Feb 2 2013
03:54 pm

When I go to bed tonight, I will finish my first week as your new chairman of our Tennessee Democratic Party.

I've done real work before - hauling fertilizer and hay, tending cattle,doing construction. What I'm doing now is not real work; it's a real privilege. It's a privilege to work with our great staff of Tennessee Democrats. And they are all in here today working on a Saturday.

Why would the staff be working so hard 640 days from the next General Election? Because we must take our state back from the radical and reactionary Republican politicians in the legislature and U.S. Congress.

Tennesseans want common sense, not nonsense. We want leaders working for good-paying jobs, better schools and affordable health care, not radical laws that would force a rape victim to bear her attacker's child or a cancer-stricken woman to die, not giving away taxpayer dollars to huge out-of-state for-profit companies that condemn our children to a weak education and poor future, not callous laws that would punish poor families when children struggle at school.

I grew up down the street from then-Speaker Ned McWherter. After the people kindly elected me to his House seat, I served 10 years in the House and 16 in the Senate, I have seen the legislature change, and not for the better.

Since the service of Governor McWherter, and more recently, Governor Phil Bredesen, we've gone from common sense to nonsense. We've gone from being named the best managed state in the nation to being the most ridiculed state. We've gone from being praised in national publications to being lampooned by late night comedians. It doesn't help Tennesseans
when people across the country and around the world -- including business leaders who could bring jobs here -- read about the never-ending nonsense in our legislature.

Tennesseans deserve better.

We've got real challenges in this state, but also real opportunities. I am filled with optimism and hope for our future. The Democratic Party always has led the way in Tennessee, and we will do it again!

Tennessee needs Democrats to lead again. But first we have to win elections. And the three keys to electing Democrats are
hard work, hard work and hard work. We have got to be committed to working hard at sharing our values, values that for many of us come straight from Scripture -- caring for the least of these, loving all our brothers and sisters, and
being good stewards of our land and our children's future.

Those are the values we lift up, those are Tennessee values.
As your chairman, I will work with you to make sure the Tennessee Democratic Party serves and makes a difference in people's lives.

Thank you so much for the privilege and the opportunity to work with you and for you.

Working together, we will see that Democrats lead Tennessee again.

Your friend,

Roy Herron
Tennessee Democratic Party

Stick's picture

[N]ot giving away taxpayer

[N]ot giving away taxpayer dollars to huge out-of-state for-profit companies that condemn our children to a weak education and poor future...

More of this please!

Local Citizen's picture


Roy was a good choice for chairman. If he could only get the radicals to heed his advice that the primary job is to win elections. If Democrats are not in a position of leadership, they cannot get any thing accomplished. Winning elections. That is the key.

Average Guy's picture

Sorry, but,

the gamesmanship of the Party's are meaningless to me.

I vote policy, period. Unfortunately, these days that's pretty much defined by who is the least crazy on social policy. At present, that means Democrats have a distinct advantage in getting my vote.

So to your "winning elections" point, I ask the following;

Suppose Herron is faced with the choice of two Dem candidates wanting to run in a very socially conservative district.

One candidate is a doctor and feels to keep up with the rest of world, we have to teach our students evolutionary science.

One candidate is an insurance agent and believes Tennessee voters should preserve biblical Tennessee values, and believes our students should be taught creationism as science.

They are on the same page in every other way.

Polls and history say only the insurance salesman can win. Who should Herron choose to support?

knoxrebel's picture

Not his role to be kingmaker

Neither. I appreciate your emphasis on policy, but your question isn't a policy question at all, it's strictly an intra-party issue. Herron's role as party chair is not to choose one Democrat over another based on their respective platforms, or to get involved in primary races, or to put the party's stamp of approval on one Democrat or another. More than anything else, his role is to craft, define and market the message of the TNDP, to raise money, and to recruit and support Democrats against Republican opponents. Sure, there's much more, but once a party chair - national, state or local -starts choosing one Democrat over another in a primary, it's going to make it awfully hard to recruit candidates and talk about loyalty.

Of course, there are exceptions, e.g., Mark Clayton, and there's no problem disavowing someone with views so far removed from Democratic ideals that it's embarrasing not to point it out. But when you have two or more candidates who espouse, for the most part, Democratic ideals and ideas, it isn't the chair's role to meddle in a primary or to take sides. That provision may very well be in the party's bylaws. It used to be.

In the end, if Democrats want to nominate a doctor who advocates the teaching of evolution or an insurance agent who advocates the teaching of creationism, it's up to them. If the agent can persuade more Democrats that his view is more akin to theirs, well, that's what a primary is all about.

Average Guy's picture

I'm sure if the agent were

I'm sure if the agent were good enough, he could sell his clients insurance against Armageddon.

The fact he could wouldn't make it right.

I guess that's my problem. The come one, come all and bring whatever you believe direction of the Party seems to disregard the need for a Party. A Party that accepts all platforms has no platform.

Republicans have found out its hard to win running both Right and further Right.

I'm not sure the Democratic answer is an internal struggle between further Left and Right of center. But it looks like we'll see. I think your example of Clayton is a good bellwether.

Gregg Lonas's picture


Clayton was yet another example of the many failures of the TNDP.

Andy Axel's picture

Yeah, like Bob Tuke was a

Yeah, like Bob Tuke was a credible challenge to Lamar Alexander. Whatevs.

Average Guy's picture


He got double the votes of his next closest challenger in the primary.

He was a "winner", was he not?

Political Party's should have a big tent. So should music festivals.

But there's a reason GWAR wasn't asked to perform at Lilith Fair.

jcgrim's picture

TN Education laws and conflicts of interest

Ok, Roy we're holding you accountable for exposing the conflicts of interest in the education laws written by ALEC, Jeb Bush's FEE, Michelle Rhee,adopted by this legislature and enforced by the TN education commissioner.

Want to buy a widget? Jeb Bush will write it into law and Kevin Huffman will insert it into the TN curriculum standards.


Here's an example of Bush's FL education voucher policies coming to fruition:

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

Search and Archives