Tennessee Democrats seek someone with a magic touch

Frank Daniels III, fdanielsiii@tennessean.com 6:27 p.m. CDT October 28, 2014
By most measures, Tennessee’s Democratic Party is in crisis. Tuesday, the party’s main force in fundraising, Bill Freeman, announced what he and other party leaders hope will be the first step in returning to a competitive position in the legislature and other elected offices.

In September, Freeman was asked by the Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee to find and vet candidates to replace Roy Herron as chairman of the party.

Freeman’s vetting committee includes seven members of the TNDP executive committee, three legislators, the mayors of Chattanooga and Clarksville, the two Democratic congressmen, three labor union leaders, the president of the Tennessee Young Democrats, a Nashville councilman and several former TNDP officers.

The committee marks a first step in changing how the party operates, Freeman said. They have a tall order.

Eight years ago, a Democrat sat in the governor’s mansion and worked with a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and a narrow minority in the state Senate.

Democrats have steadily lost ground since Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, was elected lieutenant governor in 2007. This year the General Assembly had Republican super majorities in both houses: the Senate has 26 Republicans and seven Democrats; the House has 71 Republicans, 27 Democrats and an independent. Democrats hold two of the state’s nine congressional districts and neither of its Senate seats.

The November election looks to be another Republican trampling.

The TNDP executive committee, a group elected two by two from each of the state’s 33 Senate districts, turned to the party’s rainmaker to see if his Midas touch on fundraising would transfer to finding leadership. Freeman has recruited a group of successful Democrats to join in on the task.

Freeman says the committee is casting a wide net to find someone who can articulate a vision for the future, raise money and energize the party. Already, more than 10 Democrats have tossed their hat in the ring, and he thinks the committee will end up interviewing more than 20 during three days of meetings beginning Nov. 6.

The vetting committee will be accepting applications until Nov. 3 from candidates who have “the managerial and political talent necessary to navigate us to a renaissance. Tennessee’s Democrats and citizens deserve no less,” Freeman said.

“We have not had a lot of success in the past couple of elections,” he added, “but I think that Democrats are more engaged this year than I have seen them.”

Reach Frank Daniels III at 615-881-7039 and on Twitter @fdanielsiii.

Tennessee Democratic Party Vetting Committee

Chris Anderson, member of the TNDP State Executive Committee; Fabian Bedne, Metro Nashville council member (District 31); Mayor Andy Berke, Chattanooga; Gary Blackburn, member of the TNDP State Executive Committee; Will Cheek, member of the TNDP State Executive Committee and former TNDP chair; U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen; U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper; State Sen. Lowe Finney (D-Jackson); State Rep. Darren Jernigan (D-Old Hickory); State Rep. Sherry Jones (D-Nashville); Gale Jones-Caron, member of the TNDP State Executive Committee; Geeta McMillan, member of the TNDP State Executive Committee; Mayor Kim McMillan, Clarksville; Gary Moore, president of the Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council; Matia Powell, president of Tennessee Young Democrats; Charles Rains, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); A.J. Starling, vice president of the Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council; Gerard Stranch, attorney and former TNDP general counsel; Bob Tuke, former TNDP chair; Barbara Wagner, member of the TNDP State Executive Committee; Sylvia Woods, member of the TNDP State Executive Committee

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Herron Calls for End to GOP Shutdown Hurting Tennessee Economy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Roy Herron today called for Congressional Republicans to stop harming Tennessee businesses and working families by ending the government shutdown.

“A small faction of one party in one House in one branch of the government has shut down the government and taken the American economy hostage,” Herron [...]

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Tenn. Unemployment Rate Jumps as Gov. Haslam, Republicans Shutdown 34 Career Centers

The latest job numbers are in and it’s not good for Tennesseans. The numbers show that Tennessee’s unemployment rate has jumped to 8 percent. Tennessee was one of only three states that saw an increase in the unemployment rate in April.

This discouraging economic news comes on the heels of the announcement that [...]

Posted in Blog, middle class, Sidebar, statewide, Unemployment | Comments Off on Tenn. Unemployment Rate Jumps as Gov. Haslam, Republicans Shutdown 34 Career Centers

Sign the Petition: Gov. Haslam, Release Your Tax Returns

It's time for Gov. Haslam to come clean on his income from Pilot and release his tax returns.
Posted in bill haslam, Latest News, open government, Sidebar, statewide, tax returns, transparency | Comments Off on Sign the Petition: Gov. Haslam, Release Your Tax Returns

Obama Inauguration Ball

January 21, 2013
6-10 P.M.
Holiday Inn
Johnson City, TN
Join Us As We Celebrate
The Inauguration Of Our President, Barack Obama
Special Rate for
Holiday Inn
101 West Springbrook
Drive, Johnson City, TN
Phone:(423) 282-4611
Outstanding Entertainment
Silent Auction
$25.00 Per Person
Over 700 people attended this event in 2009….This is one night you do not want to miss!
Order your tickets now by calling
423-282-2081 or email us at:
Order using a credit card at:
$25.00 Per Person
Tickets available at the DRC January 2nd
The Democrat Resource is a Political Action Committee,
Bill Jones, Treasurer
This event is a fundraiser for the
Northeast Tennessee Democrat
Resource Center and is hosted
by our incredible volunteers.

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CHRISTMAS PARTY – Sullivan County Democratic Women Club

The Sullivan County Women’s Club is having their 2012 Christmas Party, December 1st, 12pm – 3pm, at the Kingsport Renaissance Center, room 310.

We look forward to seeing everyone there.

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Sullivan County Democratic Headquarters Location

The Sullivan County Democratic Party Headquarters Location:

Kingsport Location
402 Revere Street, in Kingsport, just off Center St., behind Post Office
Telephone: (423) 480-9461

Bristol Location

1740Edgemont Avenue in Bristol, TN

Telephone: (423) 341-0303

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The Democratic Women’s Club of Sullivan County

The Democratic Women’s Club, of Sullivan County,
will host an Obama Re-lection Open House
Saturday, October 20, 2012, from 2pm to 4pm.
The Open House wil be at The Sullivan County Democratic Campaign Office.
Refreshments provided, but feel to bring anything you would like to share.

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Upper East TN Candidate Forum

The Candidate Forum will be: October 6, 2012
12:00PM Through 3:00PM
International Brotherhood of Electrical workers, Local 934
4640 Highway 11W
blountville, TN

The Candidate Forum is open to the public.
All Upper-East TN Candidates have been invited to participate.
This will be, primarily, an open forum, with as many questions as possible comming from the audience.
Jeff Vance of the United Steelworkers is organizing this event.
The United Steelworker Local Unions are providing refreshments and finger foods.

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FL-CIO P.O. Box 1159 Johnson City, Tennessee 37605-1159
President Bruce Dotson, 1st Vice President Kenneth Treadway, Secretary/Treasurer Linda Dotson

Our next meeting will be Thursday, September 27, 2012, 6:45PM. Please make plans to attend.
At this months meeting we will:
1. critique the Labor Day Picnic in an effort to improve
2. discuss the upcoming Candidate Forum
3. discuss CLC officer election
4. discuss EDear Delegates and Members:
lection Night Watch Party
5. Hall of Fame nominees

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