Joining the recently-defeated Gloria Johnson, Mary Mancini — who lost the state senate primary to Senator-elect Jeff Yarbro — is seeking the TNDP chairmanship:
“After many hours of listening to fellow Democrats and after much thought about how we can improve our processes to produce better results, I have decided to seek the position of chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party,” Mancini said, “on Tuesday a number of good Democrats lost tough races at the local, state and federal level, but a number of Democratic candidates also won tough races. Now is the time to study each race, examine our failures, and build upon our successes. Now is also the time to eliminate what holds us back. Now is the time for our party to create a culture that unites Democrats from rural towns and urban areas. Most important, now is the time for Democrats to make smart, data-driven decisions.”
Most recently, Mancini was a candidate for Tennessee State Senate. Prior to campaigning for office, she was the executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action, where she organized large scale voter registration drives, lobbied to stop Governor Haslam and the Republican majority’s attack on hard working men and women of the state, and trained and organized people across the state to advocate on their own behalf.
“Time after time I’ve seen Governor Haslam and Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey blame hard working men and women for all the problems we have in this state,” Mancini continued, “I look forward to using my experience to help build a political party that will put people first and fight on behalf of Tennesseans struggling to make ends meet.”
Over on Pith, there's an email discussion among influential Democrats wondering who in the heck their nominee for governor really is. And Roy Herron is apparently on the hot seat for this, a la the Mark Clayton affair that took down Chip Forrester. Is that Mary Mancini's music we hear for state party chair?
The TNDP is staffing up, most notably by naming a new executive director/research director who will officially start work in January. Alan Secrest has 30 years of experience advising Democratic candidates, ranging from U.S. Rep. John Lewis and former Tennessee Congressmen Lincoln Davis and Bart Gordon to former Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell.
Three local professionals — Mark Epps, Nikki Holland and Heather Meshell — will also join the Party as staff this month.
“I am thrilled to welcome Alan, Mark, Nikki and Heather to the Tennessee Democratic Party,” Herron said. “With Alan’s coast-to-coast experience developing strategic and tactical plans for political clients and advocacy groups, his leadership will help maximize Democratic opportunities both in the near and long term.”
State Rep. Mike Turner plans to give up his leadership role in the House Democratic Caucus in January due to disagreements with the party’s state chairman Roy Herron.
“This is what it is: Roy is my friend and Roy is a good man. And I hope he’s successful. And he needs a caucus chairman that can work with him,” he said.
Turner said he wants the party to move in a more technology-oriented progressive manner, and Herron has more of a conservative, traditional approach. The decision to step down is “nothing personal,” he added.
“With the short time I’ve got left up here, I don’t need to be butting heads with the party,” he said. “Look, if I was 25 years old — hell, if I was 45 years old — I would keep fighting and try to get the party to go my way. But I’m not going to be here that much longer. I’ve got about two more terms in me, that’s about it.”
While Turner said he has taken an aggressive approach to dealing with the Republican Party, that’s not the tone the state party wants to set, he said.
Turner’s decision to step down from Democratic Party leadership follows the exit from the party of several staffers who cited Herron’s leadership style.
A digital marketing and communications agency with its roots in Poland has relocated its home office from that European nation to downtown's Seventh Avenue North. Novare Digital also has begun working with the Tennessee Democratic Party, for which it will redesign 60 websites. The firm's client roster includes big names such as Marriott, Comcast and Citibank.
"Relocating to Nashville is the next logical step to ensure the growth of our firm," said Mark Siedlecki, president of Novare Digital. "There is a wealth of talented individuals here that we would like to partner with as we continue that growth."
POSTDATA: WARRANTY DEEDS