Chip Forrester will not be seeking re-election as chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, the party confirmed Thursday morning.
During his four-year stint as chairman, Forrester oversaw perhaps the worst period in the state party’s history. After losing control of the state legislature in 2008 — for the first time since Reconstruction — Democrats saw the state painted red in 2010 after a wave of Republican success.
After national embarrassment surrounding the disavowed U.S. Senate candidacy of Mark Clayton, the party is hoping to prevent further losses. If Republicans gain at least two seats in the state House and Senate this November, they will achieve two-thirds majorities in both, rendering Democrats practically irrelevant on the Hill.
However, Forrester leaves the party with a plan he hopes will get them out of the hole. In a May cover story, he described a strategic plan to The City Paper called the New Path Forward. Inspired in part by the modern techniques displayed by President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, the strategy is meant to strengthen the party’s ground game, using metrics-based campaign systems. The plan also focuses on building the party’s bench, and restoring strong communication amongst its various stakeholders.
Attempts to reach Forrester were unsuccessful.
The party will elect a new chair in January.