Gloria Johnson bows out of Democratic chair race, may head OFA in Tennessee

Former state Rep. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville has ended her candidacy for chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party while being considered for the job of running the Democratic advocacy group Organizing for America in Tennessee, reports Richard Locker.

Johnson notified members of the party’s state executive committee in an email Friday afternoon that she is withdrawing as a candidate to succeed Roy Herron, who is not seeking another term when the committee meets Jan. 10 in Nashville to choose a new chairman.

…Her withdrawal leaves Knoxville lawyer Terry Adams, Nashville businessman Larry Crim, party activist Mary Mancini of Nashville and accountant Lenda Sherrell of Monteagle in the running.

…Johnson lost reelection to her state House seat in the November general election. She told executive committee members that she has been offered the position of Tennessee state director for Organizing for America, formerly Obama for America, the President’s campaign organization that became a Democratic advocacy group after his reelection in 2012.

“I will be building teams to work on progressive causes in Tennessee, training new leaders and teaching them how to organize…. This was not an easy decision for me to make but I know I have made the right decision for me and my family. Though I will be traveling a lot, this position will allow me to stay in Knoxville, which is important for my family at this time,” she wrote.

Johnson, a former school teacher, said she is friends with all the candidates for chairman but wrote that she believes Mancini is “the most qualified of those remaining in the race.”

Further from Johnson via Georgiana Vines:
“I haven’t been offered the job and I haven’t accepted, but we’re in the process of working something out,” Johnson said Saturday.

If the job materializes, it would start in the spring, she said.

In the meantime, she said she’ll return to teaching special education — this time at Holston Middle School.

“I didn’t feel it was fair for so many people working for me for chair when I was working on another job,” she said.

Note: Pith in the Wind has Johnson’s full email to the executive committee, HERE.