Former legislator and economic development commissioner Matt Kisber and current House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh will be among those speaking in tribute to the late Gov. Ned McWherter at the Tennessee Democrats’ Jackson Day Dinner Saturday.
The event will be at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall in Nashville.
John Seigenthaler, chairman emeritus of The Tennessean, and founder of the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, will be the keynote speaker for the program called “A Tribute to Governor Ned Ray McWherter.”
McWherter, governor of Tennessee from 1987-1995, and speaker of the House for 14 years before that, died April 4 at age 80.
McWherter’s son, Mike, the Democratic nominee for governor in 2010 in a race won by Republican Bill Haslam, will present the first annual award named in honor of Ned McWherter to a Democrat for leadership.
As previously announced, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland will be the featured speaker at the event apart from the McWherter tributes.
Kisber is expected to talk about McWherter’s work on jobs, and Fitzhugh is expected to focus on McWherter’s contributions to education. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is also scheduled to speak.
The recipient of the new honor, known as the Legacy Award, will be selected by Mike McWherter and officers of the Tennessee Democratic Party.