86-year-old Wilder confirms candidacy for re-election
SOMERVILLE (AP) — Former Lt. Gov. John Wilder, known for his rambling storytelling during more than four decades in the state Senate, confirmed Friday he plans to seek re-election.
“It’s not a question of starting to run. It’s a question of stopping running,” Wilder, 86, said from his office in Somerville. “I’ve been running for 44 years and I’m still doing what I’ve been doing.”
Wilder, a Democrat, was Sen-ate speaker for 36 years until losing the job in January to Sen. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville.
Mark Brown, the Senate’s Democratic Caucus spokesman, said in Nashville that Wilder has told party members he wants to remain in office.
“Sen. Wilder … wants to continue his hard work for his constituents in District 26,” he said.
Wilder said he had no plans for a public announcement on seeking re-election, but “when I make the decision not to run, I’ll make that announcement.”
“I’m in good shape physically,” he said. “I don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t gamble, don’t lie, don’t cheat.”
Wilder, a pilot, said he rides a bicycle daily and still regularly flies his small airplane.
“I’ve still got a good dish up in my head,” he said. “I’ve got a bigger one than most of them have, but I have got it full of a lot of words now. It looks like when I add a new name, I’ve got to lose one. I need a bigger dish.”
Published in The Messenget 12.17.07