Karl Dean, the former mayor of Nashville, announced he is running for governor of Tennessee in 2018. Running as a pro-business moderate on a platform of education and jobs, Dean would be running for the top job in a state that has been dominated by Republicans for almost a decade. The good news is that Tennessee has a record of electing Democrats, most notably Al Gore, and most recently Governor Phil Bredesen; as well as the fact that Dean would be running for the position during Donald Trump’s midterm election cycle, meaning that – depending on the national political winds – he could ride an anti-Trump wave into office.
The bad news is that state and national Democrats have a lot of work to do throughout Tennessee:
If Dean does become the Democratic standard-bearer, he would be running in a state where Democrats won just three counties in last year’s presidential election. Donald Trump won 12 rural counties by 80 percent or more en route to carrying the state with 61 percent of the vote.