Democratic Governors Association

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United States President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with the Democratic Governors Association in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on 22 February 2013.
Democratic Governors Association
Chair Peter Shumlin (VT)
Vice Chair John Hickenlooper (CO)
Finance Chair Martin O'Malley (MD)
Chair Emeritus Jack Markell (DE)
Executive Committee Mike Beebe (AR)
Jerry Brown (CA)
Andrew Cuomo (NY)
Jay Nixon (MO)
Founded 1983
Headquarters 1401 K Street, NW,
Washington, D.C., 20005
Governorships
21 / 50
Website
www.democraticgovernors.org
Politics of United States
Political parties
Elections

The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) is a Washington, D.C. based 527 organization founded in 1983, consisting of U.S. state and territorial governors affiliated with the Democratic Party. Peter Shumlin (current Governor of Vermont) is the current Chair of the DGA. The mission of the organization is to provide party support to the election and re-election of Democratic gubernatorial candidates. The DGA's Republican counterpart is the Republican Governors Association. The DGA is not directly affiliated with the non-partisan National Governors Association. Colm O'Comartun is currently the Executive Director of the DGA.

Founding and Early Years[edit]

The DGA in its current form was founded by Virginia Governor Chuck Robb in 1983 with the help of Democratic National Committee Chairman Chuck Manatt. The purpose of the committee was to raise funds to elect Democrats to governorships and to improve the partnership between Democratic governors and the Democratic leadership of the House and Senate.

1990s[edit]

The DGA played a pivotal role in the election of Bill Clinton to the Presidency in 1992. Under the leadership of DGA Chair and Colorado Governor Roy Romer, the DGA helped organize Clinton's "winning the West" campaign tour through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California. Republicans had handily won in all but Washington and Oregon the previous three elections. According to The Washington Post,[1] it was "all but unthinkable to Republicans that the GOP could lose such stalwart pieces of the party's electoral base as Wyoming and Nevada." Clinton lost Wyoming but carried Nevada, Colorado, Montana, Washington, Oregon, and California.

Recent History[edit]

In the past 30 years Democratic Governors have served in various other government positions after their tenure. The following list provides recent positions from the Clinton and Obama administrations.

Democratic Governors elected as President:

Democratic Governors Appointed to the U.S. Cabinet,

  • Governor Richard Riley: U.S. Secretary of Education 1993–2000 (Clinton)
  • Governor Bruce Babbitt: U.S. Secretary of the Interior (Clinton)
  • Governor Gary Locke: U.S. Secretary of Commerce (Obama)
  • Governor Tom Vilsack: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (Obama)
  • Governor Janet Napolitano: U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security (Obama)
  • Governor Kathleen Sebelius: U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (Obama)
  • Governor Bill Richardson: U.S. Secretary of Energy (Clinton), prior to becoming Governor of New Mexico

Democratic Governors Appointed to Ambassadorships

  • Governor Mike Sullivan: U.S. Ambassador to Ireland (Clinton)
  • Governor James Blanchard: U.S. Ambassador to Canada (Clinton)
  • Governor Richard Celeste: U.S. Ambassador to India (Clinton)
  • Governor Gary Locke: U.S. Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Ambassador to China (Obama)
  • Governor Ray Mabus: U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (under President Clinton)

Democratic Governors Elected DNC Chair

Democratic Governors elected to the U.S. Senate:

DGA leadership[edit]

The leadership of the DGA consists of elected Democratic governors.

Office Officer State Since
  Chair Peter Shumlin Vermont 2013
  Vice Chair John Hickenlooper Colorado 2013
  Finance Chair Martin O'Malley Maryland 2013
  Labor Chair Pat Quinn Illinois 2012
  CEO Roundtable Chairs Maggie Hassan
Steve Bullock
New Hampshire
Montana
2013
  Executive Committee Dannel Malloy Connecticut 2013
  Executive Committee Jerry Brown California 2012
  Executive Committee Mike Beebe Arkansas 2012
  Executive Committee Andrew Cuomo New York 2012

List of current Democratic Governors[edit]

There are currently 21 Democratic governors:

Current Governor State Past Took office Seat Up
Mike Beebe Arkansas List 2007 2014
Jerry Brown California List 2011 2014
John Hickenlooper Colorado List 2011 2014
Dan Malloy Connecticut List 2011 2014
Jack Markell Delaware List 2009 2016
David Ige Hawaii List 2014 2018
Pat Quinn Illinois List 2009 2014
Steve Beshear Kentucky List 2007 2015
Martin O'Malley Maryland List 2007 2014
Deval Patrick Massachusetts List 2007 2016
Mark Dayton Minnesota List 2011 2014
Jay Nixon Missouri List 2009 2016
Steve Bullock Montana List 2013 2016
Maggie Hassan New Hampshire List 2013 2014
Andrew Cuomo New York List 2011 2014
John Kitzhaber Oregon List 2011 2014
Lincoln Chafee Rhode Island List 2011 2014
Peter Shumlin Vermont List 2011 2014
Terry McAuliffe Virginia List 2014 2017
Jay Inslee Washington List 2013 2016
Earl Ray Tomblin West Virginia List 2010 2016

In addition to governors of U.S. states, the DGA also offers membership to Democratic governors of U.S. territories.

Current Governor Territory Past Took office Seat Up
John de Jongh U.S. Virgin Islands List 2007 2015

List of DGA Chairs[edit]

Current and former DGA Chairs.

Year Chair State Executive Director
2013 Governor Peter Shumlin Vermont Colm O'Comartun
2012 Governor Martin O'Malley Maryland Colm O'Comartun
2011 Governor Martin O'Malley Maryland Colm O'Comartun
2010 Governor Jack Markell Delaware Nathan Daschle
2009 Governor Christine Gregoire Washington Nathan Daschle
2008 Governor Brian Schweitzer Montana Nathan Daschle
2007 Governor Kathleen Sebelius Kansas Nathan Daschle
2006 Governor Bill Richardson New Mexico Penny Lee
2005 Governor Bill Richardson New Mexico Penny Lee
2004 Governor Tom Vilsack Iowa BJ Thornberry
2003 Governor Gary Locke Washington BJ Thornberry
2002 Governor Parris Glendening Maryland BJ Thornberry
2001 Governor Gray Davis California BJ Thornberry
2000 Governor Paul Patton Kentucky BJ Thornberry
1999 Governor Frank O'Bannon Indiana BJ Thornberry
1998 Governor Pedro Rossello Puerto Rico Katie Whelan
1997 Governor Howard Dean Vermont Katie Whelan
1996 Governor Gaston Caperton West Virginia Katie Whelan
1995 Governor Mel Carnahan Missouri Katie Whelan
1994 Governor Evan Bayh Indiana Katie Whelan
1993 Governor David Walters Oklahoma Katie Whelan
1992 Governor John Waihee Hawaii Mark Gearan
1991 Governor Roy Romer Colorado Mark Gearan
1990 Governor Dick Celeste Ohio Mark Gearan
1989 Governor Bill Clinton Arkansas Chuck Dolan

Fundraising[edit]

The DGA reported raising over $20 million in 2011, almost doubling what it raised during the comparable 2007 election cycle. "Because of our strong efforts in 2011, we will have the resources to aid Democratic candidates in targeted states and continue to fight for our core priorities: Jobs. Opportunity. Now.," DGA Chair Martin O'Malley said. Executive Director Colm O'Comartun added, "There is no doubt that we will face a challenging electoral environment in 2012, but our victories in 2011 showed that we know how to wisely and strategically deploy our resources. We are delighted with the continued support of everyone who believes in our mission of creating jobs and expanding opportunity now."[2]

Notable Staff Alumni[edit]

Several former DGA staff members have gone on to hold prominent positions in the government and in the private and non-profit sectors.

Former Communications Director Jake Siewert served as Press Secretary for President Bill Clinton for four months from 2000 to 2001. From 2001 to 2009, he worked for Alcoa Inc. In 2009, he became an advisor to then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.[3]

Former Policy Director Sheryl Rose Parker was Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She is currently Deputy Director of Government Affairs for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.[4][5]

Former Policy Communications Director Doug Richardson served as Director of Public Affairs at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Obama administration. He is currently Public Relations Director for R&R Partners.[6]

Former Executive Director Katie Whelan served as a senior advisor to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. She was an Institute of Politics Fellow at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. She is currently Senior Public Policy Advisor for Patton Boggs LLP.[7]

Former Executive Director Nathan Daschle is the founder and CEO of Ruckus, Inc., an online political engagement platform. He is the son of former U.S. Senator Tom Daschle. In October 2010, Daschle was recognized as one of Time magazine's "40 under 40" rising stars in politics.[8]

Former Executive Director Mark Gearan was director of communications during the Clinton administration and served as director of the Peace Corps. He is the current president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York.[9]

Founding Executive Director Chuck Dolan is a Senior Vice President at kglobal and was appointed by President Clinton as Vice-Chair of the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. He is a lecturer at the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs.[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]