The Tri-Star State: What's Going On Inside The Tennessee Democratic Party? | Nashville Public Radio

The Tri-Star State: What's Going On Inside The Tennessee Democratic Party?

It’s been over a decade since Tennessee Democrats scored a big win in a state race. What’s the party doing to turn things around?

That’s a question many in the state executive committee have asked. And they're not happy with the answers they're getting from the Tennessee Democratic Party chair, Mary Mancini.

The following are excerpts from recent interviews:

Charlie Clark, a Davidson County representative in the Tennessee Democratic Party State Executive Committee, on Mancini's lack of a clear answer in National Journal article regarding what she'd do different to change Democratic results:

“I just think that is an inexcusable answer for someone who’s leading a statewide organization — a statewide organization that’s charged with electing Democrats.”

Carol Brown Andrews on how she supports Mancini, as long as she shakes things up within the party:

“There has to be dramatic change in the way our party works if we are going to make any stride toward electing Democrats across the board. We just cannot continue down this path of how we are operating.”

Mary Mancini, chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, on how internal leaks to the media have prevented her from sharing the party's strategic plan with members via email:

“It’s become abundantly clear that it’s no longer a secure channel for communication. So, it’s not going to be sent via email or via any kind of electronic way.”

Mancini on how she is working toward making gains in the state: 

“But the reality is that this is a marathon and not a sprint ... And this is how it is done. This is how the Republicans did it to us. It took them decades.”

Our ongoing conversations about Tennessee politics are available in The Tri-Star State podcast. You can listen by visiting or subscribe using your favorite podcasting app.