Reynolds, Gregg introduce themselves to Iowa
Three days into her tenure as governor, Reynolds was on a fly-around introducing herself and Acting Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg to the state. “I’m excited about the opportunities,” Reynolds said with her trademark enthusiasm. “There’s so much more that we can do and I know that working together we are going to accomplish great things...I won’t stop until every Iowan has an opportunity to succeed,” she said. That would be a change, according to Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Derek Eadon. “Reynolds has a clear history of prioritizing her own partisan agenda before the needs of working families in Iowa,” he said. “As she begins campaigning across the state with Acting Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, we hope she changes her priorities, because her record of supporting disastrous budgets has built a worse Iowa,”according to Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Derek Eadon.
Massachusetts Democrats gearing up for annual convention
Massachusetts Democrats are gearing up for their annual state convention.The top task on the agenda when the delegates, alternates and party officials meet on Saturday will be to adopt a new party platform.Talk will inevitably turn to the 2018 elections, when Democrats hope to reclaim the governor’s office. There are three announced Democratic candidates: Newton Mayor Setti Warren, environmental activist Robert Massie and Jay Gonzalez, a top state budget official under former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick.
11 Democrats, Republicans Compete To Succeed Christie In NJ
When New Jersey Democratic and Republican voters go to the polls in just over a week to pick their party’s standard-bearers in the November contest to succeed GOP Gov. Chris Christie, they’ll have nearly a dozen choices between them. On the Democratic side, the candidates agree on most policy issues: fully funding the pension, rejoining a greenhouse gas initiative and raising taxes on millionaires. A closer look at the candidates: Bill Brennan, 51, is a former Teaneck firefighter who also has a law degree. Jim Johnson, 56, is a former Treasury Department official in Bill Clinton’s administration, who later went on to work for the New York law firm Debevoise & Plimpton. Ray Lesniak, 71, is a long-time state senator from Elizabeth. He has a liberal record including backing gay marriage and environmental issues. Phil Murphy, 59, is a wealthy former ambassador to Germany under former President Barack Obama and one-time Goldman Sachs executive. He’s never held elected office but is leading in the polls and has spent about six times more in the race than his rivals. John Wisniewski, 54, is an Assembly member who assumed office in 1996. An attorney and former state party chairman, Wisniewski co-chaired the legislative committee that investigated the so-called Bridgegate scandal and was U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign chairman for New Jersey in 2016. Mark Zinna, 56, is a councilman from Tenafly and the owner of a data company in northern New Jersey.
Democratic Committee’s annual banquet to feature Smikle Jr. as keynote speaker
National television and news commentator Basil Smikle Jr. will be keynoting the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee’s annual banquet to be held this year on Thursday, June 29 at the Gov. Reuben Fenton Historical Society in Jamestown. County Executive candidate Mike Ferguson of Fredonia will share the keynote duties. Smikle Jr. is the executive director of the New York State Democratic Committee and a Ph.D. candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University concentrating in Education and Politics. He holds appointments as an adjunct lecturer at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the City University of New York’s Murphy Institute for Professional Studies.
At 80, Gov. Hunt still pitching for education, North Carolina
Now out of the job longer than the time he served as chief executive, four-term North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt sounds like he’s still living in the Executive Mansion when pitching his agenda for the state’s politicians. Rather than cut income taxes significantly again this year, Hunt said in an interview, the Republican-controlled Legislature should do “big things” with additional dollars the state is taking in. The Democrat pointed to education projects he championed like Smart Start and moving teacher salaries to the national average — a goal of his last gubernatorial term. “We’ve got the resources to do it,” Hunt told The Associated Press at his office inside the library named for him at N.C. State University. “This is an amazing time, the national economy’s come back and we’ve benefited from it ... but this can be a very special time if we grab it, if we take advantage of what’s out there for us.”
Local Democratic Reorganization Starts to Come Into Focus
Shelby County Democrats should have a framework for a reorganized local party soon. Discussions at town hall meetings around the county in the last month show it will probably be a party with a less complex structure and a more stable size from election to election. And a draft of the bylaws will probably include a larger policy council of sorts that meets on a quarterly basis to talk over larger issues than winning the next elections. The group appointed by state Democratic Party leaders to reform the local party intends to hold a countywide convention in June to elect a new executive committee and from there select a new county party chairman. “I hope the party is stronger and better than it has previously been,” Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner said. “I’m hopeful that the Democrats in Shelby County will want this party to be a good party, be a strong party.”
Party down: State, national progressives are getting involved in local school board elections
The Texas Democratic Party wants a larger pool of attractive, experienced candidates. “We need to be redeveloping our organization from the ground up,” said Manny Garcia, deputy executive director of the Texas Democrats. “When we’re looking to recruit in partisan races, we saw a real need to increase the number of folks that are on the bench. These are prime candidates to go for statehouse seats, and then congressional [seats].” Gilberto Hinojosa, the state party chair, sent an email to North Texas Democrats the day before the election, asking for support for eight local candidates — including three school board challengers. “It is very important that we unseat Trump Republicans and send more Democrats to local office,” Hinojosa’s email read.
Former Orrick CEO, Ralph Baxter, Considers Congressional Run
Former Orrick CEO Ralph Baxter brought a law firm’s global operations center to Wheeling, and now he is wondering whether his skills and knowledge might be of some help to the nation. Baxter is pondering a run on the Democratic ticket for the 1st District U.S. House seat occupied by Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va. He said that decision hasn’t yet been made. “I’m hearing a lot of frustrations from people about the economy, and how broken Washington is,” he said. “I’m considering it.” The businessman, attorney, educator, writer and speaker will be attending at least one political function in the coming weeks as the official filing season for the 2018 election looms more than six months away. The Wetzel County Democratic Party has announced Baxter will be one of two guest speakers at its next executive committee meeting, set for 6 p.m. June 20at the Robert C. Byrd Center in Pine Grove. Also speaking will be West Virginia Democratic Party Chairwoman Belinda Biafore.
Wisconsin Democrats view Republican Gov. Walker as beatable
"I think there's a ton of opportunity for Democrats," said Democratic state Rep. Chris Taylor. "What we need to do is have a bold, inspiring agenda."Wisconsin Democrats say they are increasingly optimistic about their chances of knocking off Republican Gov. Scott Walker next year, even though a top-tier candidate has yet to emerge and they're still recovering from a devastating 2016 election. Democrats gathering this weekend for their state convention say liberals are energized in opposition both to President Donald Trump and to Republicans like Walker closely tied to him. Walker's approval rating has been below 50 percent since early 2014.