NASHVILLE -- The Tennessee Democratic Party today informed state election officials that anti-gay rights activist Mark Clayton should not be allowed to run for governor as a Democrat.
In a letter to State Coordinator Mark Goins, state Democratic Party Chairman Roy Herron said the party, through its executive committee and himself, has "determined that Mr. Mark Clayton is not a bona fide member of the Tennessee Democratic Party and thus must be denied a position on the ballot in the Tennessee Democratic Gubernatorial Primary Election of 2014."
Last weekend, Democrats began moving to knock Clayton off the ballot as a Democrat after he filed to run under the party's banner for governor.
In 2012, Clayton drew national news coverage when he unexpectedly won Democrats' U.S. Senate primary. Then-party Chairman Chip Forrester later disavowed Clayton when it came out the little-known nominee was vice president of the Public Advocate of the United States.
The Southern Poverty Law Center had designated the group as a "hate group," a label Clayton rejected.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...