Former State Rep. Donna Rowland Barrett has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Tennessee State Election Commission. Commissioner Barrett, principal of The Barrett Group, is a recognized leader in cost control strategies. Prior to her founding The Barrett Group, she spent 10 years serving as a Tennessee state representative, representing Rutherford County.
The commission is responsible for appointing local election commissioners in all of Tennessee’s 95 counties, then monitoring the activities and performance of those individual county election commissions.
"I'm pleased Commissioner Barrett is willing to complete this term," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "I know she will continue her public service with distinction by working to ensure elections in this state are fair and impartial."
"It is an honor to serve in this capacity for the State of Tennessee," Commissioner Barrett said.
Barrett will join the seven-member election commission, which is administratively attached to the department of state. She is only the second woman in history to serve on the commission.
The state election commission works very closely with the state coordinator of elections to ensure elections are conducted in a uniform fashion.
Mark Goins, the state's coordinator of elections, added: "I have known Donna Barrett for a long time. She will make a great state election commissioner."
She is filling a vacancy created when former Commissioner Tom DuBois qualified to serve as a circuit court judge in the 22nd Judicial District.
Barrett's experience at the state level will be an added benefit to the commission. Barrett was first elected as a state representative in November 2000. Prior to her retirement in November 2010, she served on several legislative committees; however, her most notable position was a member of the Fiscal Review Committee - where she earned the reputation of being one of the state fiscal "watchdogs." During her years of service, Barrett generated more than $30 million in cost savings by identifying over-appropriations, bloated contracts and misuse of funds.