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Democratic Governors Association

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Democratic Governors Association
ChairTim Walz (MN)
Vice ChairLaura Kelly (KS)
Finance ChairPhil Murphy (NJ)
Policy ChairGavin Newsom (CA)
Founded1965 (Democratic Governors Conference)
1983 (Democratic Governors Association)
Headquarters1225 Eye St NW
Ste 1100
Washington, D.C., 20005
AffiliatedDemocratic Party
State governors
23 / 50
Territorial governors
4 / 5
Federal district mayorship
1 / 1
United States President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with the Democratic Governors Association in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on 22 February 2013.

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.[1] 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.

Meghan Meehan-Draper is currently the DGA's executive director, Tim Walz is the current chair, and Laura Kelly is the current vice-chair.


Previously known as the Democratic Governors Conference within the Democratic National Committee, DGA became an independent institution in 1983 under the leadership of then-Virginia Governor Chuck Robb with the help of then-Democratic National Committee Chair Charles 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 U.S. Congress. Prior to its current formation in mid-1983, they met as the Democratic Governors Conference.

The DGA played a pivotal role in the election of Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton to the presidency in 1992. Under the leadership of DGA Chair and Hawaii Governor John Waiheʻe, the DGA helped organize Clinton's "winning the West" campaign tour through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California. Republicans had handily won all of those states except Washington and Oregon the previous three elections. According to The Washington Post,[2] 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.

Following the 2023 gubernatorial elections, the Democrats lost one seat in Louisiana held by John Bel Edwards who left office due to term limits in January 2024, and was replaced by Republican Jeff Landry.


The DGA is led by two elected Democratic governors.

Office Officer State Since
Chair Tim Walz Minnesota 2023
Vice Chair Laura Kelly Kansas 2023

List of current Democratic governors

There are currently 23 Democratic governors.

Current governor State Past Took office Seat up
Katie Hobbs Arizona Arizona List 2023 2026
Gavin Newsom California California List 2019 2026 (term limited)
Jared Polis Colorado Colorado List 2019 2026 (term limited)
Ned Lamont Connecticut Connecticut List 2019 2026
John Carney Delaware Delaware List 2017 2024 (term limited)
Josh Green Hawaii Hawaii List 2022 2026
J. B. Pritzker Illinois Illinois List 2019 2026
Laura Kelly Kansas Kansas List 2019 2026 (term limited)
Andy Beshear Kentucky Kentucky List 2019 2027 (term limited)
Janet Mills Maine Maine List 2019 2026 (term limited)
Wes Moore Maryland Maryland List 2023 2026
Maura Healey Massachusetts Massachusetts List 2023 2026
Gretchen Whitmer Michigan Michigan List 2019 2026 (term limited)
Tim Walz Minnesota Minnesota List 2019 2026
Phil Murphy New Jersey New Jersey List 2018 2025 (term limited)
Michelle Lujan Grisham New Mexico New Mexico List 2019 2026 (term limited)
Kathy Hochul New York (state) New York List 2021 (succeeded) 2026
Roy Cooper North Carolina North Carolina List 2017 2024 (term limited)
Tina Kotek Oregon Oregon List 2023 2026
Josh Shapiro Pennsylvania Pennsylvania List 2023 2026
Dan McKee Rhode Island Rhode Island List 2021 (succeeded) 2026
Jay Inslee Washington (state) Washington List 2013 2024 (retiring)
Tony Evers Wisconsin Wisconsin List 2019 2026

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
Lemanu Peleti Mauga American Samoa American Samoa List 2021 2024
Lou Leon Guerrero Guam Guam List 2019 2026 (term limited)
Pedro Pierluisi Puerto Rico Puerto Rico List 2021 2024
Albert Bryan United States Virgin Islands U.S. Virgin Islands List 2019 2026 (term limited)

In addition, the DGA offers membership to the mayor of the District of Columbia.

Current mayor Federal district Past Took office Seat up
Muriel Bowser Washington, D.C. District of Columbia List 2014 2026

List of DGA chairs

Chair State
1965 John Connally Texas Texas
1966–1967 Harold Hughes Iowa Iowa
1968 Robert Evander McNair South Carolina South Carolina
1969 John N. Dempsey Connecticut Connecticut
1970 Robert W. Scott North Carolina North Carolina
1971 Marvin Mandel Maryland Maryland
1972 Dale Bumpers Arkansas Arkansas
1973 Wendell Ford Kentucky Kentucky
1974 Wendell Anderson Minnesota Minnesota
1975 Philip W. Noel Rhode Island Rhode Island
1976 Reubin Askew Florida Florida
1977 Patrick Lucey Wisconsin Wisconsin
Unknown Unknown
1978 Jim Hunt North Carolina North Carolina
1979 Ella Grasso Connecticut Connecticut
1980 Brendan Byrne New Jersey New Jersey
1981 Jerry Brown California California
1982 John Y. Brown Jr. Kentucky Kentucky
1983 Scott M. Matheson Utah Utah
1984 Chuck Robb Virginia Virginia
1985 Bruce Babbitt Arizona Arizona
1986 Richard Riley South Carolina South Carolina
1987 Michael Dukakis Massachusetts Massachusetts
1988 Bill Clinton Arkansas Arkansas
1989 James Blanchard Michigan Michigan
1990 Dick Celeste Ohio Ohio
1991 Roy Romer Colorado Colorado
1992 John D. Waihee III Hawaii Hawaii
1993 David Walters Oklahoma Oklahoma
1994 Evan Bayh Indiana Indiana
1995 Mel Carnahan Missouri Missouri
1996 Gaston Caperton West Virginia West Virginia
1997 Howard Dean Vermont Vermont
1998 Pedro Rosselló Puerto Rico Puerto Rico
1999 Frank O'Bannon Indiana Indiana
2000 Paul E. Patton Kentucky Kentucky
2001 Gray Davis California California
2002 Parris Glendening Maryland Maryland
2003 Gary Locke Washington (state) Washington
2004 Tom Vilsack Iowa Iowa
2005–2006 Bill Richardson New Mexico New Mexico
2007 Kathleen Sebelius Kansas Kansas
2008 Brian Schweitzer Montana Montana
2009 Christine Gregoire Washington (state) Washington
2010 Jack Markell Delaware Delaware
2011–2012 Martin O'Malley Maryland Maryland
2013–2014 Peter Shumlin Vermont Vermont
2015 Steve Bullock Montana Montana
2016–2017 Dannel Malloy Connecticut Connecticut
2018 Jay Inslee Washington (state) Washington
2019 Gina Raimondo Rhode Island Rhode Island
2020 Phil Murphy New Jersey New Jersey
2021 Michelle Lujan Grisham New Mexico New Mexico
2022 Roy Cooper North Carolina North Carolina
2023 Phil Murphy New Jersey New Jersey
2024 Tim Walz Minnesota Minnesota

Executive directors

Term Director
1983–1989 Chuck Dolan
1990–1992 Mark Gearan
1993–1998 Katie Whelan
1999–2004 BJ Thornberry
2005–2006 Penny Lee
2007–2010 Nathan Daschle
2011–2014 Colm O'Comartun
2015–2018 Elisabeth Pearson
2018–present Noam Lee

Other offices

Democratic governors have served in various other government positions after their tenure. The following list includes recent positions from the DGA's formalization in 1983.

Democratic governors elected as President:

Democratic governors appointed to the U.S. Cabinet:

Democratic governors appointed to ambassadorships:

Democratic governors elected as chair of the Democratic National Committee:

Democratic governors elected to the U.S. Senate:


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."[3]

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.[4]

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.[5][6]

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.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

Former executive director Mark Gearan was director of communications during the Clinton administration and served as director of the Peace Corps. He served as president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York from 1999 to 2017.[10]

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.[11]


  1. ^ Sparacino, Anthony (2021). "The Democratic and Republican Governors Associations and the Nationalization of American Party Politics, 1961–1968". Studies in American Political Development. 35: 76–103. doi:10.1017/S0898588X20000188. ISSN 0898-588X. S2CID 233359969.
  2. ^ Devroy, Ann, "Clinton Takes His Case to GOP's Western Stronghold"[permanent dead link], The Washington Post, October 22, 1993, accessed August 8, 2011.
  3. ^ O'Malley, Martin. "DGA Continues to Break Fundraising Records". [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ [dead link]
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "Cheryl Parker Rose - POLITICO Topics -". Archived from the original on October 23, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  7. ^ "R&R Partners | Public Relations". Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  8. ^ "Patton Boggs | Professionals | Katie Whelan". Archived from the original on April 10, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  9. ^ "Nathan Daschle". The Public Squared. Archived from the original on 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2014-08-10.
  10. ^ "HWS: Office of the President". Retrieved 2014-08-10.
  11. ^ "Charles H. Dolan, Part-time Faculty - School of Media and Public Affairs - the George Washington University". Archived from the original on May 12, 2011.

External links

This page was last edited on 8 June 2024, at 21:56
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