tennessee democratic party

Tennessee Democratic Party announces new staff hires

New state Democratic Party Chair Hendrell Remus has named his political and party affairs directors, along with a new operations manager. Announcements for other key positions, including executive director, communications, and finance are expected soon.

Here’s the full release from the party:

March 10th, 2021 (Nashville, TN)  – The Tennessee Democratic Party is excited to welcome and announce key members of our 2021-2022 leadership team. Chair Remus has vowed to build a diverse team that reflects our party’s big tent philosophy and that will help us to reimagine democratic politics in Tennessee. Therefore, he has selected Tamara Bates as Director of Political Affairs; Maria Brewer as Director of Party Affairs & Training and Arsenio Williams as Operations Manager.

 “In order for us to move the needle in our state, we have to be intentional about who is leading the charge and the experiences that they bring to their roles. We must ensure that we have the type of political engagement that will mobilize our base along with the type of operational and organizational knowledge to deliver results. This core team I’m announcing today, with the future additions to come in weeks, has the necessary skill and talent to turn Tennessee blue in 2022.” – Hendrell Remus, TNDP Party Chair

Tamara Bates recently helped to flip the senate as a Regional Field Director for Woke Vote during the U.S. Senate races in Georgia. With an abundance of campaign experience rooted in southern politics on the national, state, and local levels, she brings the type of political and strategic insight that will allow TNDP to expand its reach with its core constituencies through organizing, while building and strengthening our relationships with elected leaders and allied organizations, to win.

Maria Brewer has served as the Director of Party Affairs for TNDP since 2017. She will continue in her role while also leading our statewide training initiative. She has worked with and understands the complexities of the inner workings of our county parties, the DNC, and the Executive Committee. 

Arsenio Williams will bring a depth of operational experience to the day-to-day office operations of the TNDP. His knowledge in financial compliance and experience managing contracts and personnel will be an asset to ensuring that business operations flow seamlessly.

In addition, Joshua Karp will serve as Strategic Communications Advisor to the TNDP. He has served as the Communications Director for the Florida Democratic Party as well as the Deputy Campaign Manager for Andrew Gillum. Karp most recently served as an Advisor to current DNC Chair Jaime Harrison while also helping to flip the Senate with Jon Ossoff as Communication Strategist.

In the near future we look forward to naming our Executive Director, Data, Communications, and Finance Directors.

Mancini won’t seek another term as chair of Tennessee Democratic Party

Mancini (Image credit: TNDP)

Mary Mancini won’t seek another term as a chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, a position she has held since 2014.

“It has been an honor of a lifetime to work with Democrats across the state and serve the Tennessee Democratic Party as chair for the last six years,” Mancini said. “I am excited to see what’s next for the Party and I look forward to helping the new chair in whatever capacity is needed.”

The move comes as state Democrats have made net gains of only one legislative seat in each of the last two election cycles despite favorable national political conditions.

Potential candidate to succeed her include state Rep. London Lamar of Memphis, Democratic National Committee member Wade Munday, and two-time congressional candidate Renee Hoyos from Knoxville.

Mancini won her most recent election by a 48-19 vote by the party’s executive committee.

Report: Democratic congressional nominee bounced checks to Biden, state party

Christopher Hale, a candidate for the 4th Congressional District who won the Democratic nomination despite fraud allegations dating back to his time as the head of a Catholic nonprofit in Washington, bounced checks to presidential candidate Joe Biden and the state party, according to the Tennessee Lookout.

According to Lookout reporter Nate Rau, Hale bounced a $2,000 check to attend a Biden fundraiser last year. Another $2,500 to the Tennessee Democratic Party didn’t clear in July 2019. Haile issued a series of denials about failing to cover his checks. He told the Lookout he had been invited to the Biden fundraiser by host Bill Freeman without being required to pay. He said he was unaware of a problem with the check to the state party.

After losing a previous bid for the Democratic nomination in the 4th District, Hale proposed launching a political action committee to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to support campaigns. While he did found the Our Tennessee PAC, it has since shown no fundraising activity, according to campaign finance reports.

State Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) said Hale told her he planned to raise between $150,000 and $200,000.

“He told me, and he told a lot of people, he was going to raise all this money and he never did,” shesaid.

Read the full report here.

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.

Bush, Jones vow to fight ballot exclusion; DeBerry won’t

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Byron Bush and Democratic U.S. House candidate Justin Jones are vowing to fight their exclusions from the primary ballot in August. But longtime state Rep. John DeBerry of Memphis says he won’t challenge fellow Democrats’ decision to remove him.

Bush, who also ran for the Senate in 1994, was deemed ineligible to run as a Republican because he hadn’t voted in three of the last four primaries. Jones failed to submit 25 valid signatures for his effort to challenge incumbent Jim Cooper (D-Nashville). DeBerry was excluded by Democrats because of his pattern of voting with Republicans on issues like abortion and school vouchers.

“The so-called party of inclusion is everything but inclusive,” DeBerry told the Commercial Appeal . “It’s all about thinking with one brain, marching in step and following the company line, sitting there like a brainless idiot and letting them tell you what to do.”

Jones, who is best known for leading protests against the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust at the state Capitol, said hehe missed the cut by a single signature. He blamed the coronavirus pandemic for making it more difficult to collect the signatures.

“We have heard ‘no’ since we announced this campaign,” Jones said in a Twitter post.”We fought then. And will continue fighting now.”

Bush, who was also a Republican candidate for the Senate in 1994, was among five candidates running to succeed Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville) this year who were deemed not to be bona fide Republicans.

Bush had used his current campaign as a platform for railing against state judges following his losing legal battle to prevent a property foreclosure in 2012. Bush, a Nashville dentist, drew a modicum of attention by running local ads during the Super Bowl.

(Bush’s full statement after the jump)

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When is the voter registration deadline? Don’t ask the Dems

Monday is the voter registration deadline for Tennessee’s Super Tuesday presidential primary. An email blast from the state Democratic Party sent out on Friday alerted supporters that that deadline was on March 3 — the date of the actual primary. The party sent out a corrected release the following day.

Graphic: Tennessee Journal.

The date of the voter registration deadline was correct in the body of the email blast, but not in the headline.

All the action this year is in the Democratic primary, given that President Donald Trump hasn’t drawn any serious opposition on the Republican side.

Here’s the graphic that accompanied both emails from the Democrats: