Mary Mancini unanimously reelected TNDP chair

The Tennessee Democratic Party’s Executive Committee has decided to stick with the status quo in leadership for the next election cycle.

Mary Mancini was reelected unanimously Saturday to a new two-year term as chair of TNDP “despite one prominent donor’s call for her to be replaced following last year’s election results,” as the Associated Press noted.

Democrats lost a seat in the state House as Donald Trump overwhelmingly carried Tennessee in November. The failure to gain back seats in the General Assembly led real estate investor Bill Freeman to call for Mancini’s replacement as leader of the party.

Freeman, who came in third in Nashville’s mayor’s race despite spending $3.5 million of his own money, has been mulling a bid for governor next year.

John Litz of Morristown, a former state representative and now a member of the party’s executive committee, was reelected vice chairman.

Further from The Tennessean:

Mancini, who said she was “incredibly honored and beyond thrilled” with the outcome, had originally faced two challengers who had announced bids. But by the time voting got around it was an uncontested race.

“The Republicans didn’t get elected overwhelmingly in Tennessee overnight,” Mancini said. “It took several election cycles, maybe 10 years. We are two years into that rebuilding cycle. We’re going to continue recruiting candidates. And now, it’s amazing because there are more people than ever that want to come and participate and run as Democrats.”

…Jamie Isabel, a former Nashville councilman who had pursued the chair position, withdrew his name from consideration Saturday ahead of the vote. Isabel claimed he had counted 26 vote commitments among executive committee members, but that still wouldn’t be enough to capture the chairmanship. He said he sought “party unity” instead and put his support behind Mancini.

John Pointer, also of Nashville, a former state government employee who most recently owned a Sears store in Columbia, announced a bid as well this month but he received no nominations Saturday.

… “The stakes are so high right now that there’s not really time for internal squabbling,” said state Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, who voted for Mancini. “Anybody that thinks that the party in and of itself is responsible for the state of things doesn’t know much about politics. It’s clear that it’s going to take a lot more than just the party to turn things around.”

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