Nov 21 2008
08:21 am

As you are probably aware, current TNDP treasurer Chip Forrester is seeking election to Chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party. In a Nov 5th letter to the Executive Committee, Chip says "While we are celebrating yesterday's 2008 national election victory, the Democratic losses we faced here yesterday in Tennessee require that we begin thinking today about tomorrow's 2010 election challenges. As critical as this past election has been to our nation's future, the next election will be equally critical to Tennessee's future."

In an email to KnoxViews yesterday, Chip forwarded his bio and a statement of his proposed agenda, which includes an "open door" policy to engage all Executive Committee members, involving all state and Congressional Democrats in the Party operations and direction, a "focused commitment" to electing Democrats at all levels of state government, and harnessing the energy and enthusiasm of new Obama voters and volunteers. Read the full text of his statement after the jump.

Regarding outreach to bloggers as part of the TNDP's online communications strategy, Chip said in his email that "If elected chair, I’d like to open a dialogue to discuss how we can all best move the Party forward after the Nov 4th state setback."

In a recent email to KnoxViews, Knox County Democratic Party Chair Sylvia Woods said she is supporting Chip Forrester because she feels he will be responsive to the Executive Committee and that he knows the job.

The Executive Committee will elect the new chair in January. Gray Sasser said he will not seek reelection. In addition to Chip Forrester, TNDP Communications Director Wade Munday told the Tennesseean that others mentioned for the post include "Nashville lawyer Charles Robert Bone and Nashville lawyer Jerry Martin, who headed up the Obama for America campaign in Tennessee (...) State Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga, State Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville and U.S. Senate candidate Gary G. Davis." We are told that former State Rep. Randy Rinks may also be interested.

SEE ALSO: Sean Braisted

Statement from Chip Forrester:

Overview Biographical Information

As the son of a retired military officer from Watertown, TN (Wilson County), I was born in Ft. Benning, GA and have lived all over the world before coming home to Tennessee in 1985 to start my family. I am happily married and have 2 sons, one 21 and a senior at the University of Tennessee and the other 17, a senior at Hume-Fogg High School here in Nashville.

Political Career--Highlights

• Harold Washington for Mayor, Chicago: Key campaign advisor in his campaign and later served in his administration as Assistant Director of Chicago’s Department of Economic Development.

• Deputy Campaign Manager: Speaker Ned McWherter successful 1986 campaign for Governor.

• Executive Director: Tennessee Democratic Party 1987-89. When I assumed the leadership of the Party as Executive Director, there was a substantial debt that through diligent and persistent fundraising efforts was paid off in about a year.

• U.S Senator Al Gore: 1990 Campaign Manager for his successful US Senate reelection campaign and subsequently appointed his Tennessee State Director, joining his U.S. Senate staff.

• Tennessee Delegate: Democratic National Convention for Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 Presidential campaign.

• Early 2007: Organizer for Obama for President campaign in Tennessee and served on his Tennessee finance/fundraising team.

• Tennessee Delegate: Democratic National Convention for Sen. Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign.

Proposed Agenda as Tennessee Democratic Party Chair

1. Creating an "open-door" opportunity for the full engagement of all State Democratic Executive Committee members in the structure, operations and development of the Tennessee Democratic Party. This is your Party and your involvement is essential to its success.

2. Close and structured involvement of the Governor, Democratic members of Congress and all Democratic state Senate and House leaders in the operations and direction of the Party.

3. A focused commitment to electing Democrats at all levels of state government in Tennessee.

4. This election cycle saw a dramatic influx of energy and enthusiasm into our Democratic Party with the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama for President. It is essential that, as a Party, we efficiently integrate these new voters and campaign workers and their enthusiasm into our Party. They have found a home with us and we should welcome them in. With this newfound talent, I am convinced we can take Tennessee from red to blue!


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