NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Democrats held officer elections on Saturday, electing some new faces and seeing others return.
The party re-elected the previous chair, Grant Tennille, for a full term. Tennille had announced before that he did not intend to seek re-election for the position, but said he was persuaded by other party members to change his mind.
“Friends, two months ago, I was as exhausted as I’ve ever been in my life,” Tennille said. “I felt beaten up and beaten down. I was ready for a break. Fortunately, all of us have good friends who spent time talking to me and working with me. They made me understand that this moment in Arkansas is fraught with danger, and with possibility.”
Tennille and other party members in attendance were also promoting the recent legislature filed by Democrats that intends to raise teacher and staff pay in Arkansas.
“We need to tell Arkansans, again and again, that Democrats in our legislature are the only ones fighting to get our teachers paid what they deserve,” Tennille stated. “They need to know that Democrats are the only one’s fighting to preserve our public schools, which are the heart and soul of so many communities in this state.”
Jannie Cotton was elected as the first vice chair, replacing the outgoing Nicole Hart. She said that she wanted to focus on voter engagement.
“We have got to raise money, but we’ve got to invest in voter engagement,” Cotton said.
Several other officer positions had been up for grabs as well, including vice chair for county committees, treasurer and executive committee members