensuring middle class prosperity. We should set our sights high. For example, there is no reason that Tennessee can't become the capitol of producing electric batteries that will fuel the hybrid cars that will dominate our streets and highways over the coming years.
Our state deserves nothing less than a Governor who can build on the prudent leadership of Governor Bredesen. Our Republican friends running for Governor will run predictably narrow campaigns that are out of sync with the time we live in and the challenges we face. They will ignore the economic hardship and uncertainty confronting an overwhelming number of Tennessee businesses and families in favor of focusing on issues like attacking President Obama and other national Democrats. These narrow and stale campaigns will do nothing to alleviate the economic distress felt by too many Tennesseans. We need -- and deserve -- so much more.
My passion for using public policy to overcome the challenges our state faces, and my love for Tennessee and our country remain high. I will continue to stay involved to advocate for ideas that will help Tennesseans secure a bright economic future. I will continue teaching at Vanderbilt University, speaking and writing on major issues and serving as Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council.