Former Mayor Dean touts Nashville boom, mulls race for governor

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean knows Tennessee has turned solidly Republican in recent years but thinks its voters might be receptive to a more progressive message when they choose their next governor in 2018.

Dean has been traveling the state and taking its measure in recent months. He’s also written a new book touting the booming city’s successes, including many that took place or accelerated while he was mayor between 2007 and 2015.

Dean says he will decide whether to join the governor’s race in the first quarter of 2017.

He says the early start of a bid to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam would be necessary to overcome the fundraising and organizational challenges Democratic candidates face in Tennessee.