Monday, May 23, 2022

John Ryder, RIP

John Ryder
by Rod Williams, May 23, 2022- Longtime Republican strategist, attorney, and civic leader John Ryder is dead at the age of 72.  He passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer.

I did not personally know John Ryder but I had met him and heard him speak several times, once I think was at a meeting of the Federalist Society and over the years twice, maybe three times, at First Tuesday events. He was impressive. He knew stats and numbers and facts and could spout them without notes. He could explain strategy and make it understandable and he was a wealth of knowledge on election laws. Many credit him as one of the leaders in turning the Tennessee Republican Party from a minority party into the supermajority party in the state.

He was former general counsel for the Republican National Committee, helped shape redistricting efforts across the state and the U.S., was a former chairman of the  Tennessee Valley Authority board, and was active in Memphis and Shelby County governments serving as assistant county attorney for Shelby County,  litigation counsel for the Shelby County Election Commission, and headed the Memphis and Shelby County Film Commission. He also taught election law at Vanderbilt University.

Those who know him well say Ryder was never bombastic and was always calm and well-mannered, something we see too little of in today's extreme partisan environment. One can not get more partisan than John Ryder and yet he had Democrats as friends and was respected by those who were his political opponents.

Former Senator Lamar Alexander said of Ryder, "He had good manners, and good taste so as society grew increasingly uncivil and coarse, John continued to have his pleasant disposition. He didn't raise his voice. He showed respect for his opponents, and he enjoyed fine wine and the opera." "With deft legal skills and an easy manner, John Ryder helped build the Tennessee Republican Party over nearly a half century. He effectively served the Republican National Committee as its counsel and the people of this region as a TVA board member. I admired John and counted him as a friend."

Scott Golden, Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party issued the following statement:

We have sadly just learned of the passing of our friend and a true champion for all Tennessee Republicans, Mr. John Ryder of Memphis. There are very few in our state that haven’t had the impact of the life of Mr. Ryder. 

While working as an attorney at the firm of Harris Shelton, he volunteered and consulted in a variety of different capacities in both government and politics. Most recently, he just finished as President’s Trump appointee to the Tennessee Valley Authority. 

For 16 years he served our state on the board of the Republican National Committee, completing his final tenure as the RNC’s General Counsel. 

He’s been the Shelby County attorney and led multiple Republican redistricting efforts for the last 30 years. 

Mr. Ryder has been a confidant of almost every elected Republican in Tennessee for the last half century through his tireless and selfless giving, support, and expertise. With his in-depth knowledge of both legal, bylaw, and rules, Mr. Ryder has crafted the process by which the Republican Party selects our Presidential nominees during his many appearances at the RNC Conventions over the years. His unmatched legacy and resume will never be forgotten by those who knew him and I am fortunate to have called him a friend and mentor as have many Chairmen of the Tennessee Republican Party. 

Our deepest sympathies are with his wife, Lain, and his family during this time. Thank you for sharing John with the entire State of Tennessee and our Republican family and know that he will be truly missed by many.

For more see this, this, and this.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

No comments:

Post a Comment