Mancini Elected Tennessee Democratic Party Chair

mary mNashville – Last Saturday, Mary Mancini was re-elected to lead the Tennessee Democratic Party for two more years. Party [leaders] Executive Committee members gave the progressive activist from Nashville a unified show of support in re-electing her new chair of the state party.

Her decisive win marks a departure from close and divisive Democratic chair races in recent years.

In picking Mancini, Democrats have stayed with the former executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action, a voting rights advocacy group that has criticized the state’s voter identification law. Mancini is a well-known voice in liberal circles, and at one time was a co-host of Liberadio, a political radio talk show in Nashville.

Mancini presented a two-year plan to executive members prior to Saturday’s election. The plan advocated Democrats recruit strong statewide candidates, effectively use voter data, raise more money, make strong gains in the state House and Senate and ensure that Democrats have a voice in the next round of redistricting in 2020. She said the party must include a strategy that includes all 95 of Tennessee’s counties.

“Republicans want us to think this is a completely red state, but it’s not,” she said. “There are Democrats all over the state. We’re going to find them and we’re going to work with them.”

She has now assumed leadership of a state party that has experienced damaging losses in recent years after controlling the state legislature and governor’s office less than a decade ago. In November, Republicans expanded supermajorities in both the 99-member Tennessee House — from 71 members to 73 — and the 33-member Tennessee Senate, where Republicans now hold a 28-5 majority.

Yarbro, addressing the executive committee Saturday as an ex-officio member, reminded those in attendance that the upcoming 109th General Assembly, which begins session this week, would feature fewer Democrats than at any point in Tennessee history.




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