Tennessee Democrats Re-Elect Far Left Mary Mancini As State Party Chair, Republicans Cheer

Tennessee Democratic Party State Chair Mary Mancini won another two year term Saturday as the party’s leader.

It was a landslide victory for Mancini over her only serious opponent, Holly McCall, Williamson County’s Democratic Party chair. Mancini received 48 votes from the members of the Democratic Party State Executive Committee, while McCall received just 19, the Associated Press reported. A third candidate, M. LaTroy Alexandria-Williams of Memphis, finished a distant third place with two votes.

Another candidate, Christopher J. Hale of Murfreesboro, withdrew from the contest before the vote was taken.

Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill said, “There’s an adage “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” The Tennessee Democratic Party, after years of slipping further into political irrelevancy in the state clearly subscribes to the alternative: “if it’s broken, don’t fix it.”

“Party activists are thrilled at Mancini’s re-election. Unfortunately for her party those are REPUBLICAN activists,” Gill said, laughing.

Mancini’s four year tenure as chairman of the state party has been marked by abject failure.

During her tenure no Democratic candidate for statewide office has come close to winning. The party’s best chance to secure statewide office–former Gov. Phil Bredesen–was crushed in November’s general election for the U.S. Senate by Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). Despite spending more than $7 million of his own money and receiving $12 million from a PAC affiliated with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Blackburn thumped Bredesen at the polls, winning by more than ten points.

In November 2016, President Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 26 points.

Bredesen in 2018 and Clinton in 2016 performed abysmally statewide, each winning just three of the state’s 95 counties.

Under Mancini’s leadership, Tennessee Democrats have been unable to improve upon the lopsided Republican majorities in both the Tennessee House of Representatives and the Tennessee State Senate.

The last time Democrats came close in a Tennessee gubernatorial election was in 2006 when Phil Bredesen was elected to a second term as governor.

Mancini’s plan for the future appears to be to continue with the same strident far left policies that appeal to residents of Davidson County and Shelby County, but nowhere else in the state of Tennessee.

After the vote McCall tweeted, “By now, you know I didn’t win. But i got the opportunity to talk to hundreds of people about the Democratic Party. I had fun. And as I always say: there’s more than one way to create change -”

McCall also tweeted, “The @tndp Executive Committee gave a big vote of confidence to @marymancini that they like her tenure. And @chrisjollyhale is a trip: he sure shook things up & will continue to.”

McCall did not respond to The Tennessee Star’s requests for comment.

Christopher J. Hale of Murfreesboro, another of Mancini’s opponents, tweeted, “From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Tennessee. I congratulate @marymancini on her re-election as the 19th chair of the TN Democratic Party. She & @jhollymc are fearless fighters worthy of our esteem & respect. I’m here as a reconciler ready to help us move forward together.”

Hale, a former candidate for the Fourth Congressional District, also tweeted, “We were short of the votes needed to win, so it made sense to me for Holly and Mary to face each other in a two way race. It was a cleaner outcome for the party. It gave the EC a chance to have an up/down vote on her continued leadership of the party.”

On the Jan. 4 edition of Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Gill and Leahy spoke to McCall and discussed her thoughts on the Democratic Party’s current national narrative about her grass roots movement to replace Mancini as state chair. They also discussed the Democratic image challenges McCall faces and her position on how to turn things around. McCall touched upon the difference between Southern Democrats and the rest of the country and how the message needs to be talked about sanely.

More on the conversation is available here, including a link to the audio of the interview.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “Mary Mancini” by Mary Mancini. 
Background Photo “Tennessee Capital” by Chris Connelly. CC BY 2.0.











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  1. […] The Tennessee Star reported, Mancini won another two-year term as the party’s leader in […]