I liked the guy, and I hope he sticks around.
Today, Tyson Pratcher, a Democrat in Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District announced his withdrawal from the race and called on the voices of change to unite behind one candidate.
Statement by Tyson Pratcher follows:
Over six months ago, I left my job at Senator Hillary Clinton's office to return home, for the opportunity to serve the community that made my life possible. I decided to run for this office, because I believed that I was the candidate in this race with the best qualifications to get things done for this great community in Washington.
Over the first few months of my campaign I had the great opportunity to engage people across the great city of Memphis. The one common thread in all of my conversations has been that the voters of this district, regardless of race, religion or age are yearning for a new generation to step forward and assume the mantle of leadership. Their confidence in our government had eroded because of empty promises, racial divisiveness, repeated lapses of ethical judgments and failed policies. The people of Memphis called out for a new generation of leadership that was prepared to restore their hope and confidence in government.
I was not the only new voice in this city who heeded the call of the voters. This race has seen the emergence of no less than 10 new young people running to represent the 9th Congressional District. While the fervor of our collective desires to see this city prosper speaks to how much we all care about the future of this community, the large field has turned into a double-edged sword. My internal polling shows that the vast majority of Memphians want a new generation of leadership. The problem, however, is that there are now so many new voices in the race, we are splitting the vote for change and jeopardizing the realization of such change.
While we have spent our time fighting amongst each other, the old guard has sat on the sidelines, ready to use the strategies of the past to win an election without having a plan for the future. Many political insiders are even suggesting that we will once again see them attempt to divide us based on race to win this election
The immediate question is how to approach their strategy of divide and conquer. Will we stand in the proverbial “circular firing squad” and allow our own personal ambition to make the city miss a pivotal opportunity to go forward? Or will we unite and offer this city one real reform candidate who will articulate a message about the future?
While I believe I am the best voice for change, I cannot and will not allow my personal ambition to threaten our city’s ability to move forward. We must use our energy, not to fight against each other, but to fight to help turn the tide of violence, poverty and school drop-out rates.
To that end, I am withdrawing my candidacy in an effort to ensure that the new generation of leaders is able to bring about the change the people of Memphis want and deserve. I encourage others in the race who shares a common vision for the future to join me in a meaningful discussion in the coming weeks about which candidate is in the best position to end the politics of the past, and unite behind that candidate and work with me to help get that man or woman elected. Together we can work to prevent the perpetuation of failed policies, old grudges and racial divisions that have served to keep this city from the greatness that its people deserve.
My love for this community and drive to help make it better will never fade and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to speak out for change.
JB Rabinowitz firstname.lastname@example.org
Tyson Pratcher for Congress
454 North Willett
Memphis, TN 38112