NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Democratic Party’s executive committee has elected Hendrell Remus as the new party chairman. Remus will serve a two-year term.
He is the first African American elected to serve as party chairman. He is assistant director of the Tennessee State University Office of Emergency Management.
It's a title Remus says out loud with pride.
"It feels great, it feels great. The weight of the moment has definitely been on me; it feels absolutely fantastic," said Remus.
It was just days ago when the Tennessee Democratic Party elected Remus for the role.
He is the first black person in state history to be chair of any major party and at 34-years-old he's making even more history.
"I'm also the first Millennial to serve in this role."
The Memphis native worked in politics most of his life. And with today being Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Remus says he can't help but to see the significance one man's dream had on his reality.
"I would participate at the National Civil Rights museum as a live-action character in exhibits about Dr. King, and I remember jockeying to have that famous spot to be able to give the last line of his I Have A Dream speech," Remus said.
And with that dream, Remus says he's ready to make some much-needed changes in the party.
"Number one remove that racial barrier that has kept us so divided," he said.
He also wants to help unite Democrats across the state.
"Having us work in a cohesive manner across the state from inner-city Memphis to rural East Tennessee."
His goal is to get more people out to vote. Remus says he also wants to change the minds and hearts of independents and even Republican voters.
"We are going to take back the mantle of the people, it’s time for us to start highlighting how under republican leadership so many have really falling off the economic cliff," Remus said.
Remus says the to-do list is long but he's ready to lead.
"I'm extremely hopeful for the future of the Democratic Party and I think we're going to do some great things in the coming years."
Remus says he's humbled and elated at the opportunity to serve as party chairman. The executive committee also elected Barbara Wagner as vice-chair, Pam Weston as secretary and Carol Abney as treasurer.