The DeKalb County Democratic Party has a new chairman.
Jordan Wilkins, who has been serving as one of the Vice Chairmen, was elected as the new party leader during Saturday's Biennial Reorganization Convention at the courthouse. Jim Judkins, the retiring chairman who held the post for five years, did not seek another term.
Wilkins is a 2014 graduate of DeKalb County High School and currently a Freshman at Tennessee Tech University. Active in Democratic politics since he was a child, Wilkins thanked the group for placing their trust in him to lead the party.
"Without each of you, this wouldn't be possible for me and without each of you it wouldn't be possible to have such an active and strong party in DeKalb County," said Wilkins in his first address to the party faithful as chairman.
"I have been active (in the party) since I was really young. I got started in the sixth grade, getting the Young Democrats together. I realized the importance of government. I realized the importance of young people being involved to educate the next generation and for them to carry on the legacy of the Democratic Party. I continued to be involved. I worked on Mr. (James) Hale's (State Representative) campaign and local campaigns when we had our nominees. I learned a lot. I got the experience of interning at the Tennessee Democratic Party. It was a great experience for me. I had an opportunity to go down and visit with our Democratic state legislators. Just last week I spoke to the House Democratic Caucus. I gave them ideas. They wanted my opinions on what they need to do to beat (State Representatives) Terri Lynn Weaver and Mark Pody. We discussed that. Our new TNDP Chair Mary Mancini is working hard to fund raise for us. She's working hard to recruit good candidates. I really feel like this next year we're going to see some big changes going on specifically in the state of Tennessee," he said.
"The future plans I have for the party include going into each community. We're going to have to educate people. We've allowed FOX NEWS to name us and label who we are. We need to go into each community center and educate on what is going on at the state and let people know what they're doing to teachers. Let people know what they're doing to women, Let people know what they're doing to senior citizens. I can tell you our message is the winning message. We've just got to get that out to people. I really feel like if we go into these community centers and we invite the people in that area they will realize that the Democratic party is the one standing up for them and their values," he said.
Wilkins and all the other officers of the party were elected by acclamation without any opposition and they will serve for two years.
James Hale is the new Vice Chairman. Joyce Hendrixson was re-elected Secretary and Myra Miller remains Treasurer.
Members of the new DeKalb County Democratic Executive Committee were also selected during the convention, each to serve two years. Those named to the committee are as follows:
First District: Luke Willoughby and Pat Parkerson
Second District: Ronnie Redmon and Debbie France
Third District: Jack Barton and Deborah Goodwin
Fourth District: David McDowell and Billie Ann Tubbs
Fifth District: Dennis Boland and Beth Gill
Sixth District: Gary Prater and Deana Green
Seventh District: Tommy Webb and Joyce Poss
Ex-Officio members are: Carelis Garcia- Hispanic representative; Katie Parker- Young Democrats representative; and Billie Ann Tubbs- African American representative.
Young Democrats Officers are: Katie Parker President, Hannah James- Vice President; and Delaney Johnson- Secretary/Treasurer.
District 17 State Executive Committee Man and Woman Aubrey and Rachel Givens were among those attending Saturday's meeting.