Jane Hampton Bowen has withdrawn as a candidate for chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party, the Chattanooga TFP reports, leaving the contest a two-man race that will be decided Jan. 26.
“The race is now one between two strong Democrats,” Hampton Bowen, vice president and political liaison for the Chattanooga Area Labor Council, said in a statement. “My job now becomes one of support and input toward the reinvigoration of the Democratic Party in Tennessee.”
She said she’s looking forward to “continuing my quest for a more inclusive party, especially for working men and women, a party that stands for the rights and ideals of both urban and rural Tennesseans.”
Hampton Bowen did not endorse either of the two remaining candidates, Nashville lawyer Dave Garrison, currently party treasurer, and former state Sen. Roy Herron, D-Dresden.
Earlier this week Wade Munday, the party’s former communications chair, dropped out of the contest, announced he was running for treasurer and threw his support to Garrison. Ben Smith, a Nashville attorney, withdrew days earlier, throwing his support to Herron.
…Garrison has the backing of U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, as well Democrats serving as mayors of Tennessee’s three biggest cities, A C Wharton, of Memphis; Madeline Rogero, of Knoxville; and Karl Dean, of Nashville.
UPDATE: Steven Hale reports that Herron claims to have 42 of the Demoratic Executive Committee’s 72 members committed to him. He sent a list of the 42 — reproduced by Hale — in an email to members of the panel.
Note: Bowen’s statement on withdrawing is below.
News release from Jane Hampton Bowen:
Jane Hampton Bowen announced today that she is leaving the race for chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party.
“The race is now one between two strong Democrats,” she said. “My job now becomes one of support and input toward the reinvigoration of the Democratic Party in Tennessee.
“I have met many inspiring people, and I am looking forward to working with them, and continuing my quest for a more inclusive party, especially for working men and women, a party that stands for the rights and ideals of both urban and rural Tennesseans.”
She continued, “I endorse our party, the party of rich, compassionate history and traditions, and the party I envision for the future, the one that is the future. The time begins now for whichever candidate is elected chair.
“Thanks to all who believe in me, endorsed me and worked for me. I am greatly honored by your support. The pleasure of supporting your choice will be mine.”