The Shelby County Democrati9c Party, fully mindful of the weakness of their party statewide but determinedly optimistic about local election prospects in 2014, held their biennial party convention Saturday at Airways Middle School and emerged with a new executive committee and a new chairman, Bryan Carson.
Two other candidates, Terry Spicer and Jennings Bernard, did some head-counting during the course of the morning and, realizing they couldn’t win, deferred to Carson when it came time for nominations.
Carson, the son of longtime party eminence Gale Jones Carson and lead supervisor of an epidemiology work section at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, was then elected by acclamation. He would hail his rivals’ actions as presenting an opportunity for unity.
Before caucusing and voting by state House district got under way, the crowd was warmed up by 9th District congressman Steve Cohen, who emphasized what he said were the opportunities for Democrats in next year’s elections and advised the delegates to stand by the party’s principles.
Scorning the idea of “reaching out” too much in efforts to compromise with Republicans, Cohen got off a zinger: “Neville Chamberlain reached out to Hitler. It doesn’t work!”
Outgoing chairman Van Turner received a plaque of appreciation for his efforts during four years at the party helm.