DNC Chair Election

Almost immediately after the devastating and heartbreaking election results, Democrats Abroad's eight elected DNC Members began to consider and discuss amongst ourselves and with our International Executive Committee DA's choice for DNC Chair. The process we are following to make this decision is outlined below along with campaign literature from the candidates. We are also inviting the input of Democrats Abroad members into this important decision. Please click here to send us your feedback on the DNC Chair candidates.

The Decision

First, a few words on this important decision.

The DNC rescheduled its first meeting of 2017 from right after Inauguration Day in Washington, DC to February 23-26 in Atlanta, Georgia. All 8 of Democrats Abroad's DNC representatives intend to be there. It is at that meeting that we will, among other things, be casting our votes for DNC Chair.

As DA DNC Members, we each get to cast half a vote for a total of 4 votes on DA's behalf. If, at all possible, we would like to cast our votes as a single bloc to help maximize DA's influence.

Thus far, we know only of the following potential candidates (with their campaign literature), in alphabetical order:

Vice Chairs
  • Michael Blake, New York State Assembly member - http://www.michaelblakefordnc.com/
  • Melissa Byrne, founder of Project Springboard
  • Mitchell Caesar, former Chair, Florida Democratic Party
  • Liz Jaff, head of Business Development for Crowdpac
  • Lorna Johnson, Honorary Consul for Jamaica in L.A.
  • LaToia Jones, former DNC Member - http://www.latoiajonesfordnc.com/
  • Rep. Grace Meng, incumbent DNC Vice Chair
  • Rick Palacia, Colorado Democratic Party Chair
  • Adam Parkhomenko, DNC’s National Field Director for the General Election - http://www.adamfordnc.com/
  • Karen Carter Peterson, Chair of Louisiana Democratic Party
  • Andy Tobias, Current DNC Treasurer
Finance Chair
  • Henry Munoz, Current DNC Finance Chairman

Needless to say, our choice of DNC Chair is important. While much would have been expected of our DNC Chair and of us as members of our Party's leadership had we won, we all recognize how even more is required now to help steer our Party in the right direction and towards victories in 2018 and 2020.

There is indeed much and very difficult work to be done nationwide to repair and reinvigorate our Party. And there is much and very difficult work to be done by us globally at Democrats Abroad, within each of our Regions, and in all of our Country Committees.

Every challenge is an opportunity, and the election of DNC Chair is an important opportunity to advance DA's interests for the benefit of all Democrats living abroad.

One of our main priorities is to see DA treated fairly and equally with all other State Parties, including by providing us with the financial and organizational support that would help us continue to contribute and significantly make a difference in all 50 States come the mid-term elections and in the next Presidential contest.

The main question is: who will be best as DNC Chair to get us where we need to go? That person will get our support.

The Process

Now as to the process we have followed thus far and, with your help, intend to continue to follow.

As your representatives to the DNC, we have held amongst us and with members of our International Executive Committee several lengthy conference calls and exchanged numerous communications.

We are also beginning to hear from our leadership and membership, including their views on what needs to happen at the DNC to help reform and transform our Party, to help our country, and to ensure future victories. Click here to let us know your thoughts.

We have also already received several individual calls and communications from some of the DNC Chair candidates themselves during which we have already had the opportunity to communicate the concerns and interests of Democrats living abroad and of Democrats Abroad as a functional State Party.

As a result of our deliberative process we have prepared a list of our main priorities.

We are also preparing a list of questions for each candidate for DNC Chair to respond to in writing.

We will eventually post the candidates' answers to those questions on this page.

We are inviting each candidate to join us in conference calls with DA's Executive Committee and DNC Members where all candidates will have an opportunity to articulate their visions for our Party, their plans of action, answer additional questions, and commit to our stated goals.

Dec 1-3, International Chair Katie Solon and International Vice Chair Art Schankler personally carried our message to each of the candidates who attended the ASDC meeting in Denver, Colorado.

More Information About the Candidates

Vice Chair candidates weigh in on their support for DA
Watch as the 9 VC candidates provide individual comments on Democrats Abroad
DNC Future of the Party Forum (7 hours 5 minutes in)


We are reaching out to you now, as DA members, to ask you to please share your views and ideas with us as we prepare to participate in the important decision of who will be leading our Party for the next four difficult and troubling years.

For our part, we will keep you informed on what we learn from each candidate, on our deliberations, and of course on our eventual decision.



Orlando Vidal and other DA DNC Members:

Katie Solon
Art Schankler
Connie Borde
John Eastwood
Adrianne George
Martha McDevitt-Pugh
Ken Sherman