Friday, September 04, 2009

Anna Belle remembered today

Anna Belle Clement O'Brien is memorialized in Crossville today, and I remember this in my Examiner column:

Clement O'Brien was the first woman ever to serve as Chairman of a Tennessee Senate Committee, she would chair both the Senate Education and Transportation Committees during her tenure. In 1982, she ran for Governor, but lost the Democratic Primary to then-Knoxville Mayor Randy Tyree. Tyree was handily defeated by incumbent Lamar Alexander in that year's General Election.

Miss Anna Belle, as she came to be known, could really be an extremely partisan Democrat. However, she is largely remembered today as a Lady and a Stateswoman because she did not allow her partisanship to last past adjournment, and was willing to broker deals with Republicans when she knew it was in Tennessee's best interest. She also is remembered for her genteel manner with the people who she both served and worked with.

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