The head of Washington County’s Democratic Party is seeking her party’s top leadership post in Tennessee.
Kate Craig, who was re-elected to a two-year term as the county party’s leader in 2019, is vying to succeed Mary Mancini as chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party.
Mancini, who has held the position since 2014, announced earlier this month that she is not seeking re-election to the position.
Why are you seeking this leadership post?
I came home to Johnson City in January of 2016. I managed Nancy Fischman’s campaign for the state House in District 7. And in March of 2017, I was elected to serve as chair of the Washington County Democratic Party.
During these four years, I’ve seen excitement and momentum build and Democrats get elected and Democrats move the needle.
In Washington County, we’ve moved the needle 5 percentage points over the last four years. This is what happens when we work together around a shared mission and toward shared goals.
I’m running to be the next chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party because I know all 95 counties can duplicate this success story through a solid foundation that builds momentum and drives progress.
What are your qualifications for holding this job?
My education, skills, experience and track record have uniquely prepared me to serve as chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party. In Washington County I have spearheaded a 10-fold increase in membership, a 145 times increase in fundraising and a 300% increase in social media engagements.
Since 2019, I’ve was elected to be the chair of the First Congressional District for the Tennessee Democratic County Chairs Association, served on the steering committee that founded the Tennessee Democratic Party Rural Caucus and oversaw the 2019 statewide rural caucus survey, and I currently chair the TDCCA Social Media Committee and serve on the TDCCA Bylaws Committee.
What is your platform?
The Tennessee Democratic Party needs a 95-county strategy. If elected, I will make sure that all counties have a Democratic Party, that all county parties are receiving the tools and training they need to take their next steps to grow the party and get Democrats elected.
I will implement a successful fundraising strategy that doesn’t leave money on the table in the same way that on Election Day we won’t have left votes on the table. The Tennessee Democratic Party will embrace the technologies of today through a robust digital program and that opens doors with new voters and activates existing voters.
And we will lend candidate support where the process and strategy is transparent and the resources are strategically applied to flip seats to get Democrats out of the superminority and growing the bench at local levels.
How do you intend to deliver on your goals?
This platform sounds like a tall order given the current state of the Tennessee Democratic Party, except I have seen the amazing on-the-ground, grassroots talent that are currently working in Tennessee. Tennessee Democrats need a leader at the helm who can bring people together, who can inspire what appears to be the impossible, and someone who can build the party back from the ground up.
This is what I have done in Washington County and what I will do for the Tennessee Democratic Party.
Already, my campaign is energizing Democrats across the state. These are Tennesseans ready to get to work, grow the party and invest in change. This momentum will get Democrats elected in municipal elections across the state in 2021 and 2022.
What do you hope Democrats in Tennessee will accomplish under your leadership?
If I’m elected to serve as the next chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, together we will build a solid foundation that Tennessee Democrats will be proud of. We will get Democrats elected to pass legislation that will benefit all Tennesseans, invest in county parties, Democratic leaders and Democratic candidates so we have a bench to build upon while continuously reaching out to voters about issues that matter to all Tennesseans.