Thirty four delegates state wide convened on Nashville today to elect a new Tennessee Republican Party chairman. Chris Devaney, who had led the party for years, resigned to work for a charity connected to Haiti.
Ten of the delegates came from Shelby County, which gave us a surprisingly big share of the vote.
According to news reports, Knoxville state representative Ryan Haynes was elected on the first ballot. He bested SEC Member Rebecca Burke, State Representative Mary Littleton and Vanderbilt Professor Carol Swain.
Haynes is just 29. He has represented District 14 since January, 2009. He was on the House Education Committee, House State & Local Government committee, Higher Education subcommittee and state government subcommittee. He had indicated to a reporter that he will resign his seat upon election so as to devote himself full time to the party business.
“I am excited to take on this challenge and humbled by the support of the State Executive Committee,” said Chairman Haynes. “I want to pick up right where Chairman Devaney left off: building our Party, maintaining and growing our strong financial advantage over our opponents, and getting as many votes as possible for our GOP nominees.”
Devaney remarked, “There is no doubt in my mind Ryan will be a fantastic chairman for the Party. The TNGOP is in as strong of a position as we have ever been heading into a presidential election cycle. It has been an honor to serve this organization and be part of its rise to dominance in Tennessee. I look forward to working with Chairman Haynes to ensure our success continues.”
Haynes voted to allow firearms in parks. He has also voted to prohibit firing of an employee for storing a firearm in his vehicle. He voted against Medicaid expansion in Tennessee as well.
Haynes was recently involved in the capture of a man who exposed himself in the children’s section of a Borders bookstore. He and the father of three girls who saw it chased him down, with Haynes taking down the license plate numbers.
That led to the arrest of the suspect.