Van Turner Wins Second Term

In nothing short of an overwhelming show of support, the Shelby County Democratic Party (SCDP) has re-elected chairman Van Turner to a second two-year term of office. Amidst rumors that an opposition candidate such as the recently elected County Commissioner Justin Ford would run against the well respected chair, Mr. Turner aggressively campaign for support. This campaigning not only deterred any likely opposition, it strengthened his base and was the catalyst for changing the face of the Party’s Executive Committee.

The number of SCDP Executive Committee members is based on the voting history of Democrats in Shelby County. Due to purging of Democratic voters by Republicans and a lackluster turnout of voters during the 2010 Tennessee Governors’ race the allowable number of SCDP Executive Committee members dropped from 83 to 38. Many long time members of the Party lost their seats.

For the past two years the SCDP has struggled due to an entrenched opposition group that neither supported Mr. Turner nor were willing to work to move the Party forward. They rejected countless attempts by the chair to find common ground. Most, if not all, of these individuals lost their seats.

This smaller more homogeneous Executive Committee now has the opportunity to make sweeping changes to the Party. Chairman Turner needs to take advantage of this brief period to address such concerns as funding for the Party, ineffective committees and the Party’s ability to vet qualified Democratic candidates for future races.

Though many in the Party are celebrating the oustering of some opposition members they would be wise to remember the words of Lyndon Johnson, "Better to have them inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in.” The next two years will be very interesting.


Anonymous said...

Hooray Hooray for Van Turner, Jr.!

Anonymous said...

We have pushed out those who did nothing for the Party but bitch and moan. This is a new SHELBY COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY!!!!!!

Anonymous said...


Let me add that the party needs to redo the bylaws. The party needs to reach out more to those further in Shelby County. This is suppose to be a big tent with African Americans and whites. For too long there have been some trying to keep whites out. This is wrong.

Great blog.

Anonymous said...

Yea but those opposition people were pissing in the tent while inside. Thank God they are gone. Congrats Van.

Anonymous said...

The ring leaders were:
Eddie Jones
Lea Ester Redmond
Oretha Anderson
Norma Lester
John Bratcher

All of them led by the nose by Sydney Chism. Damn fools all of them.

Anonymous said...

Done what?!?

Under Chairman Van Turner, Jr.

- the SCDP has gone from 83 to 38 members.

- Noone respects the party.

- Democratic candidates in 2010 all lost.

- No funds.

- No office.

Don't blame the opposition. Now that the rest of you "feel" you are in control lets see how good of a job you do. I'm glad to be off.

Reginald Milton said...

To 6:06 A.M.

Please, no name calling.

Anonymous said...

The person that wrote NOONE is dumb as hell. Please understand that no one is two words. This is why your dumb ass is off of the party. Oretha anderson was collecting dust on te party. And Boris Combest has a patent on stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Van Turner is NOT responsible for the party going from 83 to 38. Responsibility goes to everyone who did not get out and vote during the Governor's race. Do you know who the real candidate against Van Turner was? It wasn't Justin Ford and/or Curtis Johnson. Curtis Johnson was used by the same group of people that asked him to run. Johnson sent letters to most of the people who couldn't even vote for him.
House District 84

Anonymous said...

"Oretha anderson was collecting dust on te party. And Boris Combest has a patent on stupidity."

Amen! They both are worthless!

Anonymous said...

Thank God we can move forward as a party. A tidal Wave swept the convention on this past Saturday and clearded the way for progress. I look forward to working with a new and improved group. Way to go Shelby Dems.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I am one of the "entrenched opposition" but let's face facts that Van did little to help the Party over the past two years. They are almost broke, the 2010 elections resulted in ZERO victories (don't make excuses please), the subcommittees were inactive over the last two years, the keynote speaker at the Kennedy Day Fundraiser was boring and someone most had never heard of, and overall participation this year was about half of 2009 participation.

The Democratic Party is weaker in Shelby County than it was two years ago.

Hopefully, Van has learned some things and will be more effective this time.

Reginald Milton said...

To 8:52 A.M. and 2:31 P.M.

I appreciate your comments but I have to disagree. I was part of this Party before Van took over and many of the challenges were worse then than they are now. We have held several fundraisers, Chip came down to say we will have a headquarters, I agree the committees nor the districts were as active as I would have liked, but I put that blame on the chairs of the committees and house districts, including yours truly.

The chair is only one person and let's not forget this is a volunteer position.

If you feel there is a problem don't complain, instead roll up your sleeves and help.

Anonymous said...

Reginald, you are a Van loyalist to the end. It's impossible to "roll up your sleeves and help" within the Party when you have no one to direct you.

You can assign blame to the Committee Chairs, the House District Chairs, the critics, or whomever but the Chairman is the one who is responsible for making sure they do their jobs or replacing them. We are all volunteers here.

I do hope that Van will do a better job this time.

Anonymous said...

""The Democratic Party is weaker in Shelby County than it was two years ago.""

YOu saying that Keith Norman was a better Chair than Van!!! Oh my God!

Keith Norman only showed up to a couple of meetings. Van has worked his butt off for this party. What have you done? I bet nothing.

Reginald Milton said...

To 1:10 P.M.

Well I guess we can agree that we hope the chair's next two years are successful.

Thanks for sharing your opinion.

Reginald Milton said...

To 6:04 P.M.

I joined the Party under Keith Norman's term.

I don't know the reasons for his many absences. With his other duties he may have just taken on more than he could handle, but I felt he had the talent and ability.

Also, I think it is time we put aside all this bitterness. The enemy is not us, but those Republicans who want to turn back the hands of time and destroy all the work we have done to move this Country forward.

Thanks for sharing your opinion.

Anonymous said...

Hi - I am definitely delighted to discover this. Good job!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Reginald for providing a way for people to communicate the joys and frustrations of being an active Democrat involved at the local party level. The convention has ended, the votes were counted and the results are there for all to see.

The only thing that matters from this point forward is what each executive committee member contributes to the party in time, energy and money. Someone mentioned that it is hard to hide in a smaller group. Everyone who voted at the convention should hold the members they elected accountable!

Roll those sleeves up - there is much important work to do.