Knoxville attorney Gordon Ball has sent a letter to state executive committee members announcing his bid to be the new state Democratic Party Chairman. Current Chair Chip Forrester, who is again seeking the post, has come under fire after the party's huge losses in the November election.
Ball is a former federal prosecutor and defense attorney, and was a delegate to the last state constitutional convention. He is now one of the top class-action litigators in the country. He is often involved in environmental lawsuits, including efforts to stop pollution of the Pigeon River by a North Carolina paper mill.
Ball first has to explain that he had a personal loyalty to Jimmy Haslam that led him to serve on his brother Bill's "Democrats for Haslam" committee in the last election.
The 66-member Democratic Executive Committee will hold the chair election in January and there are three candidates thus far in addition to Forrester and Ball. There is a Facebook page called Anybody but Chip. The East Tennessee executive committee met this past weekend at Calhoun's on Bearden Hill and heard a solicitation from local Democratic leaders Harold and Sylvia Wood to retain Chip as chair.