Support continues to be expressed, by several endorsements, for the candidacy of Jane Hampton Bowen for chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, and Ms. Bowen continues to emphasize what will make her an effective chair.
Ms. Bowen was endorsed by the Chattanooga Building and Construction Trades Council, recognition of her work in support of labor.
Hamilton County Democratic Chairman Paul Smith endorsed Ms. Bowen, saying, “Jane has consistently proven her leadership abilities as a fundraiser, organizer, and someone who is able to bring differing factions to the table. She is someone we count on to make things happen. These skills are exactly what is needed for our state party’s top position.”
Chattanooga trial lawyer Pamela Rymer O'Dwyer (Paty, Rymer & Ulin) also detailed her support for Ms. Bowen, saying, “She has a facility for working with people in a way that gets results. She never asks more of anyone than she would ask of herself and that too helps to move projects to successful completion. Jane takes the task in hand and it is like Tom Sawyer’s fence painting. Next thing you know, everyone wants to help. I have watched her in these last few years of unstinting service to the Democratic Process. I am writing to encourage the advancement of Jane Hampton Bowen to the Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party.”
Ms. Bowen said what she’s discovered in her campaign for chair, “Local leaders, elected officials, voters, and state Democratic Executive Committee members across the state agree that in recent years our Tennessee party has experienced its share of adversity and uncertainty. How did we allow ourselves to drift to this position, where we seem to be ashamed of our identity as Democrats and afraid to express our positions on the issues important to the people of our party?
“Money and fundraising are vital tools for success at the polls. However, winning begins as a function of our mutual belief in each other as good citizens. Our message to Democrats should be to unite them and bring them to the polls on election days.
“Just ask Mitt Romney and Karl Rove if money can sell the wrong message and the wrong candidate. President Obama won as a result of a grassroots local organization.
“We are all in this together—the true party of the people, for the people and by the people. We are the party that gives encouragement and protection to seniors, young, women, Labor, African-Americans, Latinos, LGBT, and all those who have and continue to bring diversity and energy.
“I believe that winning statewide begins at the local level. We cannot be a Blue state unless we have Blue counties and Blue towns and Blue cities. I believe that our state party exists to help our local Democrats organize to share our identity and message. Local success will foster statewide success.
“Nashville is our capital—it is not our identity, and it is not going to be Blue if we are not all Blue, and repeating the same message. Neither can a Nashville-centered party raise enough money to invest in our Blue future without the efforts of our county and local organizations contributing to our success.
“Let’s become Blue again, block by block, road by road, office by office, county by county, town by town. Let’s all buy in. Let’s all speak up. Let’s be Democrats who are proud of our tradition, our message, our policies, and our future.”
One Chattanooga city race volunteer, Carson Alexander Doyle, was moved to write this to Bowen: “…After reading the email that you have sent…about bringing the Democratic Party together to slowly build up from our grass roots; for it is then that a party can truly call themselves the representatives of the people… I wish to join the Democratic Party. Normally I would avoid joining with either party and remain a moderate in name. In this instance, however, I believe that under your leadership, this Democratic Party can and will become the party of the diverse persons in the state of Tennessee…let me know the steps I would need to take to join the Democratic Party.”
“These are the new Democrats we need to turn the tide in Tennessee,” said Ms. Bowen. “It will be my responsibility and desire to bring them on board, and give them the tools they need to be strong activists and future candidates.”