After a contentious and often acrimonious race to replace current State Party Chairman Chip Forrester, Tennessee Democrats on Saturday elected a new leader.
In recent weeks, two candidates emerged as contenders from a field of five just one month ago. Roy Herron from Dresden in rural west Tennessee, who served six terms in the State Senate and a Gubernatorial and candidate in 2010, faced current party treasurer Dave Garrison for the contested seat.
In the end, former Senator Herron emerged victorious and will serve a two-year term at the pleasure of the Democratic State Executive Committee.
Elisa Parker of Franklin was elected to serve as vice chair, Wade Munday of Nashville was elected to serve as treasurer, and Gale Jones Carson of Memphis was elected to serve as secretary.
Mr. Forrester served two terms.
Mr. Herron said, “I am excited to serve alongside my fellow TNDP officers as we begin the critical work of rebuilding our great state and our Democratic Party. Together, we will keep working toward building a state where opportunity exists for everyone willing to work for it, and where the American Dream is truly within reach for working and middle class families, not just a lucky few.”
Hamilton County’s representatives to the State Executive Committee include Sandy Lusk and Terry Lee representing Senate District 11 and Chantelle Roberson and Chris Anderson representing Senate District 10.
Biographies of the new leadership supplied by the TNDP:
Roy Herron, Dresden Chair
As the chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party, Roy Herron works to advance Democratic priorities and to elect Democratic candidates across the state. First elected to the Tennessee General Assembly in 1986, Herron has been a tireless advocate for Tennessee. Herron served 10 years in the State House and 16 years in the State Senate. Over two decades, Herron earned a reputation as a good listener, forceful advocate and hard worker. He has conducted more than 1,000 listening meetings, and only missed one of more than 1,200 legislative sessions — the day his youngest son was being born. Herron graduated from Dresden High School and the University of Tennessee at Martin. After studying the New Testament and ethics in Scotland as a Rotary Scholar, he received his law and divinity degrees from Vanderbilt University. The former minister is now an attorney and small businessman who practices law in Dresden. Herron’s commitment to public service, his Tennessee values, and his devotion to faith and family are evident in his writing. He is the author of three books: Things Held Dear: Soul Stories for My Sons, Tennessee Political Humor: Some of These Jokes You Voted For (with L.H. “Cotton” Ivy), and God and Politics: How Can a Christian be in Politics? Residing in the county where his family settled in 1819, Roy is married to Nancy and has three sons: John, Rick, and Ben. They are members of First United Methodist Church in Dresden.
Elisa Parker, Franklin – Vice Chair
Elisa Parker was re-elected Vice Chair of the TNDP Executive Committee. Parker, a real estate professional, was first elected Vice Chair in 2005. She has been active in Democratic politics for more than two decades and is deeply committed to promoting our core Party values. Having worked for former Sen. Jim Sasser and an active member of presidential campaigns for Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama.
Wade Munday, Nashville. – Treasurer
Wade Munday works to provide continuing education for doctors, nurses, and social workers in his professional role at the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. In this role he also cultivates major gifts and corporate donations. Wade has mentored young people with Big Brothers Big Sisters, serves on the board of Tennessee Citizen Action and the New Leaders Council, and previously served on the Mary Parrish Center for Victims of Domestic Violence Board. Wade earned a Bachelors degree in Religion from Trevecca Nazarene University and a Masters of Divinity from Vanderbilt University. He lives in Nashville with his wife Blair and bulldog, Lady Harriet.
Gale Jones Carson, Memphis – Secretary
Gale Jones Carson was re-elected to serve as Secretary of the TNDP Executive Committee. She is currently one of Tennessee five members on the Democratic National Committee and has been a member of the TNDP Executive Committee since 1994. A graduate of the University of Memphis, Jones Carson is a the Director of Corporate Communications at Memphis Light, Gas & Water, where she is responsible for managing and coordinating all aspects of communications and media outreach. Prior to Memphis Light, Gas & Water, Jones Carson served as Executive Assistant and Chief Spokesperson for the Memphis Mayor and worked as the creator and host of the local cable program, Memphis Style Politics.