Lee names former Democratic lawmaker DeBerry as adviser


John Deberry, Jr.
Photo: legislature.state.tn.us

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee’s office says the Republican governor has named former Democratic state Rep. John DeBerry Jr. as a senior adviser.

Lee said in a statement Monday that DeBerry begins work Tuesday on the Republican governor’s executive leadership team and he will have an office in the Tennessee State Capitol.

“John DeBerry is a respected leader and man of faith who has served our state with integrity for decades as both a legislator and civil rights champion,” said Gov. Lee. “John has fought to protect life, provide better education options for Tennessee students, and to reform our criminal justice system and I’m honored to have his counsel within the Cabinet.”

DeBerry has represented the 90th House District of Tennessee since 1995 but came up short in his bid to return to the state House when he lost to Democrat Torrey Harris in the Nov. 3 general election.

DeBerry ran as an independent candidate after the Tennessee Democratic Party removed him in April from the ballot for the August primary election.

“It’s been an honor to serve my constituents for the last 26 years,” said DeBerry. “I am proud of the work accomplished throughout my time with the Tennessee General Assembly and I look forward to serving Tennesseans in this statewide role.”

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