I hope you will join me in welcoming Rupa Blackwell as the new Democratic Committeewoman for the 16th State Senatorial District, which includes Franklin County.
Rupa was elected by the TNDP executive committee to fill the vacancy created when Sheila Younglove stepped down (after being elected in August).
Rupa is a former Alderman for Tullahoma (2019-2022) as well as previous secretary of the Coffee County Democratic Party and a longtime Democratic activist.
She brings a lot of enthusiasm and experience and we look forward to working with her.
What is a Democratic Committeewoman? TNDP (the state party) forms its executive committee from two representatives from each of Tennessee’s 33 state senate districts. One is the Democratic Committeewoman and the other is the Democratic Committeeman, who is currently Bobby Bush (probably several of you have met him at FCDP events).
These are elected positions. This year they were on the August ballot. They serve for 4 years. However, it is my understanding that because Rupa was appointed, that position will be up for election again in 2024, the next regular election cycle.
These people help manage the affairs and decisions of TNDP much the same way that our elected district reps do for FCDP.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Betty Fraley, from Winchester, who served in some capacity in TNDP for over 30 years. She stepped down from the Democratic Committeewoman position this year. We are lucky to have such a dedicated Democratic activist right here in Franklin County and she continues to support TNDP.
We had a tent at the Fall Heritage Festival in Cowan over the weekend of September 16-18. We registered voters, handed out campaign materials for Bruce Manuel (State Rep), Jason Martin (Governor), Bruce Pender (School Board) and Wayne Steele (U.S. Rep). We also held a sweepstakes to win a One-Year Family Membership to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, which allows for unlimited visits for a family of 2 adults and up to 5 kids. Haley Hall won in a drawing held on Sunday afternoon. She plans to donate the membership to her sister who has young kids. We are so grateful to members such as Josephine Holman (pictured below) who manned the tent and to Tessa Hill’s Sober Living for donating the aquarium membership prize.
On Tuesday, April 26, area Democrats gathered at the Franklin County Annex to meet one of the candidates in the Democratic primary for governor of Tennessee, Memphis City Councilman and lawyer, J.B. Smiley, Jr. Mr. Smiley spoke of his desire to find common ground with all constituents and gave many examples of his being a pragmatic problem solver. He is determined to visit all 95 counties in Tennessee. His opponent in the Democratic primary for Governor of Tennessee, Dr. Jason Martin of Nashville visited Franklin County in October of last year.
Voters have the opportunity to choose candidates in the primary on August 4, who will then go on to compete in the November State and National Midterm Election. August 4 is also when many local and county races will be decided including County Commission, School Board, County Mayor, Sheriff, County Clerk, Road Commissioner, and others. These local offices are just as important as the big statewide and national offices in our daily lives. They determine your property tax rate, maintain law and order, make important zoning decisions, determine teacher pay and other school programs, make sure our roads are well maintained, just to name a few. For assistance voting and to learn more about the candidates, please go to franklincountytennesseedemocraticparty.com.
Several of the candidates for local office were in attendance: Ashley Carolyn Bowers, Franklin County School Board, District 7; Bruce Manuel, TN House of Representatives, District 39; JB Smiley Jr., TN Governor; Wayne Steele, US House, District 4; Floyd Blackwell, Franklin County School Board, District 1; Spike Hosch, Franklin County Commissioner, District 5, Seat B (Left to right)
Our last big in person event with the public was on February 17, 2020. It was our annual President’s Day Spelling Bee for kids and American History Bee for adults. There was also a magic show and a potluck dinner. Pictured are our 2 winners.
The Franklin County Democratic Party is so grateful to the tireless work of the Frankli County Health Department giving COVID tests outside in all weather and delivering vaccines. In April of 2021, we delivered flowers, pizza, and cookies to our healthcare workers to show our appreciation.