TNDP Vows to Vet Candidates Following Clayton Nomination

Tennessee Democrats have missed the chance to take their nominee for U.S. Senate off the ballot. But after Mark Clayton won the nomination last week, a member of the party’s executive committee is vowing to start vetting candidates.

Democrats disavowed their nominee less than 24-hours after he won. The party argued that Clayton is not really a Democrat. He has described himself as a “tea party-style conservative.” The party says the only time he’s voted in a Democratic primary is for himself. He also volunteers with an organization characterized as an anti-gay hate group.

Jim Bilbo calls the situation “embarrassing.” But the chairman of the party’s by-laws committee says he’s also committed to keeping what is recent history from repeating itself.

“There has not to this point been a provision in the by-laws of the Tennessee Democratic Party to accurately and effectively do our legal duty to vet candidates to make sure they are bonafide.”

Bilbo says his committee has already begun talking about what criteria should be used to make sure primary candidates are true Democrats.

Clayton beat out four other candidates in the Democratic primary to face Senator Bob Corker in November.

Please keep your community civil. Comments will be moderated prior to posting, and Nashville Public Radio reserves the right to approve them at its discretion. Comments containing links promoting goods, services - even noble organizations - will not be published. Your comments may include external links, but all comments with links will be delayed as they are reviewed. Comments containing profanity will be rejected.