John DeBerry is a Democrat who represents a Memphis district in the Tennessee Legislature and has been re-elected 13 times. Rep. DeBerry, who is black, has represented the majority black House District 90 for over 25 years.
He was removed from the House District 90 primary ballot last month by the Tennessee Democratic Party’s State Executive Committee. And in a calculated move, the Democratic Party removed him from the ballot AFTER the filing deadline, meaning that under current Tennessee law he will not be able to run in the election for another party or as an independent.
The primary reason for removing an incumbent legislator from their own Party from the ballot? Because DeBerry opposes abortion. (DeBerry also favors school choice, a stance that puts him at odds with most Democrats.) And that simply isn’t to be tolerated in today’s Democratic Party, it seems.
“My district has elected me 13 times,” DeBerry said after a House committee meeting. “Not just because I’m John DeBerry or because I’m a Democrat. But because they agree with what I fought for and what I stood for.”