Mike Berlon

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Mike Berlon was the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia.[1] He served from early 2011 until June 9, 2013, when he resigned following accusations of professional misconduct.

Personal life[edit]

Mike Berlon is a practicing attorney. He is married to Susan Markham Berlon and resides in Gwinnett County, Georgia.[1]

Political career[edit]

In January 2011, Berlon was elected as the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia.[2] Since his election, he has emphasized a grassroots strategy to make the Democratic Party more competitive outside of the Atlanta metro area[3] and a progressive platform including job creation, increased pay for teachers and educators, and increased funding of public schools.[4]

On May 29, 2013, the Democratic Party of Georgia released a statement[5] saying Mike Berlon would resign his chairmanship, after Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed called for Berlon to step down earlier on Wednesday. In a subsequent statement released to the media, Berlon announced his resignation from the state party would be effective midnight on June 9, 2013.

Stance on party-switchers[edit]

Berlon has also been a strong critic of elected Democrats that switch to the Republican Party.[6] During his tenure, several Democrats switched parties to take advantage of the state's Republican-lean, most notably State House Caucus Chair Doug McKillip,[7] Hall County Commissioner and former Young Democrats of America President Ashley Bell,[8] and State Representative Rick Crawford (who stated his intention to switch immediately after his re-election campaign).[6] The Democratic Party of Georgia unsuccessfully attempted to remove Crawford from the ballot.[9]

All three party-switchers lost in their next election.[10][11] [12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Party Officers | Georgia Democrats". Georgiademocrat.org. 2011-01-29. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  2. ^ "Mike Berlon Elected Georgia Dem Party Chairman". firstcoastnews.com. 2004-05-19. Retrieved 2013-02-11. 
  3. ^ "Democrats Court Voters Outside Atlanta". Gpb.org. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  4. ^ "No challenge is more vital than job creation". www.ajc.com. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  5. ^ "Ga. Democratic Party chairman steps down". wsbtv.com. 2013-05-29. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  6. ^ a b "Georgia Democrats furious at turncoat lawmaker". 11alive.com. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  7. ^ "State Rep. Doug McKillip is 7th Ga. Democrat to Switch to GOP - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5". Myfoxatlanta.com. 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  8. ^ Jan 5, 2013 at 4:26 pm (2013-01-05). "WATCH!!: Ashley Bell: Why I was Elected as a Democrat & Switched Party’s. Thank Reid, Pelosi & Obama!". Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  9. ^ "Dems Want Crawford Off Ballot". Gpb.org. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  10. ^ "Quick beats McKillip in House District 117; Frye takes down Heard in District 118 House contest". Online Athens. 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  11. ^ August 4, 2012 11:55 p.m. (2012-08-04). "Bell’s political star fades after primary loss". Gainesvilletimes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  12. ^ "Election Dobbs takes BOC seat Ray wins BOE seat". Times-Georgian. Retrieved 2013-02-10.