NASHVILLE — Tennessee Democrats say U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., the first Democrat to win an Alabama Senate seat in decades, will be the keynote speaker at their annual fundraiser in June.
In December, Jones beat Republican Roy Moore, who was plagued by allegations from multiple women of sexual harassment. With his victory, Jones became the first Democrat to win a Senate race since Richard Shelby, first elected as a Democrat in 1986 and 1992 before switching to the Republican Party in 1994.
Tennessee Democrats plan to hold the party's "Three Star Dinner," formerly known as the Jackson Day Dinner after President Andrew Jackson of Tennessee, the national party's founder, on June 16.
The event is being held outside Nashville in Lebanon, Tenn., a one-time Democratic stronghold now solidly Republican.
For the first time in years, state Democrats in 2018 have major candidates seeking high office. Former Gov. Phil Bredesen is seeking to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and is expected to face U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., in the November election.
Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley, meanwhile, are seeking the Democratic nomination for governor.
Major Republicans in the GOP primary are U.S. Rep. Diane Black of Gallatin; businessman and former state Economic Commissioner Randy Boyd of Knoxville; state House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville and Franklin businessman Bill Lee.