Democratic Governors Association
|Chair||Dan Malloy (CT)|
|Vice Chair||Jay Inslee (WA)|
|Headquarters||1225 Eye St NW Suite 1100,
Washington, D.C., 20005
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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. 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. Elisabeth Pearson is currently the Executive Director of the DGA.
Founding and early years
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.
The DGA played a pivotal role in the election of Bill Clinton to the Presidency in 1992. Under the leadership of DGA Chair and Hawaii Governor John Waihee, 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, 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.
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 1993–2001 (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:
- Governor Dale Bumpers
- Governor Jeanne Shaheen
- Governor Mark Warner
- Governor Jay Rockefeller
- Governor Joe Manchin
- Governor Tom Carper
- Governor Evan Bayh
- Governor Ben Nelson
- Governor Tim Kaine
The leadership of the DGA consists of elected Democratic governors.
|Vice Chairman||Jay Inslee||Washington||2015|
List of current Democratic Governors
There are currently 18 Democratic governors:
|Current Governor||State||Past||Took office||Seat Up|
|John Bel Edwards||Louisiana||List||2016||2019|
|Maggie Hassan||New Hampshire||List||2013||2016|
|Andrew Cuomo||New York||List||2011||2018|
|Gina Raimondo||Rhode Island||List||2014||2018|
|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|
|Alejandro García Padilla||Puerto Rico||List||2013||2016|
|Lolo Matalasi Moliga||American Samoa||List||2013||2016|
List of DGA Chairs
Current and former DGA Chairs.
|1996||Gaston Caperton||West Virginia|
|1998||Pedro Rosselló||Puerto Rico|
|2005–2006||Bill Richardson||New Mexico|
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."
Notable staff alumni
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Devroy, Ann, "Clinton Takes His Case to GOP's Western Stronghold", The Washington Post, October 22, 1993, accessed August 8, 2011.
- O'Malley, Martin. "DGA Continues to Break Fundraising Records".
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- http://smpa.gwu.edu/faculty/people/27 Archived May 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.