Former Democratic state legislator John DeBerry of Memphis will join Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s cabinet as a senior adviser, the governor’s office announced Monday.
After serving in the state House since 1995, DeBerry was ousted from the Democratic party earlier this year after supporting Lee’s legislation to create a school-choice program for low-income families.
DeBerry ran for reelection as an independent Nov. 3 but lost to Democrat Torrey Harris. DeBerry now will serve on Lee’s executive leadership team with an office in the state Capitol and a salary of $165,000 a year.