Ken Martin has a long history of involvement in campaigns in Minnesota and around the country. As Chairman, Ken has rebuilt the DFL party restoring confidence amongst donors, elected officials and party leaders by showing that the party has a plan and vision to win elections and advance a progressive agenda forward. Inheriting a party deeply in debt and coming off of bruising defeats in 2010, Ken raised record-amounts of money both retiring the debt and building successful and permanent campaign infrastructure; leading to one of the most successful election cycles in the DFL’s history in 2012 – winning majorities back in both legislative chambers.
Before becoming Chair, Ken worked the past two decades for several elected officials and managing a variety of issue and election campaigns. In 2010, he worked to elect a DFL governor as the Executive Director of WIN Minnesota and then as the Director for Governor Dayton’s recount efforts. In 2008, Ken ran the Vote Yes campaign to pass the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, the largest conservation finance measure in the nation to ever become law. Ken also played leadership roles on the following campaigns: 2006 Hatch for Governor, 2004 Kerry for President, 2002 Humphrey for Secretary of State, 2000 Gore/Lieberman Minnesota and various other races at the national, state, and local levels. Ken served as 1998 cycle Political Director for the Minnesota DFL and as 1996 cycle Field Director for the Kansas Democratic Party. Ken holds a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Kansas. He and his wife, Jennifer O’Rourke, currently live in Eagan, MN with their two sons, Sam and James, and spend most of their time attending numerous school and athletic activities.
Raymond Buckley was elected as Chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party in March of 2007. Prior to serving as Chair he served as the Party’s 1st Vice Chair and Executive Director. His professional political involvement began when he was an organizer for Jimmy Carter’s campaign for President in 1976. Since then he has been involved with each Presidential campaign in New Hampshire as well as campaigns for Governor, US House, US Senate and the NH State Senate. During the 2006 election cycle he was the Executive Director for the NH Senate Democratic Caucus. In 1986 he was elected to the State House from Manchester where he served eight terms.
In January of 2009, Chairman Buckley was elected the President of the Association of State Democratic Committees. He was re-elected to the position in February 2011 and again in January of 2013. In his role as ASDC President he also served as a Vice Chair for the Democratic National Committee. Chairman Buckley also served on the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee. As a national leader in the LGBT community, Chairman Buckley serves on the DNC’s LGBT Caucus as well as the National Stonewall Democrats. Chairman Buckley is the first openly gay politician to serve as the President of the Association of State Democratic Committees and as a Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Dayton native Rhine McLin has a long history of active community involvement, which attests to her commitment to public service. In 2002, she became the third African-American Mayor and the first woman Mayor in the city’s history. She previously served six years in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1988 to 1994, and was then elected State Senator for the 5th Ohio Senate District, serving Montgomery and Miami Counties. When elected in 1994, she became the first African-American woman to serve in the Ohio Senate. In 1998, McLin was elected by her peers to serve in leadership as the Minority Whip. Two years later, she was elected again to serve in the Senate leadership as Minority Leader.
McLin has over 20 years in the political arena and more than four decades of educational expertise. She has served on numerous boards and committees in various positions. McLin earned a B.A. in sociology and secondary education at Parsons College in Iowa and a Master of Education in guidance counseling at Xavier University in Cincinnati. She also has an associate degree in mortuary science from Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. She currently serves as an instructor at Central State University West, where she teaches Criminology; Race & Ethnic Relations; and Juvenile Delinquency: Social Problems.
Ms. McLin serves on the Miami Valley Fair Housing Board and is a Board Member on the Montgomery County Board of Elections. Since 2004, McLin has served as the Vice Chairwoman of the Ohio Democratic Party. She was recently elected as Midwest Chair of the Association of State Democratic Committees.
Born in Mexico City and a graduate of Cypress College, Ms. Alexandra Gallardo-Rooker is an accomplished leader in the political arena at both the national and state level. Her insight into the inter-workings of California’s legislative and political process has proven to be a valuable asset to her colleagues in the Democratic Party and the individuals she represents as the Legislative Advocate in California for the Communication Workers of America (CWA).
Ms. Rooker has a proven track record as a leader. During the past two decades Ms. Rooker has taken on a variety of roles with CWA Local #9400 ranging from Shop Steward to Vice President.
In addition, she was elected to the position of Second Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party in 1997 and currently serves as Female Vice-Chair, a position she has held since 2001. Her unfailing commitment to Democratic values and proven leadership skills are among a list of attributes that has made her a valuable member of Democratic National Committee and Governor Howard Dean’s Transition Team.
As a former recipient of the “Si Se Puede Award For Distinguished Service,” from the Los Angeles Chapter of Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Ms. Rooker has routinely demonstrated her commitment to Democratic values through her continuous efforts to fight for a better quality of life for hard working Californians across the state.
Massachusetts Vice Chair Debra Kozikowski serves as Northeast Vice President to the Association of State Democratic Committees. A thirty-five year veteran of grassroots politics, Debra is an independent business and technical writer, former educator, licensed real estate professional and rural policy advocate. Friends and colleagues know her best for promoting rural-urban partnerships around local food and clean energy policies. Her passion for rural equity has recently focused on voter suppression aimed at disenfranchising women, minorities and seniors. She is co-founder of RuralVotes, a rural advocacy organization. Little known fact: Debra won first place for her Spicy Blueberry BBQ Sauce in the 2008 blueberry bloggers recipe contest run by the US Highbush Blueberry Council.
Chairwoman Susan Swecker likes to say that she’s a Democrat by birth and by choice.
Over the years, she has served the Party in many critical and effective ways. At age 22, she became Chairwoman of the Highland County Democratic Committee. Her first professional paid campaign job was working for the Jimmy Carter 1980 Re-Elect in Virginia. From there she quickly rose through the ranks to several state and national leadership roles, including Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Virginia, a member of the Democratic National Committee, and former Chairwoman of the Southern Caucus.
As a current member of the Democratic National Committee, she serves on the Executive Committee and the Rules and Bylaws Committee. She is widely credited with leading the successful charge to move up the date of Virginia’s Presidential Primary in the 2004 cycle, thus placing Virginia in a pivotal position for that cycle and beyond. Susan played a leadership role in the election of Governor Terry McAuliffe and the Democratic ticket in 2013 and served as a member of the McAuliffe Transition Team, advising him on hirings and appointments.
Susan is President of Dividing Waters Public Affairs LLC. Susan received her law degree from Washington and Lee University and a B.A. in political science from Mary Baldwin College.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, David is a fifth-generation Cincinnatian. David was first elected to public office in 2001 when he served on the Cincinnati City Council finishing first out of a field of 26 candidates, and was reelected for a second term in 2003, again leading the pack in votes. David came to the Cincinnati City Council as riots, a severe crime wave and a public safety crisis rocked the city. Amid this turmoil, David’s leadership was key in the successful push to improve police-community relations, and he ultimately served as the Chairman of the Law and Public Safety Committee. David played an instrumental role in negotiating a historic collaborative agreement between the police, the community, and City Hall, which healed long simmering tensions while setting the stage for improved safety. David also played leadership roles in economic reforms, new investments, and progressive policy changes that helped spark a decade-long renaissance that continues in Cincinnati to this day.In 2006, David was elected to the three-member Hamilton County Commission. He served as the Commission President from 2009-2010. During David’s tenure at the County, Hamilton County won 19 National Association of County Awards for outstanding management practices, more than all other Ohio counties combined. David focused particularly on cleaning up the very poorly managed government that he inherited: adding much-needed transparency, championing greater disclosure and higher ethics, eliminating wasteful spending, and rebuilding the County’s reserve fund. Independent ratings agencies praised the County’s fiscally responsible policies. David was nominated by Ohio Democrats to run in statewide elections twice.
Phil Bartlett was elected Chair of the Maine Democratic Party on November 16, 2014. Previously, he served as Maine’s Democratic National Committeeman following eight years of service in the Maine Senate. First elected at age 28, he served as Senate Majority Leader from 2008 to 2010. Phil has been a champion of progressive values, leading efforts to pass gay marriage and to implement a strong energy policy focused on efficiency and renewable energy. In addition to working with legislative candidates in Maine, Phil helped develop a training program for Democratic candidates for local offices. Phil is a graduate of Tufts University, where he majored in Economics and Political Science, and Harvard Law School. He practices law at Scaccia, Bartlett & Chabot, with a focus on workers’ compensation law.
Lizette Delgado-Polanco was appointed as the New Jersey Deputy Political Director of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters (NRCC) in February 2017.
She was named Vice-Chair of the New Jersey State Democratic Committee (NJSDC) on June 12, 2013.
Delgado-Polanco, a first-generation Hispanic American, is an effective and compassionate advocate for the underrepresented, particularly the working poor. In her previous capacity as Executive Director of the SEIU New Jersey State Council, she worked on behalf of over 40 thousand working men and women whose lives, families and livelihoods are affected by political, economic and social issues in NJ. She coordinated the legislative and political agenda for seven SEIU locals representing more than 40,000 members across New Jersey in four major industries, including health and long-term care, property services, municipal workers and resident physicians. She has had a long and distinguished career in government and labor relations, policy development, public affairs, and business and community development.
In 2002, she was named Assistant Secretary of State, the first Hispanic ever in that position, and was one of state government’s highest-ranking Hispanics. She was also Director of Special Projects for former U.S. Senator Jon S. Corzine.
Delgado-Polanco, who previously served on the State of New Jersey Local Finance Board, sits on numerous boards including: New Jersey Working Families Alliance; Latino Action Network; New Jersey Citizen Action; Working Families United for New Jersey; Blue Wave NJ, LUPE PAC(Latinas United for Political Empowerment); and Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey, ( DUSA) Dominicanos USA
She has served as Vice Chair of the Atlantic County Democratic Party, and Chair of the Galloway Township Democratic Party.
Delgado-Polanco has a bachelor’s degree in Labor Studies from the National Labor College in Maryland. The proud mother of four resides in Mercer County.
Kylie served in the North Dakota House of Representatives from 2012 to 2016. When elected, she was one of the youngest female legislators in the nation. During the 2015 legislative session, Kylie served on the Human Services and Political Subdivisions committees. She previously served on the Transportation, interim Higher Education Funding, and interim Government Finance Committees. In 2013, Governor Dalrymple also appointed Kylie to the state’s Olmstead Commission.
In 2015, Kylie was elected Chairwoman of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL party. She is the youngest person to hold a state party chair position in the country and one of only two women to serve the ND Dem-NPL in this role. Kylie was also the former chair of the Democratic-NPL Women’s Caucus and remains committed to recruiting and supporting talented, progressive female candidates across the state.
Kylie was born and raised in Killdeer, North Dakota. She received two bachelor’s degrees, in Social Sciences and Social Work, from the University of North Dakota. She is currently attending the University of North Dakota School of Law.
David Bowen is a full-time State Representative for the 10th Assembly District in Milwaukee. A first generation American and the son a Jamaican immigrants Rep. Bowen was born and raised on Milwaukee’s North Side. David attended Milwaukee Public Schools and was an honors graduate of Bradley Tech High School and went on to study Education Policy and Community Studies at UW-Milwaukee.David has served as Program Director for Urban Underground’s youth leadership program, he is a National AmeriCorps Service Alum, a two-time graduate of the AmeriCorps program Public Allies, and a Legacy Foundation Youth Activism Fellow. A nationally recognized trainer for inter-generational community improvement strategies, David served on the Steering Committee of the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Violence Prevention Initiative and the City of Milwaukee’s Homicide Review Commission.
William McCurdy II is the Nevada State Democratic Party’s first African American Chair and the youngest Chair in modern party history at 28 years old. He was born and raised in Las Vegas and was elected in 2016 to represent District 6 in the Nevada Assembly. After dropping out of high school as a teenage father, William started working construction and became the youngest foreman on a big job. He eventually decided he had to finish school if he wanted to achieve his goals, and he got his high school diploma at the age of 24. McCurdy is the former student body president of the College of Southern Nevada, where he graduated with honors. As CSN student body president, William fought for his classmates by advocating against tuition hikes and supporting legislation for the state’s first need-based aid program. As a union organizer with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1107, William fights for better pay and better workplace conditions for their members. The first bill he presented as a new Assemblyman was to raise the minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour. William is committed to uniting the party, organizing and registering voters in every corner of Nevada, and leading Democrats to victory up and down the ballot in 2018.
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Van moved to North Idaho while in high school. A graduate of both North Idaho College and Boise State University, Van has been involved in the Democratic party for close to 25 years. Most recently she founded and served as the state chair of the LGBTA Democratic Caucus of Idaho. Van met her fiancé, Chelsea Gaona Lincoln, while touring the state providing messaging workshops and working on voter engagement and outreach. She has spent the last 11 years as a Clinical Supervisor overseeing a development disability agency providing community based services to children with cognitive impairments. She was appointed by Idaho’s Governor Otter to serve on the Idaho Behavioral Health Planning Council and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Idaho Association of Community Providers. Van is looking forward to continuing her work to engage new voters and reinvest in those that may feel hopeless within the current political climate by empowering Democrats across the state.
In February 2015 Belinda Biafore was elected chair-women of the West Virginia Democratic Party. Belinda, is the assistant director for the Marion County Development Authority who has served as vice chairwoman since 2004. As the state party’s chair, Biafore — whose family includes her mother, Margaret Biafore, a brother, a sister, two nieces and her dog, Taco — said she believes her priority is to get out the message to the state’s senior citizens, families and other working-class folk that it’s Democrats who are the watchdogs for their well-being. She has similar good feelings about her day job with the Marion County Development Authority. Biafore shows off a project she and director Charlie Reese worked on with the Marion County Commission — $1.2 million in amenities at Fairmont’s Palatine Park, including a splash zone, playground, restrooms, benches and landscaping to make watching concerts easier. “It’s nice when you enjoy what you do,” she said.
Nikema Williams is currently the Vice President of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Southeast, incorporated (PPSE). Nikema serves as the primary contact with Key community leaders and coalition partners in helping to build a long term public policy, legislative, and community engagement program to promote reproductive healthcare throughout Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. She also serves as the Vice President of Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates, the affiliated political arm of Planned Parenthood Southeast.
Nikema served as the National Committee Woman for the Young Democrats of Georgia. She was honored to serve as a Delegate to the 2008 and 2012 Democratic National Convention. In recognition of her work to engage more young people in Democratic Politics, she was named Georgia Young Democratic of the year in 2009 and received the 2009 Future is Now Young Leader award from the Young Democrats of Atlanta. Nikema also serves on the Board of Governors for Red Clay Democrats. In 2007, she was elected Chair of the 13th Congressional District for The Democratic Party of Georgia. Upon election, she became the youngest Congressional District Chair ever elected in the state. In January of 2011, Nikema was elected as the 1st Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia, again, distinguishing herself as the youngest person in DPG history to ever hold this position. In this role, Nikema represents the state of Georgia at the Democratic National Committee. Nikema served as a member of the Obama Victory Fund 2012. Through her fundraising efforts with Gen44, Nikema has been recognized as one of the top ten influential African American bundlers for President Obama by Huffington Post.
The Apex Society designated her as one of their Power 30 under 30 in the field of politics for 2008. She is an alumnus of Leadership Atlanta’s LEAD class of 2009 and a 2009 graduate of Yale University’s Women’s Campaign School. She was also recognized in the 2009 and 2010 publication of Who’s Who in Black Atlanta as a community leader. She was honored in 2010, by Outstanding Atlanta, the city’s premiere honor for community involvement. Most recently, Nikema was named one the Women of Influence for 2011 by the Atlanta Business League. Currently, Nikema is a member of the 2013 class of The New Leaders Council, an organization dedicated to train and promote the next generation of progressive political entrepreneurs. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
In 2011, Nikema was appointed to the Advisory Board of SCLC W.O.M.E.N. Inc, by founder, Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery. SCLC Women, INC is a civil rights group dedicated to offering intergenerational programs designed to empower women, girls, and families as they relate to human rights, social action, economic self-sufficiency, reduction of health disparities, and leadership to build strong families and communities.
Born in Columbus, Georgia, Nikema was raised nearby in Smiths, Alabama. She attended Talladega College, a private liberal arts HBCU in Talladega, Alabama. She is married to Mr. Leslie Small, and they reside in Historic Westside Village in Atlanta with their two rescue Yorkshire Terriers, Ginger and Belle. Nikema and Leslie are members of Central United Methodist Church in Atlanta.
Currently serving as Chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, Gus Bickford has a long history of working in Massachusetts Democratic politics. Specializing in Survey Research and Database Targeting, he is the Principal of Factotum Productions, Inc. He has administered voter contact programs for the Democratic Parties of Connecticut, Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and for the Presidential Campaigns of John Kerry ’04, Barack Obama ’08 and ‘12 and Hillary Clinton in ’08. Most recently, he managed the modeling and voter contact for the Massachusetts NoOn2 Campaign. Gus also served as Political Director for Martha Coakley’s US Senate Campaign and Niki Tsongas’ Congressional Campaign as well as developed and managed the targeting for Elizabeth Warren’s ’12 US Senate Race. With 22 years of expertise with large databases and refining the information they provide, Gus worked on the team that created the National Voter File (VoteBuilder) for the Democratic National Committee. Prior to founding Factotum Productions, Gus served as a Vice President and Director of Systems Integration for Predictive Networks and for 5 years as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Democratic Party. Gus is a graduate of Brown University with a degree in Organizational Behavior.
Steinau was elected Chair of the Alaska Democratic Party after serving as both Vice Chair and District Chair. She is a resident of Big Lake, Alaska, a small community approximately ninety minutes north of Anchorage. As both a twenty-plus-year veteran of the real estate industry and small business owner, Casey brings a solid understanding of the balance of business and government to the table. Casey comes to the Democratic committee with a positive attitude, a willingness to work across boundaries, and most importantly, great enthusiasm for the present and future of the Democratic Party and this country.
For 32 years Brad has worked as an organizer, director and trainer for state and national organizations. Before joining the DPO, Brad was Executive Director of Fair Share Action and the Fair Share Alliance. He joined Fair Share after serving for three years as the Democratic National Committee’s Northwest Political Director, covering a 12-state region from Oregon to Minnesota, and as far south as Kansas.
Prior to joining the DNC, he was the Montana Democratic Party’s (MDP) Executive Director for 12 years. In 2004, the Montana Democratic team won back the governor’s office and control of both houses of the legislature. Before working at the MDP, Brad directed Montana Congressman Pat Williams’ 1992 field campaign and Senator Max Baucus’ 1990 statewide canvass.
Brad has maintained a career-long commitment to building strong grassroots organizations, building power for progressive institutions, and training candidates, grassroots activists and staff in the skills of effective campaigning, citizen organizing and fundraising.