NASHVILLE - Former state Sen. Roy Herron was voted the Tennessee Democratic Party's new chairman Saturday.
The 59-year-old Dresden attorney outpolled Dave Garrison, a Nashville attorney, 39-27. Garrison was backed by the state's two Democratic congressman along with House and Senate Democratic Caucus leaders and the mayors of Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville, as well as labor unions.
Herron will lead an embattled party that has seen Republicans seize the governor's mansion and absolute control of the state Legislature.
Outgoing chairman Chip Forrester said before the vote he was sorry he ran four years ago "without the support of the majority of the elected officials of this state."
"Because of that I and my staff have faced an uphill battle for four years unifying this party," Forrester said.
He added, "I hope today you will vote for the candidate that can best bring our Democratic family together."
See complete story in Sunday's Times Free Press.