Black Women Lead: Senate Democrats make history with officer elections

Sen. Akbari elected Democratic Leader, Sen. Lamar elected Caucus Chairwoman, Sen. Oliver elected Vice-Chairwoman

Tennessee Senate Democrats
2 min readDec 15, 2022


NASHVILLE — The Senate Democratic Caucus announced today its officers for the upcoming 113th General Assembly.

Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) will serve as Senate Democratic Leader, Sen. London Lamar (D-Memphis) will serve as the Senate Democratic Caucus Chairwoman, and Sen. Charlane Oliver (D-Nashville) will serve as the Caucus Vice-Chairwoman.

This election marks the first time in history any legislative caucus in Tennessee has been led by two Black women — let alone three.

Senate Democratic Leader Raumesh Akbari:
“Since 2013, it has been an absolute honor to serve the people of Shelby County in the Tennessee General Assembly alongside my colleagues who share in my belief that people should come before politics. Today and everyday, I stand on the shoulders of legislative trailblazers like Lois DeBerry, Barbara Cooper, and personal heroes like, my mom Lisa Akbari and sister Raumina Akbari. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead our caucus and move us forward united by our calling to deliver better results to everyday Tennesseans.”

Senate Democratic Caucus Chairwoman London Lamar:
“There are serious challenges facing the people of Tennessee and it is an awesome responsibility to defend our values at the state legislature. The Senate Democratic Caucus remains committed to fighting for working families, the middle class, young people and seniors, or those who feel left behind or targeted by politics as usual. We will not waver in our fight for the people. I look forward to serving my senate colleagues and the citizens of Tennessee.”

Caucus Vice-Chairwoman Charlane Oliver:
“I am honored that my colleagues trust me to lead. My top priorities are to do what’s in the best interest of my district and do the People’s business in the Tennessee General Assembly. I am ready to work.”

Outgoing-Leader Sen. Jeff Yarbro nominated Sen. Raumesh Akbari for the caucus leadership position.

“It was my pleasure today to nominate and support my friend to serve as Senate Minority Leader for the 113th General Assembly,” Sen. Yarbro said. “She will be the first African American woman to serve in this role and will do an absolutely amazing job.”

Senate Democrats also appointed Sen. Yarbro to fill an open position on the Joint Fiscal Review Committee.

The 113th Tennessee General Assembly will begin Tuesday, Jan. 10.