Chairmanship candidates (l to r): Reginald Milton; Randa Spears; Jackie Jackson; Hendrell Remus; Barbara Cooper
As of Saturday, when chairman Bryan Carson was forced to resign by the Shelby County Democratic Party executive committee for serious irregularities with the party’s finances, local Democrats are without a chair.
For the time being, that void will be filled by acting chairman David Cambron, who had been party vice chair, but a new permanent chair is due to be named next month in a two-step voting process. First, Democrats will gather on Saturday, March 14, at First Baptist Church Broad Ave. to select delegates to the party convention, which will be held at the same location two weeks later.
At the party convention on March 28, the delegates will elect a new executive committee of 29 members, who in turn will name a new chair for the forthcoming two-year period.
Given the embarrassment the party has just experienced, the identity of the next chairman may have more than usual weight in determining the party’s future prospects.
The known candidates so far are Reginald Milton, a community organizer, County Commissioner and member of the 11-member party steering committee; Randa Spears, a special events contributor at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, recent campaign manager for 2014 county mayoral candidate Deidre Malone, and also a steering committee member; Jackie Jackson, a FedEx administrator and recent candidate for the state legislature; Hendrell Remus, a security service entrepreneur and recent candidate for the County Commission; and Del Gill, a longtime party activist and recent ex officio member of the party executive committee.
Also considering a chairmanship bid is state Representative Barbara Cooper, who is reportedly being urged to run by an ad hoc combine of talk-radio host Thaddeus Matthews and longtime party activist Greg Grant.