Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Roy Herron will be steering the party with his knees for a bit.
In an email sent last night and obtained by Pith, Herron informs the party that "over five years ago" he committed to representing a couple in a case involving injuries suffered by their disabled son. After attempts to mediate the case were unsuccessful, he writes, the case goes to a jury trial starting Monday. Herron informs party members he has been off the party's payroll since May 15 and "will remain an unpaid chair until after the conclusion of the trial."
While insisting that "at nights and on weekends I will do whatever is needed for our Party," Herron adds that during the trial the party "will operate on the volunteer, part-time chairman model used by the TNDP during the service of seven of our last ten chairs."
The full email:
Over five years ago I committed to a wonderful couple, both devout Democrats, that I would represent them in a case seeking medical care and redress for grievous injuries to their severely disabled grandson. We have mediated the case — twice — but the wrongdoers have been unwilling to adequately help the victim and thus this family's jury trial starts on Monday.
I've been "off the payroll" since before attending Nancy and my son's college graduation, and I will remain an unpaid chair until after the conclusion of the trial.
That has not meant that I have quit doing TNDP work — to the contrary!
Since going off the payroll May 15th, I have hired a new Deputy Finance Director, worked dozens of hours, and today I raised another $5,000, met with our interns, met with various staff, arranged housing for interns, and completed other work that needed to be done.
Our Finance Director, Jake Dunavant, our new Deputy Finance Director, Cortyne Stone, and our Treasurer, Wade Munday, as well as others, have agreed to make fundraising calls so the Party continues to raise needed resources. In addition, we had a highly successful May 14th fundraiser with our DNC Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schulz, so we've got a little breathing room.
Even during this trial, at nights and on weekends I will do whatever is needed for our Party. But during this trial, we will operate on the volunteer, part-time chairman model used by the TNDP during the service of seven of our last ten chairs.
If you have needs that are urgent, please do not hesitate to contact our Executive Director, Kevin Teets. If you have something that requires my personal attention, then certainly Kevin will let me know and we will do what needs to be done!
I know that we share a commitment to fighting for those who are hurting and to seeing that justice is done. I wish that this trial could have been conducted months and even years ago, but I thank you for understanding my responsibility to this family now.
I look forward to the conclusion of the trial, hopeful of justice then, but also eager to resume focusing on our shared work! I look forward to seeing those of you on the Executive Committee on July 27th, if not before!
It would seem hard to fault Herron too much for keeping his commitment to a family in such trying circumstances. But do superminorities come with an autopilot?