A Freeman intimate says the Democrat is indeed taking "a long, hard look" at what will be an open governor's seat in 2018, given that Republican Bill Haslam is term-limited and can't run again.
While it's too soon to tell where the "long, hard look" will lead, if Freeman does run, his ability to self-fund could make for a very interesting Democratic primary contest — should one materialize — and general election.
Joey Garrison talks to the man himself:
"I’m concentrating on other things right now,” Freeman said. “That’s a long way off.
“I don’t want to rule anything out or anything in, but that’s not anything I’m working on at the moment,” he said, adding: “I’m hoping we find some great candidates, and I’m concerned about some of the candidates on the other side, and I think it’s important that a good Democrat step up. And I think we've got several looking, and I hope I can find one that I can get behind.”
State elections officials say they do not know how people who voted on the governor’s race voted on Amendment 1 in light of a lawsuit arguing that the constitution requires a vote on both to change Tennessee’s guiding document.
Elections Coordinator Mark Goins said compiling those numbers would require a “very tedious” manual recount, but said his office is researching what would be needed should the courts demand it of the state.
“I don’t think we ever get to that point,” said Goins, who said the state has interpreted the constitution the same way since it was rewritten in 1953. “The only difference here is you've got someone who's trying to get a federal judge to come in and overthrow what the people really want.”
Opponents of Amendment 1 — which gives abortion protections previously found in the constitution to the legislature — filed a federal lawsuit over the weekend charging the constitution requires voters to cast a ballot for both the governor’s race and an amendment in order for their vote to edit the constitution to count.
Secretary of State Tre Hargett, who oversees the elections agency, argues several amendments have been adopted in Tennessee since the constitution was rewritten in 1953 with little problem under the interpretation that skipping a vote for governor would not disqualify the amendment’s chances. No court case has opined on the issue.
“I can’t believe that we would tell Tennesseans that you can’t amend your constitution if you don’t vote in the governor’s race,” said Hargett, who is pictured here.
Mary Mancini is back with Tennessee Citizen Action after making a run at the state Senate. The advocacy group said this week that Mancini will team up with Kris Murphy to run a statewide get-out-the-vote campaign funded by a grant from the New Venture Fund and the Women’s Equality Center.
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey plugged $425,000 into a group rallying to unseat three of the Supreme Court's Democratic appointments after three months ago saying he would limit his involvement to spreading the word, not spending money.
He sent this letter to supporters early this morning explaining why he changed his mind. The message came from his "Ron Ramsey for Tennessee" political operations, although it lists his legislative office address and phone number at the bottom.
Vote Replace: A conservative cause
If you’ve been following the state Supreme Court election, you know that for the first time in decades, Tennesseans are learning about our Supreme Court through the constitutionally-required election process.
You may remember that I began an educational effort to make sure that voters, victims-rights advocates and members of law enforcement knew an important election approached. My goal was to have an engaged and informed electorate so the retention ballot would be a real election rather than a coronation, as in years past.
At that time we knew, based on decisions the Court had made, that their judicial philosophy did not fit the values of most Tennesseans. I believed my role would be limited to raising awareness about the importance of Supreme Court elections.
Today, we know far more about our Supreme Court. Despite asserting that they are nonpartisan, their campaign team is made up entirely of Democrats - and not just any Democrats. Liberal Democrats with direct ties to Obama, Harold Ford Jr., and state Democrat Party chairman Roy Herron.
While their campaign is run by Obama liberals, their fundraising efforts are being executed by trial lawyers who have a vested personal interest in the outcomes of Supreme Court decisions.
The Tennessee Forum, an organization started to oppose Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign and fight a state income tax, is doing exceptional work on this replacement effort. They share the same conservative principles and mission as RAAMPAC, the organization I started over a decade ago to push the legislature in a more conservative direction.
RAAMPAC has always been about more than just obtaining numerical majorities -- it has been about promoting the conservative cause. I cannot in good conscience sit on the sidelines while Obama operatives distort the record of this liberal Supreme Court and attack the reputations of those who oppose them.
My cause is the conservative cause. And the place for conservatives to be is fully behind the effort to replace a Supreme Court that is out-of-touch and out-of-line with Tennessee values.
That is where I am. If you have already voted REPLACE, thank you. If not, I hope you will join me in voting to REPLACE Connie Clark, Sharon Lee and Gary Wade.
Ronald L. Ramsey
Speaker of the Senate
1 Legislative Plaza
Nashville, TN 37243
Roll Call suggests the junior senator may be looking at the statehouse:
“Sen. Corker is sometimes very frustrated with the process in the Senate, he is someone whose mindset is executive oriented,” one Tennessee GOP operative said. “He’s got an impressive private sector background and he’s used to getting things done, and that is the antithesis of the Senate.”
Jason Holleman will drop out of the much-anticipated Democratic primary in state Senate District 21, leaving a race that was only just beginning to heat up.
"The campaign has shown me, too, that in order to lead the rest of Tennessee, Nashville must first model the kind of collaboration and results-driven leadership that would necessarily be undermined by a contentious, contested primary. The conclusion is clear: my best contribution, right now, is to serve at the local level, focusing on my important work as a Metro Councilman and my essential work as Cecilia and Walter’s Dad."
Metro councilwoman at-large Megan Barry was the overwhelming winner of the straw poll at Monday's Lawmakers & Groundbreakers event hosted by the Nashville Post.
A packed house of about 150 at Cabana — check out the slideshow here — gathered to honor former councilwoman Betty Nixon and education power couple Randy Dowell and Shani Jackson Dowell. Attendees also participated in the Post's straw poll of three high-profile races: Nashville mayor, state senate district 21 and U.S. Senate.
The state and U.S. Senate races included declared candidates while the mayor's race included a range of declared, interested and possible candidates. Here are the results (by percentage of vote):
State Senate District 21
POSTDATA: WARRANTY DEEDS