Lee names DeBerry to Cabinet

Rep. John DeBerry.

Former Rep. John DeBerry, who lost his independent bid for re-election after being drummed out of the Democratic Party for his habit of voting with the GOP on issues like school vouchers and abortion, has been named to Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s Cabinet. The senior adviser position will pay $165,000 per year.

DeBerry’s reelection bid was notable for the former lawmaker’s decision not to touch a more than $192,000 balance in his campaign account to support the campaign. He ended up receiving just 23% of the vote compared with Democratic nominee Torrey Harris’ 77%.

Here’s the release from Lee’s office.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced that former member of the General Assembly Representative John DeBerry of Memphis will join his cabinet as a senior advisor.

“John DeBerry is a respected leader and man of faith who has served our state with integrity for decades as both a legislator and civil rights champion,” said Gov. Lee. “John has fought to protect life, provide better education options for Tennessee students, and to reform our criminal justice system and I’m honored to have his counsel within the Cabinet.”

DeBerry has represented the 90th House District of Tennessee since 1995. He is a graduate of Freed-Hardeman University and the University of Memphis and currently preaches at the Coleman Avenue Church of Christ in Memphis in addition to churches and organizations across the country.

“It’s been an honor to serve my constituents for the last 26 years,” said DeBerry. “I am proud of the work accomplished throughout my time with the Tennessee General Assembly and I look forward to serving Tennesseans in this statewide role.”

DeBerry will begin on Tuesday, December 1. In his role, DeBerry will serve on the governor’s Executive Leadership Team and his office will be in the Tennessee State Capitol. 

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