NASHVILLE -- Democrat Sara Kyle made it official today on a possible election challenge to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.
In a statement, the former Tennessee Regulatory Authority commissioner said, "After much deliberation, I have decided not to run for governor in 2014. I have been so blessed to receive support and encouragement from thousands of my fellow Tennesseeans."
Kyle had explored a candidacy during the summer, traveling the state and speaking with fellow Democrats. But little had been heard from her in recent months and one of the leaders of a draft-Kyle effort recently told the Times Free Press that he believed it was too late to mount a serious effort.
Kyle's mother is battling cancer. Meanwhile, some Democrats said they'd seen little action by Kyle on building a serious fundraising network necessary to mount an effective challenge.
It's unclear at this point whether Democrats can find a credible challenger to Haslam, who is seeking a second four-year term.
The governor continues to enjoy relatively high job approval, according to a recent Vanderbilt University poll. It found 61 percent of the 860 registered voters surveyed gave him good marks.