Shaw Wants More Cooperative Spirit from Democrats

Democrats in the state house are electing their leaders Wednesday. And for some, the party’s diminished role is cause for change.

Rep. Mike Turner of Old Hickory is the current caucus chairman, but Johnny Shaw of Bolivar in West Tennessee has thrown his hat in the ring. He says Turner can be too quick to insult Republicans, who now hold a two-thirds super majority in the House.

“You understand that if a guy got a gun on you, why you going to cuss him out? That’s kind of an elementary phrase, but we’ve got to find a way to work with people even if they disagree with us and even if we don’t get what we want.”

Shaw says the party also needs to come up with a strategy to start winning more seats than are being lost. He says the candidate recruiting process for the 2014 elections should already be underway.

Shaw says he believes he has support from most of the House Black Caucus. While that includes half the Democrats in the chamber, Rep. Turner still says he has the votes to retain his chairmanship.

No one has challenged Rep. Craig Fitzhugh for minority leader.

Senate Republicans also plan to hold elections Wednesday, though the top posts are uncontested.

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