Network computer consultant Donn Janes, who filed for Tennessee's 8th district race as a Republican in August, has decided to instead run as an Independent Tea Party candidate this cycle.
Janes, who has bashed the National Republican Congressional Committee for backing gospel singer Stephen Fincher (R) in Tennessee's open 8th district, said he decided to seek a third party nomination because "the National Republican Party continues to aggressively support candidates who lack depth on issues and conservative values, but instead focus on candidates who are able to self fund or raise large sums of money."
Democratic strategists said Monday the move will help their chances to hold the seat of retiring Rep. John Tanner (D) by siphoning off Republican votes in the general election.
Janes made his announcement at a a Tea Party event in Paris, Tenn., on Saturday, about a week after wealthy physician Ron Kirkland of Madison County officially threw his hat into the GOP race.
Janes said last month he expects to report less than $20,000 raised in the fourth quarter of 2009.
CQ Politics presently rates the Tennessee 8 race as a Toss Up.