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Washington County Democrats elect officers

Robert Houk • Apr 2, 2019 at 6:39 PM

Local Democrats have set their leadership team for the next two years.

The Washington County Democratic Party met Friday and elected new officers. Party leaders said 127 people showed up at Johnson City’s Memorial Park Community Center to participate in the reorganization.

Kate Craig, who turned back a challenge from John Baker to be re-elected as party chair, said the number who participated in the reorganization was a record for the Washington County party.

“We were excited to see the turnout for our vision and direction of the party for 2020,” Craig said Tuesday. “Our sights are set on a number of seats, and we hope to turn Washington County blue.”

Washington County’s reorganization was part of Democratic Party elections held in all of Tennessee’s 95 counties last week.

Local Democrats re-elected Joe Buckles as vice chair. Sandy Leadingham was elected secretary, and Jennifer Mongold will serve as treasurer.

Washington County Democrats elected 15 members to serve on the party’s Executive Committee. They are Jennifer Gardner, Brad Batt, Justin Leslie, Diane Bradley, Joseph Hardin, Nathan Farnor, Seth Graves, Jeff Clark, Debbie McClaskey, Cathy Walker, Emma Frye, Maggie Parris, Mike Morgan, Morgan Olson and Julia Bernard.

Bernard later posted the following on Facebook about the make up of the county Democratic Party’s leadership team: “What a great group! Last night we elected white, Black, Latinx, males, females, trans, straight, gay, young, middle aged, older aged, single, married, divorced, parents, grandparents, students, working folks, disabled, vets, and retirees … and that is what I know. Amazing!”

Craig said the number of people who attended the party’s reorganization reflects the enthusiasm local Democrats have for the 2020 elections. She said Democrats will contend for a number of city, county and state offices in the next election cycle.

With 2020 being a presidential election year, Craig said she expects the turnout to be even better than the numbers seen in November 2018.

“I believe we will see numbers that will surpass that historic turnout,” she said. “I’m excited about what that says for our democracy.”

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