Association of State Democratic Chairs
AlabamaAL Democrats Set Qualifying Dates U.S. Senate Special Election
The Alabama Democratic Party will open qualifying for the Special Primary Election to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, April 26. State Chairwoman Nancy Worley encourages interested Democrats to respond quickly. All qualifying papers, along with the fee, must be received in the State Party Office by Wednesday, May 17, 2016, at 5:00 PM. According to Worley, “Democrats in Alabama have an excellent opportunity to fill this Republican-held seat,” which was created by the resignation of former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions. “The Alabama Democratic Party is excited to win back this seat and elect someone who will represent Alabama’s working families with integrity and accountability,” said Worley.
Indiana governor signs abortion bill, plans to sign other contested measures
Gov. Eric Holcomb said Tuesday that he not only planned to sign legislation raising the gas tax by 10 cents a gallon but will also approve bills addressing prayer in schools and placing two troubled school districts in state hands. Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody criticized the governor’s signing on the abortion bill. “Gov. Holcomb made clear his willingness to engage in divisive, social issues targeting Hoosier women’s rights. We’ve seen this mode of leadership before with Mike Pence, where scoring political points preempts bipartisan policy to move Indiana forward,” he said in a statement. "We’re still trying to convince millennials and young entrepreneurs Indiana doesn’t discriminate after RFRA. Now Holcomb signals his eagerness to fight to limit Hoosier women’s rights and potentially compromise their safety. It doesn’t have to be like this. The governor sets the tone. This is his choice. He said he won’t be distracted by social issues,” Zody said.
Amid Trump backlash, hundreds question US Rep. Barr
Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr has held regular "Coffee with your Congressman" events in local shops across his central Kentucky district for the few dozen people willing to hear an update from Washington. But that was before Donald Trump became president. On Monday night, hundreds of people packed a high school auditorium in Lexington to shout at their congressman, pelting him with questions about his efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and his support for President Donald Trump. Despite the large crowds, no Democrat has emerged to challenge Barr. Kentucky Democratic Party spokesman Daniel Lowry said "there is a lot of interest" in the seat and the party will field a strong candidate to challenge Barr. Until then, Barr says he will continue holding public events in Kentucky, even while other Republican officials are avoiding them. He says he is listening to the complaints, but they haven't changed his mind. "There is an intensity among progressives right now, but if you aggregate all of the inputs that I'm getting, it's still a district that voted 58 percent for Donald Trump," he said.
Missouri Senate votes to fully fund education
Ten members of the Republican super-majority joined all nine Democrats in the Missouri Senate to fully fund education for the first time a number of years Tuesday. The funding increase of roughly $48 million, if finalized by the legislature, will replenish a $45 million cut proposed by Republican Governor Eric Greitens. The governor had fully funded classroom spending, but called for slicing school transportation. he Missouri Democratic Party praised the 19-14 vote. Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh (D- Bellefontaine Neighbors) also applauded the move, while noting a cap on education spending allowed for less funding. “Even though the current formula falls short of the previous standard, there was still a very real threat that it would go underfunded again this year” said Walsh. Fortunately, a bipartisan coalition of Senators came together to put aside partisan politics and put the people of Missouri first. This is a very good day for Missouri children and their families.”
House sidelines school choice bill
A controversial "school choice" bill is being held back this year. The House Education Committee voted overwhelmingly to retain the bill (SB 193), which proposed state funding grants for students attending a variety of schools, including private and religious schools. "Our New Hampshire Constitution is clear that private funds cannot be used for sectarian purposes," said Rep. Mary Heath, D-Manchester, in speaking against the bill Tuesday. "This bill undermines public education." New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley, who said Sununu campaigned on the issue, panned the bill as "taxpayer-funded vouchers" for religious schools, private schools, and homeschool parents."
North Carolina governor follows veto with judge appointment
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper swooped in Monday to put his stamp on a state appeals court that’s become a new flashpoint with the Republican-dominated General Assembly, appointing a replacement judge 15 minutes after a Republican jurist resigned. Cooper’s office announced that Court of Appeals Judge Douglas McCullough resigned Monday morning and the governor would fill the vacancy with former appeals court judge John Arrowood. Former Gov. Mike Easley, a Democrat, appointed Arrowood to a seat on the Court of Appeals in 2007. Arrowood, who is openly gay, was backed by state Democratic Party officials when he ran unsuccessfully for election to the seat the following year. The state Democratic Party on Monday cheered the Arrowood pick.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Sees Crash-Avoidance Tech on Display in Ohio
The U.S. transportation secretary made a trip to Ohio to see how cars can avoid crashes. Elaine Chao watched on Monday as government researchers showed how vehicles could hit the brakes on their own to avoid collisions with simulated pedestrians. Chao's visit also was designed to call attention to the Trump administration's accomplishments since taking office in January. She noted the country's continued growth in employment and other positive indicators. Asked about Chao's visit, the Ohio Democratic Party questioned some of her statements with political overtones. "Photo ops like today's event with Secretary Chao don't create jobs, and they won't fix Ohio's struggling economy," said David Pepper, the party chairman, in a statement. "It's hard to see Trump's 'infrastructure plan' as anything other than one more broken promise to the people of Ohio, since his very own budget slashes the U.S. Transportation Department by $2.4 billion."
OH chairman: Democrats should unify around jobs to win governor’s race
Democrats in Trumbull County talked about the future of Ohio Tuesday evening, focusing on the 2018 race for governor. Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper was in town and said the key issue for candidates is jobs. “We aren’t seeing that kind of job growth that other states are seeing, so our candidates for governor and our other offices will be the ones pushing a jobs message.” The party is set on winning the governor’s office. There are three candidates so far on the Democratic side — Valley lawmaker Joe Schiavoni, former lawmaker Connie Pillich, and former U.S. Representative Betty Sutton. To win the race, Pepper said the party needs to unify and get back to the core message of jobs. “I think the number one thing any governor candidate, frankly, on any side should be doing, especially ours, is what are they going to do with jobs? To bring in new jobs, stop jobs from leaving so many of our communities. I think the candidate that does that will do very well.”
Republican Governors Association on the attack early against Karl Dean
The national arm of Republican governors is on the attack early against Democrat Karl Dean in the race for Tennessee governor, accusing the former Nashville mayor on Tuesday of getting "caught misleading voters on taxes. "Mary Mancini, the Tennessee Democratic Party chair, also called the criticism of Dean dishonest and slammed Republicans who control states with some of the highest rates of uninsured Americans, high unemployment and low income. “Tennesseans should expect plenty more of these dishonest attacks because Republicans have no accomplishments to run on," Mancini said.
Enzi apologizes after receiving criticism for comments about LGBT community
Sen. Mike Enzi apologized Tuesday for comments he made to Greybull High School students last week after being asked about Wyoming’s gay and lesbian community. Responding to a question about improving the lives of the LGBT community in Wyoming, Enzi said people in Wyoming could be anything they wanted as long as they “don’t push it in somebody’s face,” according to an audio recording of the event. “I know a guy that wears a tutu and goes to the bars on Friday night and is always surprised that he gets in fights,” Enzi told the students. “Well, he kind of asks for it a little bit. That’s the way he winds up with that kind of problem.” The statement was criticized by the Wyoming Democrats and LGBT rights advocates, who called on the Republican senator to apologize. Word of Enzi’s comments began to spread Tuesday morning, after the Wyoming Democratic Party posted an abbreviated version of them on its Facebook page. The post encouraged people to call Enzi’s office and tell the senator his statements were “hurtful and divisive.”