Friday, March 22, 2019

"This is a racist state," says Mary Mancini leader of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

Mary Mancini
by Rod Williams - Mary Mancini, Chair of The Tennessee Democratic Party, has said Tennessee is a racist state. She not only said it once but several times. As reported by the Tennessean, while speaking to the Coffee County Democratic Party, Mancini said, "We have a little bit of a problem in this state, and I'm just going to say it out right. This is a racist state."

She  later apologized and said, "My statement is not representative of how I or the Tennessee Democratic Party view the people of our state."  She said one of the times she said it, she was angry.  It is really hard to believe her words do not reflect her views.

Mary Mancini advocates that the party continue to put forward candidates who are less conventional in Tennessee, including Blacks,  Hispanics, millennials and those from the lesbian, bi-sexual, gay, transsexual and queer segments of society, commonly referred to a the "LBGTQ community." 

In the last several years the Democrat Party of Tennessee has shrunk from the majority party to small minority status. Republicans hold the governor's office, seven of nine seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, 73 of 99 seats in the State House and 28 of the 33 seats in the State Senate. Republicans have also increased the number of county mayors and courthouse offices held by Republicans across the state. Except for the islands of Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee is Republican.

In recent statewide races, Democrats ran the party's best possible candidates and they still lost. In the last race for governor the Democrat candidate was former Nashville mayor Karl Dean. He lost to Bill Lee by a vote share of  59 percent for Lee to Dean's 39 percent.

In the race for U.S. senator the Democrats ran popular former Governor Phil Bredesen and Republican ran U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn.  At the start of the race Phil Bredesen had superior name recognition.  Blackburn beat Bredesen by a vote of 55 percent to 44 percent.

Tennessee at this time is a Republican state. The best candidates the Democrat Party have cannot beat a Republican.  While Mancini advocates that the Party not shy away from running minority and unconventional candidates for office, and while Democrats have been successful in getting Black voters to continue to elect Black Democrats, the only Hispanics elected to legislative seats  were elected by "racist" Tennesseans. Tennessee's Senator Dolores Gresham and Representative Tommy J. Vallejos are Republican. This must really gall Mancini.

Mary Mancini was re-elected by the state Democrat party's executive committee in January to her third two-year term as its leader. She was my choice for TDP chair.  I wish her continued good health and hope she continues to be reelected as chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

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