No Democrat challenging Gerald McCormick

No Democrat challenging Gerald McCormick

September 20th, 2012 by Andy Sher in Local Regional News

Tennessee House Republican Leader Gerald McCormick

Photo by Patrick Smith/Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - Hamilton County Democrats will have no one on the Nov. 6 ballot opposing state House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick in the 26th Legislative District race.

McCormick, R-Chattanooga, still has an opponent, though - independent W. Rodger Cooksey, of Hixson.

Democratic Party Chairman Paul Smith said Wednesday that after nominee Larry Miller withdrew from the race on Aug. 24 to take a job in Texas, Democrats had only 10 days to replace him. They couldn't do it.

"We talked to several people, but with such short notice and [name] recognition, we felt there was not enough time," Smith said.

The party would have had to hold a caucus and time constraints made that impractical, Smith said.

"We didn't just want to put a name up there," he said.

Last month, Miller said he was going to the University of Texas at Austin where he will be the director of the National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development.

McCormick said because Miller left after the Aug. 2 primary, "it would have been hard for someone to raise money on such short notice ... very difficult to mount a campaign that quickly. I guess I'm glad they didn't.

He said he knows little about Cooksey, whose campaign disclosure shows he has raised no money and spent no personal funds.

Contact staff writer Andy Sher at 615-255-0550 or asher@timesfreepress.com.