Hamilton County Democrats announced Tuesday that Jane Hampton Bowen, a longtime party activist and Chattanooga resident, will seek election to become chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party next year.

Bowen, who is vice president and political liaison for the Chattanooga Area Labor Council, is the fourth candidate to declare a bid for the seat currently held by Chip Forrester, who announced in October he would not seek a third two-year term. During Forrester’s tenure, Democrats lost their holds on the governor’s office, three congressional seats and a number of seats in both chambers of the General Assembly.

In a news release, Bowen said she would work to build community and bridge relationships within the party.

“You build an army from within before you go to battle,” Bowen said. “As chairman, it would be my responsibility to bridge relationships within the party. I choose not to be boxed into one faction of the party over another. My objective is the party, which has many faces and perspectives. I will be responsible for valuing the people of this party, setting high expectations and having faith as this party becomes an army.”


She added that, if elected, state Democrats would “gain one seat at a time, district by district.”

“No excuses-only results,” she said.

According to a Tennessean report, Bowen is the first candidate to wage a bid for party chairman outside of Nashville.

The party will vote on its new leader next year.