Mancini gets second challenger to reelection as TNDP chair

John Pointer, who previously worked as a state employee under two governors and until recently ran a Sears store in Columbia, has become the second person to challenge Mary Mancini’s reelection as Tennessee Democratic Party chair, reports The Tennessean.

 Tennessee Democrats are set to meet in Nashville on Jan. 28 to appoint a party chair for a new two-year term. Mancini, who has held the position for two years, is seeking a second term. Jamie Isabel, a former Metro councilman from Nashville, is also running for the position.

Pointer, a Columbia native who has lived in Nashville for more than 30 years, previously worked as state director of the Office of Small and Minority Business Development under former Gov. Don Sundquist. He also worked as an assistant state director specializing in Section 8 federal funding in the Tennessee Housing Development Agency under former Gov. Phil Bredesen.

…He said he wants to bring a “business-like approach” to leading the state party.

“Fundraising, generating morale as well as recruiting millennials is my platform I’m going to run on,” Pointer said, adding that Democrats have failed to reach out to middle class families in rural parts of the state.

“I, being a state administrator serving under two governors, I know these counties. I’ve been to every country. I’m a native Tennessean. I’ve been a loyal sportsman, fisherman and I played athletics in the majority of all these counties.”

Pointer played linebacker for Vanderbilt University’s football team in the 1970s. He later played one year for the Green Bay Packers in 1978 before playing in the Canadian Football League. 

In 2013, he took ownership of his hometown Columbia Sears store, but the store was shut down last week amid financial struggles for the retail chain nationally.

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