Knoxville City Council Candidates Endorsed by Democratic Socialists of America


Members of the Democratic Socialists of America have endorsed three candidates for the Knoxville City Council, apparently as part of a movement to get candidates elected in states that support U.S. Republican President Donald Trump.

The DSA has endorsed candidates Amelia Parker, Charles Al-Bawi, and David Hayes.

This, according to Parker’s campaign page, Al-Bawi’s campaign Facebook page, and Hayes’ campaign website.

Parker’s opponent, Amy Midis, cited the DSA endorsing Parker in a recent mailer. Midis declined The Tennessee’s Star’s request for comment this week.

The election is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 5.

According to Yahoo Finance, “America’s socialists reckon they’re on a roll” and are running locally in Trump-friendly states.

“The movement has long been confined to the fringes in U.S. politics, and also on the map. It’s associated nowadays with hipster enclaves of the West Coast, or New York — where the country’s most famous socialists are teaming up on Saturday, when Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will endorse Bernie Sanders for president at a rally,” according to Yahoo Finance.

“But now it’s spreading across the Rust Belt, Midwest and South. At least 60 branches of the Democratic Socialists of America, the most prominent among a bunch of reinvigorated leftist groups — have sprung up in the past year, mostly in conservative areas where President Donald Trump did well with voters.”

According to, these DSA-endorsed candidates win elections by “running on platforms that reject capitalism and promote working class interests.”

“The dividing line between DSA candidates and progressive Democrats can be blurry at times. The socialists on city councils interviewed for this piece all framed it as an ideological, if not practical, difference: a rejection of capitalism as a system that must be protected, and a refusal to ‘tweak the system around the edges,’” according to the website.

“That echoes the rhetoric of prominent DSA leaders like Ocasio-Cortez, who has called capitalism ‘irredeemable.’ It’s also a direct contrast to Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who in 2017 said that “[Democrats are] capitalists, that’s just the way it is.”

The website went on to quote University of Houston law professor Kellen Zale, who said DSA-endorsed councilmembers are in a better position to accomplish their policy objectives than people elected at the national level. also said DSA-endorsed candidates have had success in Chicago, Denver, and Georgia.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Knoxville City Hall” by Brian Stansberry. CC BY 3.0.




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4 Thoughts to “Knoxville City Council Candidates Endorsed by Democratic Socialists of America”

  1. […] The Star reported in November, members of the Democratic Socialists of America endorsed three candidates for the Knoxville City […]

  2. William R. Delzell

    It does not surprise me that the Democratic Socialists would choose the eastern third of Tennessee to promote particular candidates.

    Number one, East Tennessee had the very small number of counties that supported Bernie Sanders over Hilary Clinton during that state’s 2016 Presidential Primary. The few counties that Sanders carried have been historically Republican counties since the Civil War. At one time, this particular Republican redoubt fielded Republicans, while not actually leftist or liberal, were nonetheless considerably LESS conservative or rightist than the Ronald Reagan/Barry Goldwater types that had swept many states to the south of Tennessee. When I lived in Knoxville during the early 1980’s, Knoxville already had at least one chapter of the Democratic Socialists in America. So, none of this is surprising to me.

  3. Dal

    DSA & Jet-Pac are complimentary edges of a two edged sword threatening America.

  4. Noxville

    Communist goals, excerpted from the 1958 book, “The Naked Communist,” by Cleon Skousen:

    15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.

    29. Discredit the America Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.

    32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture – education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

    33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.