DeBerry to challenge Democratic ouster after all

After the state Democratic Party’s executive committee voted last week to remove John DeBerry’s name from the primary ballot, the longtime state House member from Memphis sounded resigned to his fate

“The Tennessee Democratic Party has decided that a 26-year representative that spent 12 years as a committee chairman, conducted himself with integrity, served the party well, sponsored meaningful legislation and built bridges across the aisle to get bills passed is no longer a Democrat,” DeBerry said in a statement on Wednesday. “And so, I’m not.”

But come Friday, DeBerry seemed to have changed his mind, telling the Memphis Flyer’s Jackson Baker he plans to mount an appeal.

DeBerry said he had been “ambushed and blindsided” by the move to oust him from the ballot “after the filing deadline and in the middle of a pandemic.” DeBerry said the case against him was supported by “a group of people who don’t look like us.”

DeBerry said the deadline to file a challenge is Thursday.

26 Responses to DeBerry to challenge Democratic ouster after all

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    Eddie White says:

    Go for it Mr. DeBerry. It sounds like you are a beacon of common sense within a party that has not won a statewide race in years.

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    Christina Norris says:

    DeBerry is a DINO. He votes against the interests of his constituents and the Democratic parties’ priorities, including support for public schools. He voted in favor of vouchers, an effort to privatize schools, and against Medicaid expansion, which would increase his constituent’s and the public’s access to healthcare.

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      John says:

      Yeah, let’s have a purity test in the Democratic Party. You sound like a Bernie Bro. Why not let the primary take care of itself? He’s been there 26 years. If they don’t like him and want someone else, they can vote him out. We don’t need a bunch of Bernie Bro hippies in Nashville dictating who people can or cannot vote for especially when that person is the sitting elected official. It’s not like he’s accused of any crime. He just doesn’t support your Bernie Bro agenda. Guess what. Bernie lost. You all need to get over it.

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        Christina Norris says:

        You’re mistaken. I’m a centrist Democrat. But let’s all call each other names – that would raise the level of the conversation, correct?

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          John says:

          Then don’t side with DSA. TNDP executive committee is the only place they can win and now they’re taking Bernie’s loss out on black voters.

    • If in fact he does vote against the interests of his constituents, they should have the opportunity to vote their conscience. Do not make the decision for his constituents.

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    Diana Page says:

    Why doesn’t he run as a Republican?

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    LeeAnn C. says:

    Good for him! If I were in his district, I would encourage him to fight the ouster! It should be the VOTERS that decide at this point. The Dems played dirty pool to wait until he had no other option (run as Independent). They know he’d win as an incumbent AND a very fine man who is well respected!

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    John says:

    The failing TN Democratic Party is infiltrated with Bernie Bros and Democratic Socialists of America. They are punishing black voters for supporting Biden.

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    Donna Locke says:

    Yep, go for it, Mr. DeBerry.

    I totally disagree with some of his votes, but he is representing what his district wants, and there are some principles in this situation worth a strong stand, of which he is capable. I thought his comment about the Dems’ wanting him to sit in the legislature like “a brainless idiot” was on the mark and says loads about that party.

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    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    Leftists control the Democratic Party and they want the Party officeholders to reflect basic tenets of the leftist’s agenda. They are serious about that kind of thing whereas the Republican Party establishment is not. There are no Democratic Party Lamar Alexanders much to the credit of the Democratic Party and much to the Republican Party’s shame that it has tolerated the antics of Lamar Alexander for all of these years.

    MILLIONS FOR CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATES. NOT A PENNY FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

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      Eddie White says:

      Stuart, if you are talking about conservatives like former Sen Mae Beavers, I am all for you. If you are talking about libertians like Massie in Kentucky, no way.

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        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        When judging an officeholder I like to look at his record as a whole rather than one vote. Massie has a Heritage lifetime rating of 83% and a Club For Growth lifetime rating of 93%. He’s a solid conservative by any measure and a superstar conservative in the Kentucky delegation (e.g. Mitch McConnell – Heritage 64%!).

        It all depends what the choices are. I would take Massie over our departing Phil Roe (Heritage 70%) and Chuck Fleischmann (Heritage 71%) in a heartbeat. Massie is no Mark Green (Heritage – 100%!) but he’s more than OK.

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          Eddie White says:

          Massie lost my support when he did not support the stimulus package. Todd McMurtry will be a great conservative representative to replace Massie. McMurtry will support the president as well our friends in Israel.

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    David Collins says:

    The law in Tennessee has provided, since 1971, that whether a person is a bona fide member of a political party is a political decision and vested in both parties executive committees the authority to make that determination and to deny ballot access in a primary election if that committee decides that such person is not a bona fide member. This is not that much different than a law that would allow a majority of three election day officials to handle an election day challenge, say, for example, Al Gore showed up on election day requesting a republican primary ballot. Nothing new here.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Indeed, in other countries in the Anglosphere officeholders are kicked out of their party all of the time for voting against the party’s position on key legislation. We saw this most recently in the U.K. when members of the Conservative Party were kicked out for voting against Brexit legislation in the House of Commons.

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      LeeAnn C. says:

      BUT, those committees have bylaws and rules that can be known by all party members and certainly the candidates. In this case, the Democrat Executive Committee ousted a candidate outside of their own rules!

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    Mark White says:

    Having worked side by side with Rep. John Deberry in the House of Representatives for the past 11 years, I can attest that he is the finest member serving. He is a moral compass for us all. His ability to speak on issues with clarity and wisdom is something we do not need to lose on Capitol Hill. We need to keep Rep. Deberry and I support any and all efforts to make sure that happens.
    Representative Mark White

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    Charles Sumner says:

    I do not think that Representative John DeBerry’s constituents necessarily agree with him. They are Democrats. They vote for the Democratic slate. They don’t wish to vote for the Republican, whose votes are more against their welfare. If we had a survey of DeBerry’s district, I bet we would find that the majority disagree with him on most of those controversial issues. Whether DeBerry is a moral icon or Christian is not the question. He has always been voting against Democratic Party principles, which are the principles most aligned with his race, his constituents, and those in poverty. KEEP DEBARRY OFF THE DEMOCRATIC TICKET!

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      I know what you mean Charles, substitute “Lamar Alexander” for “John DeBarry” and “Republican” for “Democrat” and your complaint about DeBerry is the same as mine about Alexander. You and I are naive Charles. Somehow we got it in our heads that people who take the trouble of going to the polls to vote are doing so in order to express their view of how this country should be run by voting for candidates who best represent that view. Obviously in all too many instances that simply is not the case.

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      Donna Locke says:

      Charles, because of the publicity now, more people will know DeBerry’s specific votes, so put it out there and let them decide. If he has to run as an Independent if possible now, try it.

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        Donna Locke says:

        DeBerry can tell his district what he has been able to get and do for the district because he and not someone else has been representing them. A lot to consider.

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          Donna Locke says:

          Also, the Democratic Party’s open-borders efforts have harmed black Americans in several ways. Black Americans were the first to be hit by these immigration policies, for which the Republicans are also responsible. Coretta Scott King wrote at least one letter to black leaders about this years ago.

          Charles, if you are the church-state-separation guy, I am with you on that.

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      John says:

      Charles is part of the Bernie Bro socialists that can only get power in run down Democratic Parties like Tennessee. Stop punishing black voters for Bernie’s loss.

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    Dorothy Ealy says:

    Amen Charles! Each visit to the Representative’s office with requests
    to support our groups legislation was turned down. He did not vote to expand
    Medicaid, voted no on teacher’s union legislation, block grants and the TN voucher bill.
    If you vote against democrat’s sponsored legislation, then why appeal the ouster. Take
    responsibility for your own actions. What a legacy after a 26 year tenure. I pray that God
    will give you peace of mind as you reflect on your efforts as a legislator.
    If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

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