By Patricia Williams
The Knox County Democrats annual 2019 Truman Day fundraising event at the Foundry on the World’s Fair site was billed as “Two Dynamic Women.” The co-guest speakers were Tennessee House Minority Leader who is the first African-American and female to fill the position and Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Knoxville’s first female mayor who is currently serving the last months of her second term. Camper is also a State Rep. for Memphis, TN.
The night was one worthy of National historic recognition, or at the very least, one for the record books of the Democratic party. It was billed as two, but three dynamic historic women took the stage. LaKenya Middlebrook is the newly elected KCDP Chairman and is the first African-American to chair the party. It was Middlebrook’s first time to be charged with hosting the event. She did an exceptional job and humbly spotlighted the guests.
A surprise finale was intentionally not on the program. John Stewart, accompanied by his wife Nancy, was honored with the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. The presentation was made by their son, Mike.
John was a ranking member of the Democratic party in Washington at the time of the Watergate breach. He was the first person the security guard called after discovering that the National Democratic Party’s headquarters was being burglarized.
John diverted the call to his assistant and went back to sleep. After all, it was 3 am. Later that morning he awoke to learn the importance of the call that ignited the Watergate scandal that ultimately led to the impeachment of then sitting Pres. Richard Nixon.
The senior Stewart joked that he passed off his opportunity, and slept through his chance to be recorded in history. However, in hindsight, he may have averted the demise of his political career.