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The Tennessee Democratic Party is looking ahead to 2022, announcing a plan to barnstorm at least 10 cities across the state as part of a plan to register 200,000 new voters.

The move comes as the party has for years steadily lost control of state government. The Democratic caucuses in the state House and Senate are both relegated to “super-minority” status, and the party has not won a statewide race since 2006.

The short-term goal of the push is flipping a Hamilton County state House seat, formerly held by Republican Rep. Mike Carter, who died earlier this year, triggering a special election. Democrat DeAngelo Jelks and Republican Greg Vital will face off in the July 27 special election. House Republicans have been knocking doors in the district on Vital’s behalf in recent days.

Though more stops could be added, Tennessee Democrats’ tour includes visits to Chattanooga, Murfreesboro, Memphis, Tri-Cities, Knoxville, Nashville, Oak Ridge, Jackson, Clarksville and Cookeville between this weekend and early September. The events will include community rallies with elected officials and other leaders plus trainings and canvassing events.

“If we’re going to break the Republican supermajority and make the Tennessee Democratic Party relevant across the state again, we have to be committed to meeting people where they are and this tour will give us an opportunity to do just that,” new TNDP chair Hendrell Remus said.

Gov. Bill Lee to visit U.S.-Mexico border

Gov. Bill Lee is heading to Texas this weekend to visit Tennessee National Guard personnel currently working at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Currently numbering around 300, the troops have been deployed since late in the Trump administration, though Lee is quick to blame current President Joe Biden for “the most severe border crisis we’ve seen in 20 years.”

“I want to personally commend the more than 300 Tennesseans who are serving our country and on the front lines of this crisis,” Lee said in a release.

Lee will be joined by Tennessee National Guard Adjutant General Jeff Holmes on the visit, which past governors have made as well.

It’s not just Tennessee taxpayers funding personnel at the border. A Tennessee billionaire’s charity is currently helping fund South Dakota’s deployment to the area.

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