Longtime Hamilton County Democratic Party activist and Chattanooga resident Jane Hampton Bowen has officially announced that she is a candidate for chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party, the position that current Chairman Chip Forrester leaves in January 2013.
Ms. Bowen has served as vice president and political liaison for the Chattanooga Area Labor Council. While working with labor, she has implemented solidarity campaigns and community support efforts, bridged relationships between public and private sector labor groups, and between labor groups and elected officials. She has been active in education about the value of labor organizations. Ms. Bowen is a native Tennessean and graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a B.S. in political science/public administration. She currently serves on the executive committee of the Hamilton County Democratic Party.
“Jane has the leadership skills that will uphold the statues and values of our Democratic past and yet, capture, ignite and implement the hopes and dreams of a profitable future. She has torn down divisive walls and created bridges once thought impossible to construct. Jane has confronted and engaged issues, tactfully voiced the concerns of the community, and found ways to empower and promote unity for the benefit of all. Jane is very capable of enduring the pressures inherent to leadership,” said Rev. Kenneth D. Love, executive director of the Hamilton County Democratic Party.
Ms. Bowen comes from a heritage of public service, including father Maurice R. Bowen, Jr. of Chattanooga and grandfather Mayor Keith Hampton of Jasper, who served under two governors. “They are my shining light that works to illuminate the path before me,” she said.
Listing her goals for party revitalization, Ms. Bowen said, “Tennessee Democrats must exist to achieve as a community what we cannot achieve as individuals. We must be committed to serving our candidates and citizens statewide, with a spirit of reaching out and making room. We must be a civic institution that supports working families, and the Tennessee Democratic Party must make a united effort to reach out to growing demographic targets: Hispanic, female, African-American and young voters.
“You build an army from within before you go to battle. As chairman, it would be my responsibility to bridge relationships within the party. I choose not to be boxed in to one faction of the party over another. My objective is the party, which has many faces and perspectives. I will be responsible for valuing the people of this party, setting high expectations, and having faith as this party becomes an army.”
Ms. Bowen listed more Internet/social media communications, small-dollar fundraising, recruitment, registration and education as vital to building the Democratic Party in Tennessee. “We will gain one seat at a time, district by district until we are a mighty force again. I am committed to this party. No excuses–only results,” she said.