Whatever the political credentials of the Democrats backing State Rep. Kathryn Bowers for the chairmanship of the Shelby County Democratic Party -- and longtime Ford-family partisans are prominent among them -- they do not number in their ranks U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr.. In a call to the Flyer Thursday, the congressman pronounced himself concerned primarily with the fact that "the country is at war" and expressed support for the current party chairman, Gale Jones Carson. "I think she's done a damn good job, and I plan to support her," Ford declared -- clearly at some pains to dissociate himself from those among his political allies who are backing Rep. Bowers. Though rumors of Bowers' candidacy have been surfacing for some time, and Carson was quoted by Flyer columnist John Branston this week as attributing the potential move to the Ford political faction, the first overt move on Bowers' behalf was made in an emailed communication on Bowers' behalf by longtime Ford factotum John Freeman addressed to Shelby County Democrats. Carson expressed gratitude Thursday that she had apparently earned Rep. Ford's endorsement for her reelection but said she had cautioned the congressman that persons identified with his political organization had "used his name" in trying to drum up support for Bowers. She specified several -- including Freeman, activist David Upton, lawyer David Cocke, and notably State Senator Roscoe Dixon, a longtime Ford ally who "dumps on Gale every chance he has."

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