Democratic Governors Association
|Chair||Jay Inslee (WA)|
|Vice Chair||Gina Raimondo (RI)|
|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. Prior to its current formation in mid-1983, they met in a Democratic Governors Conference.
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 Bill Richardson: U.S. Secretary of Energy (Clinton), prior to becoming Governor of New Mexico
- Governor Gary Locke: U.S. Secretary of Commerce (Obama)
- Governor Janet Napolitano: U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security (Obama)
- Governor Kathleen Sebelius: U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (Obama)
- Governor Tom Vilsack: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (Obama)
Democratic Governors appointed to Ambassadorships:
- Governor James Blanchard: U.S. Ambassador to Canada (Clinton)
- Governor Richard Celeste: U.S. Ambassador to India (Clinton)
- Governor Ray Mabus: U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (Clinton)
- Governor Mike Sullivan: U.S. Ambassador to Ireland (Clinton)
- Governor Gary Locke: U.S. Ambassador to China (Obama)
Democratic Governors elected DNC Chair:
Democratic Governors elected to the U.S. Senate:
- Governor Ernest Hollings, in 1966, served from 1966-2005
- Governor Dale Bumpers in 1974, served from 1975-1999
- Governor Wendell H. Ford in 1974, served from 1974-1999
- Governor David Boren in 1978, served from 1979 to 1994
- Governor J. James Exon in 1978, served from 1979 to 1997
- Governor David Pryor in 1978, served from 1979 to 1997
- Governor Jay Rockefeller in 1984, served from 1985-2015
- Governor Bob Graham in 1986, served from 1987-2005
- Governor Bob Kerrey in 1988, served from 1989-2001
- Governor Chuck Robb in 1988, served from 1989-2001
- Governor Evan Bayh in 1998, served from 1999-2011
- Governor Tom Carper in 2000, serving from 2001-present
- Governor Zell Miller in 2000, served from 2000-2005
- Governor Ben Nelson in 2000, served from 2001-2013
- Governor Jeanne Shaheen in 2008, serving from 2009-present
- Governor Mark Warner in 2008, serving from 2009-present
- Governor Joe Manchin in 2010, serving from 2010-present
- Governor Tim Kaine in 2012, serving from 2013-present
- Governor Maggie Hassan in 2016, serving from 2017-present
This list only includes Governors who were elected or who had been re-elected to the Senate when the DGA was established. Thus senators such as Gaylord Nelson, Richard Russell Jr., Edmund Muskie, Majority Leader Joseph Taylor Robinson and etc. are not included. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings, even though he was elected in a special election in 1966, is included in the list because he had won reelection in the years 1986, 1992 and 1998.
The leadership of the DGA consists of elected Democratic governors.
|Vice Chairman||Gina Raimondo||Rhode Island||2015|
List of current Democratic Governors
There are currently 16 Democratic governors:
|Current Governor||State||Past||Took office||Seat Up|
|Jerry Brown||California||List||2011||2018 (term-limited)|
|John Hickenlooper||Colorado||List||2011||2018 (term-limited)|
|Dannel Malloy||Connecticut||List||2011||2018 (retiring)|
|John Bel Edwards||Louisiana||List||2016||2019|
|Mark Dayton||Minnesota||List||2011||2018 (retiring)|
|Steve Bullock||Montana||List||2013||2020 (term-limited)|
|Phil Murphy||New Jersey||List||2018||2021|
|Andrew Cuomo||New York||List||2011||2018|
|Roy Cooper||North Carolina||List||2017||2020|
|Gina Raimondo||Rhode Island||List||2014||2018|
|Ralph Northam||Virginia||List||2018||2021 (term-limited)|
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|
|Ricky Rosselló||Puerto Rico||List||2017||2020|
|Lolo Matalasi Moliga||American Samoa||List||2013||2020|
List of DGA Chairs
Current and former DGA Chairs.
|1986||Richard Riley||South Carolina|
|1996||Gaston Caperton||West Virginia|
|1998||Pedro Rosselló||Puerto Rico|
|2005–2006||Bill Richardson||New Mexico|
|1983 - 1989||Chuck Dolan|
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 (Republican) 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".[permanent dead link]
- http://www.whorunsgov.com/Profiles/Jake_Siewert?loadTab=0[dead link]
- "Pelosi Names Senior Staff To Speaker's Office". The Washington Current. February 10, 2007. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- "Cheryl Parker Rose - POLITICO Topics - POLITICO.com". Archived from the original on October 23, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- "R&R Partners | Public Relations". Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- "Patton Boggs | Professionals | Katie Whelan". Archived from the original on April 10, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- "Nathan Daschle". The Public Squared. Archived from the original on 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2014-08-10.
- "HWS: Office of the President". Hws.edu. Retrieved 2014-08-10.
- http://smpa.gwu.edu/faculty/people/27 Archived May 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.