Though he is still withholding a final commitment to launch his long-anticipated run for governor in 2010, state Senate Democratic leader Jim Kyle has filed the necessary papers with the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance that allow him to begin spending and raising money for such a race.
Kyle, who represents a large portion of northern Memphis and Shelby County, told the Flyer several months ago that he would likely be a candidate and would pursue a strategy based on nailing down Democratic support in populous Memphis and Shelby County.
Early in the most recent legislative session, Kyle made a surprise bid to become chairman of the county’s delegation, a move perhaps calculated to give his efforts greater local visibility.
In the late stages of the session, Kyle, a confidante of Democratic governor Phil Bredesen, fought stubborn rearguard actions against initiatives favored by the Senate’s Republican majority and, though a political moderate, would probably fall somewhere just to the left of other Democratic candidates already in the field.
To date, they include Jackson businessman Mike McWherter, son of former governor Ned Ray McWherter; Nashville businessman Ward Cammack; state Senator Roy Herron of Dresden; and former state House majority leader Kim McMillan of Clarksville.