NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The new head of Tennessee’s Democratic party is hoping to leverage his historic election as the party’s first Black chairman with renewed Democratic party hopes in the south.
In his historic new role as chairman, Hendrell Remus said, “I hope people are going to look back on this moment and see it as a moment where the Tennessee Democratic party begin to turn the tide.”
Hendrell Remus is also the first millennial to lead the Democrats.
“Relaunching our partnerships with allied organizations, and then just re-engage the voters who have been loyal to our party and those looking for a new political home,” said Remus.
The party is looking at the presidential and senate runoff elections in Georgia and is hoping to use the Democratic blueprint there in the Volunteer State.
“Buckle up, because it could take, you know, four, six, eight, maybe even 10 years,” Remus said.
Lipscomb University politics professor Linda Schacht says a strong Republican and Democratic party is good for democracy and Democrats are beginning to build.
“It takes more than just a strong Democratic party and Democratic party chair — it takes strong Democrats in the legislature and also homegrown groups that help register voters and identify key messages that can bring more people into the Democratic party,” said Schacht.
Remus says a powerful national party backing and new donors entering the party will be a key in chipping away at the Republican supermajority in the state.
“The new chair Jamie Harrison is from the south, he understands that the tide is turning in the south — and I believe that we will see more investment.”
The chairman says redistricting and political vitriol ten years ago shaped the way Democrats are performing.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the Democratic party, I think we just got to do a better job at making sure that our messaging is landing the right way,” said Remus.
The chairman is vowing to be competitive in the 2022 Governor’s race. As for the legislature, the chairman says it may be a little while until Democrats are competitive there.
Former Governor Phil Bredesen was the last statewide-elected Democrat. He was first elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. He lost to Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn in the 2018 race for the United States Senate.