TN Democratic Party says Mark Clayton should not be allowed to run for governor as a Democrat

TN Democratic Party says Mark Clayton should not be allowed to run for governor as a Democrat

April 10th, 2014 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

Mark Clayton

Mark Clayton

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

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.