The executive committee of the Tennessee Democratic Party voted Saturday to elect Roy Herron, a longtime member of the General Assembly, to be the group's new chairman.
Herron, 59, served 10 years in the state House before a 16-year run in the state Senate. After an unsuccessful bid for Congress against current 8th District Rep. Stephen Fincher in 2010, the lawmaker from Dresden did not seek re-election.
Also a former minister, Herron bested David Garrison, a Nashville attorney, in Saturday's 39-27 vote.
Herron succeeds outgoing Chairman Chip Forrester, who served as the party's head for two terms. During his four years at the helm, state Democrats lost their holds on the governor's office, three congressional seats and various seats in the Tennessee General Assembly.
In a news release, Herron said he hoped to begin the process of rebuilding the party and promoting policies for working and middle-class families.
"I am excited to serve alongside my fellow TNDP officers as we begin the critical work of rebuilding our great state and our Democratic Party," Herron said. "Together, we will keep working toward building a state where opportunity exists for everyone willing to work for it and where the American dream is truly within reach of working and middle-class families, not just a lucky few."