Ousted Democrat John DeBerry Loses House District 90 to Torrey Harris


Incumbent John DeBerry lost Tennessee’s House District 90 to Democratic candidate Torrey Harris on Tuesday. DeBerry lost by nearly 55 points, or just over 11,000 votes.

Although DeBerry had served the office as a Democrat for the last 26 years, the Democratic Party removed him from the primary ballot in April over disagreements with his views on abortion and education.

After, Governor Bill Lee passed a law allowing DeBerry to file as an independent candidate.

In a previous interview with The Tennessee Star, DeBerry explained that he was entirely unaware he’d been removed until it was too late.

“I was given absolutely no notice. I found out on late Monday and got details on Tuesday. And the vote was on Wednesday. And that’s how fast it went. How quickly it went. I was given no time to mouth a defense or say anything.”

In later interviews, DeBerry divulged that the Democratic Party mainly took issue with his pro-life beliefs.

Harris lost against DeBerry in the 2018 primary by about 20 points or just over 1,000 votes. The freshman state representative has been critical of DeBerry’s position on penalties against assaults on first responders. DeBerry experienced and participated in the civil rights movement firsthand, and has condemned the riots in Minneapolis and Kenosha.

Harris’s win marked history as Tennessee’s first openly bisexual state representative. The newly-elected representative came to Memphis in 2011 with over a decade’s worth of involvement in activism.

According to Statistical Atlas, the district is predominantly Black and White, with about eight percent of citizens unemployed. Nearly 50 percent of individuals hold a high school diploma, and 34 percent have a higher degree. The 95th percentile of individuals have a median household income up to $174,000 – the 80th percentile caps at about $70,000.

After Harris won the race, he posted a picture of himself wearing a jacket with the names of Black individuals that died during interactions with the police.

“I won! I am Tennessee State Representative Torrey Harris with 78 percent of the votes! #Memphis #Elections #Democrat #JoeBiden #BlackLivesMatter #iMadeHistory4TimesTonight.”

DeBerry didn’t issue any remarks on the election by press time.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Torrey Harris” by Torrey Harris. Photo “John DeBerry” by Glenn Casada.






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4 Thoughts to “Ousted Democrat John DeBerry Loses House District 90 to Torrey Harris”

  1. james b

    another shameful chapter for our state because of craziness in memphis tenn.we got one chicken idiot idiot from tennessee as a congressman.now this

  2. Kevin

    Actually, it was a bi-partisan effort in both the Tennessee House and Senate that passed the law, Governor Lee just signed it. This is a huge point. John DeBerry was and is loved and respected by the vast majority of his Legislative colleagues! He is a true Tennessee icon!

    Unfortunately, the “sheeple” of Memphis just continue to follow the lambs to slaughter.

    I suggest that we replace the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest with a statue of John DeBerry?

  3. John

    Move over Rover, the Millennials are taking over. And it ain’t gonna be pretty. I fear for us all.

  4. rick

    Mr DeBerry you are a better man than the Democratic Party you were representing. It’s there loss.