State Senator Thelma Harper to Retire

First African-American woman elected to the State Senate leaves a legacy of public service

April 5, 2018 (NASHVILLE, Tenn.) – After State Senator Thelma Harper announced yesterday that she would not seek reelection for the 19th Senate District, Mary Mancini, Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, released the following statement:

“Senator Thelma Harper has served the residents of the 19th district well as the longest-serving female state senator in the history of Tennessee,” Mancini said. “Her dedication to children, women, and the elderly are a testament to her compassionate leadership. We’ll miss her presence in the legislature, but will continue to learn from and be inspired by her legacy as a public servant.”

First elected in 1991, Sen. Harper was the first African-American woman elected to the Tennessee Senate and is the longest-serving female state senator in the history of Tennessee. Prior to becoming a state senator, she served eight years as a Metro councilwoman.

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Media Contact:
Amanda Yanchury
615.270.9468
amanda@tndp.org