Town mom to become 5th-D Dems’ female chair

A Farragut mother of three elementary school-age children, envisioning a “huge sea of blue” flooding the Farragut area’s political future, has been elected new female chair of Fifth District Democrats.

Lisa Plawchan, who will join FDD male chair Brad Duckett after he ran unopposed for a second term, starts her first 2-year term April 1 to begin the Knox County Democratic Party “year,” which runs through March 31.

This most recent FDD monthly Thursday evening meeting, March 16, in Rosarito’s Mexican Cantina off Lovell Road, was in part a preparation for Knox County Democratic Party Bi-ennial Reorganization Conven-tion. It starts at 11 a.m., Sat-urday, March 25, in CWA Union Hall, 1415 Elm St., in Knoxville.

As for the newest FDD leader, “This is an awesome turnout. This is a testament as to what we’re seeing here in the Fifth District. There is tremendous growth and there are lots of blue dots here,” said Plawchan, unopposed, during her “acceptance” speech with 37 present.

“If we keep connecting those dots it’s going to make a huge sea of blue, and we’re going to turn this district blue [Democratic],” added Plawchan, who will replace Linda Lawson of Farragut after Lawson’s first term as female chair ends March 31. Lawson was elected 66-N precinct chair [Farragut Middle School], joining vice chair Leo Sanchez.

Other Farragut precinct elected chairs were Charles Chandler, 66-S [Farragut High School] and Mali Glazer, 65-W [Farragut Town Hall]. Other vice chairs elected included Kathy Spoon [65-W].

Pointing toward issues, Plawchan said, “The more that we’re seeing on a national level with health care, with education; people here are very educated and they understand what’s going on.

“And I think that there is a good potential that we’re going to have people that are going to come and vote for Democratic candidates, especially if our elected officials don’t hold town hall meetings and listen to us.”

However, Plawchan did tip her hat to state Rep. Jason Zachary [R-District 14 that includes Farragut] for holding a town hall meeting near Farragut Thursday, March 9, which she attended.

“I think it’s great that he did that,” Plawchan said.

However, “Why isn’t [U.S.] Rep. [John J. “Jimmy”] Duncan doing more [town halls] or [U.S. Sen. Bob] Corker or [U.S. Sen. Lamar] Alexander?” she asked about these three Congressional Republicans.

“They were just in Tennessee but they didn’t meet with their constituents. We need to elect representatives that are going to work for us.

“We are their boss, and we need to be proud of our voices and not be afraid anymore,” she added. “We have to be loud — and be proud that we are Democrats. Tell your friends to come out.

“Thank you so much for being here. I look forward to working with each and every one of you and all of your friends and neighbors. Let’s start having those conversations, that is where change will happen.”

Duckett mused about “replacing myself” as FDD male chair, which drew laughs from the gathering, before getting down to basics with his address.

“The last two years have been very, very interesting, I’ve learned a lot …,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of success, and you can see that by the 33 [members] we have in this room tonight. Awhile ago we would struggle to get five or six.

“There’s a lot of energy going on, and the reason the energy is going is the unfortunate reason that we had a terrible election,” Duckett added. “… But all politics is local, and we are local. We are it, we are where it starts. … we’re going to have to grow over time. It’s not going to happen overnight. But with this type of energy that we’ve got going on, it’s almost inevitable.”

On the county Democratic Party level, FDD member Allie Cohn is running for secretary.

Cohn, a Fifth District resident since last August, served as a Florida delegate for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in 2016.

She comprises 25 percent of a so-called “Slate For Progress” alliance with KCDP chair candidate Emily Gregg [Second District], vice chair candidate Linda Haney [Seventh District] and treasurer candidate Shan-non Webb [Fourth District].

Though aligned in support, the four positions are separate votes.

“I’ve just kind of hit the ground running and been involved with a lot of campaigns around Knoxville,” Cohn said while addressing the gathering.

Bryan Goldberg from District 6, who is running for KCDP vice-chair against Haney, briefly spoke to the gathering. Haney spoke during FDD’s February meeting.

Also highlighting this meeting was the selection of 17 delegates [28 were eligible] who will represent Fifth District Democrats at the convention.

Convention delegates are based “on the number of Democrats who voted [in a given district] in the primary when the governor was running in August of [20]14,” said Sylvia Woods, KCDP Election co-chair.