Speaking at Nashville’s Legislative Plaza before the Democratic Caucus on Dec. 20, Jane Hampton Bowen, candidate for chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, outlined her goals and positions. Ms. Bowen also emphasized that electing a woman as chair would send a strong message of inclusion to one of the state’s strongest—and growing—voting blocs. Many elected officials and those candidates vying for chair of the Democratic Party emphasize the importance of having women in leadership roles. Ms. Bowen asked those attending the caucus meeting, “Why not now?”
“Traveling the state has brought to life the most important issue we as Democrats are facing…our image—and more specifically, our self-image,” Ms. Bowen told the caucus. “In recent years the Democratic Party has had its share of adversity and uncertainty. But we have to ask ourselves how we got to this place of being afraid or ashamed of our identity. Why do we let others define who we are?”
Ms. Bowen continued, “We are the Party whose motto should be ‘we are all in this together.’ When you don’t invest statewide and you aren’t willing to change from the Nashville-as-usual politics; when you think and talk more about money than people, it inevitably cuts people off and the end result is lack of identity and growth, stagnation, and a Red state as opposed to a Blue state.”
Ms. Bowen said, “It is the state party’s responsibility to encourage the young, seniors, women, African-Americans, Latinos, LGBT and Labor statewide to be actively involved and represented.” Bowen firmly believes that these groups can raise money when inspired to do so. “There is no question urban demographics favor us; however, to win statewide, build a strong party, and become a state that matters, we cannot write off the outlying counties. It will require both high profile candidates with strong issue marketing and a statewide county ground game that begins with taking back and securing local seats,” she said.
As noted by Larry Crim, Democrats United for Tennessee, “Ms. Bowen stayed on message when pressed by repeated questions from Nashville Rep. Elect Jason Powell about what she would do to see that the TNDP recruited or selected candidates for governor and U.S. Senate in 2014 by responding that ‘the proper role of the TNDP" is not to select candidates, itself, but to foster an environment of inclusion and participation at the local level and across the state so that candidates arise and are motivated to run on their own.”
Mr. Crim went on further to blog that “there needs to be a change toward a down-to-earth leadership style which genuinely seeks inclusion, involvement, and input at every stage of the nomination and election process…We need leadership which reconnects the TNDP with its county officials, county parties, candidates for public office, and public elected persons and importantly with all the people of Tennessee.”
Full comments published by Larry Crim are available at http://m.facebook.com/DemsUnitedTN.