Thursday, April 9, 2020

Tennessee Democrat Party kicks Rep. John DeBerry off the Aug.6th ballot.

Rep. John DeBerry
by Rod Williams - The Tennessee Democrat Party has kicked Rep. John DeBerry, Jr. off the Aug. 6 primary ballot as a Democratic candidate. He was one of five that the Party removed the ballot but he was the only incumbent. When challenges are made to the candidacy of a person to the Democrat Executive Committee, the Committee takes up the challenge and votes if that person can run as a Democrat.  The vote on DeBerry by the executive committee was 41 to 18 with two abstentions.

The primary reason DeBerry was kicked off the ballot appears to be that he was pro-life. He voted in favor of a bill banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat could be detected.  Planed Parenthood had been very critical of  DeBerry and had put up big billboards in Memphis denouncing him for his pro-life votes.

Another reason is that he voted in favor of Glen Casada to be Speaker of the House after Glen Casada became controversial. The Speaker was going to be a Republican anyway simply because the Republicans greatly outnumber the Democrats in the House but the Democrat Party wanted to strip Casada of his position because of some racy text messages he had received that Democrats said demeaned women and some other issues.

Another charge is that DeBerry accepted donations from organizations and individuals who normally support Republicans. 

On his being removed from the ballot as a Democrat,  DeBerry said, “The Tennessee Democratic Party has decided that a 26-year Representative that spent 12 years as a committee chairman, conducted himself with integrity, served the party well, sponsored meaningful legislation and built bridges across the aisle to get bills passed is no longer a Democrat. And so, I’m not."

If the Republican Party was smart, they would explore inviting DeBerry to run as a Republican.  If he is not likely to publicly endorse Democrat candidates and will most of the time vote with the party and there is no big negative reason for not doing so, he should be welcomed as a Republican.

For source of quotes and more on the story see this link, this link, and this link.

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