Democratic Governors Association

Democratic Governors Association
Chair Martin O'Malley (MD)
Vice Chair Bev Perdue (NC)
Finance Chair Pat Quinn (IL)
Chair Emeritus Jack Markell (DE)
Executive Committee Mike Beebe (AR)
Jerry Brown (CA)
Andrew Cuomo (NY)
Jay Nixon (MO)
Brian Schweitzer (MT)
Founded 1983
Headquarters 1401 K Street, NW,
Washington, D.C., 20005
20 / 50
Politics of United States
Political parties

The Democratic Governors Association 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. Colm O'Comartun 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.


The DGA played a pivotal role in the election of Bill Clinton to the Presidency in 1992. Under the leadership of DGA Chair and Colorado Governor Roy R. Romer, 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,[1] 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.

Recent History

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: Governor Bill Clinton: President of the United States (1992-2000) Governor Jimmy Carter: President of the United States (1976-1980)

Democratic Governors appointed to Cabinet, Ambassadorship, or Chairs of the Democratic National Committee: Governor Richard Riley: US Secretary of Education 1993-2000 (Clinton) Governor Richard Celeste: US Ambassador to India (Clinton) Governor James Blanchard: US Ambassador to Canada (Clinton) Governor Mike Sullivan: US Ambassador to Ireland (Clinton) Governor Bruce Babbitt: US Secretary of the Interior (Clinton) Governor Ray Mabus: US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (under President Clinton) and US Secretary of the Navy (under President Obama) Governor Gary Locke: US Secretary of Commerce and US Ambassador to China (Obama) Governor Tom Vilsack: US Secretary of Agriculture (Obama) Governor Janet Napolitano: US Attorney, District of Arizona, (Clinton) Arizona Attorney General, and US Secretary of Homeland Security (Obama) Governor Kathleen Sebelius: US Secretary of Health and Human Services (Obama) Governor Bill Richardson: US Secretary of Energy (Clinton), then was elected as Governor of New Mexico

DNC Chairs Governor Roy Romer: Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (1992-2000) Governor Howard Dean: Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (2004-2008) Governor Tim Kaine: Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (Obama)

Democratic Governors elected to the US Senate: Governor Dale Bumpers Governor Jeanne Shaheen Governor Mark Warner Governor Jay Rockefeller Governor Joe Manchin Governor Tom Carper Governor Evan Bayh Governor Ben Nelson

2010-2011 DGA leadership

The leadership of the DGA consists of elected Democratic governors. The current leadership assumed their positions in 2010.

Office Officer State Since
  Chair Martin O'Malley Maryland 2010
  Vice Chair Bev Perdue North Carolina 2010
  Finance Chair Pat Quinn Illinois 2010
  Chair Emeritus Jack Markell Delaware 2010
  NGA Chair Chris Gregoire Washington 2010
  CEO Roundtable Chair Dan Malloy Connecticut 2010
  Executive Committee Mike Beebe Arkansas 2010
  Executive Committee Jerry Brown California 2010
  Executive Committee Andrew Cuomo New York 2010
  Executive Committee Jay Nixon Missouri 2010
  Executive Committee Brian Schweitzer Montana 2010

List of current Democratic Governors

There are currently 20 Democratic governors:

Current Governor State Past Took office Seat Up
Mike Beebe Arkansas List 2007 2014
Jerry Brown California List 2011 2014
John Hickenlooper Colorado List 2011 2014
Dan Malloy Connecticut List 2011 2014
Jack A. Markell Delaware List 2009 2012
Neil Abercrombie Hawaii List 2010 2014
Pat Quinn Illinois List 2009 2014
Steve Beshear Kentucky List 2007 2011
Martin O'Malley Maryland List 2007 2014
Deval Patrick Massachusetts List 2007 2015
Mark Dayton Minnesota List 2011 2014
Jay Nixon Missouri List 2009 2013
Brian Schweitzer Montana List 2005 2012
John Lynch New Hampshire List 2005 2012
Andrew Cuomo New York List 2011 2014
Beverly Perdue North Carolina List 2009 2012
John Kitzhaber Oregon List 2011 2014
Peter Shumlin Vermont List 2011 2012
Christine Gregoire Washington List 2005 2012
Earl Ray Tomblin West Virginia List 2010 2011

In addition to the states, the DGA also holds membership for governors of US Territories.

Current Governor Territory Past Took office Seat Up
Togiola Tulafono American Samoa List 2003 2013
John de Jongh U.S. Virgin Islands List 2007 2015

List of DGA Chairs

List of current and former DGA Chairs.

Year Chair State Executive Director
2011 Governor Martin O'Malley Maryland Colm O'Comartun
2010 Governor Jack Markell Delaware Nathan Daschle
2009 Governor Joe Manchin West Virginia Nathan Daschle
2008 Governor Brian Schweitzer Montana Nathan Daschle
2007 Governor Kathleen Sebelius Kansas Nathan Daschle
2006 Governor Bill Richardson New Mexico Penny Lee
2005 Governor Bill Richardson New Mexico Penny Lee
2004 Governor Tom Vilsack Iowa BJ Thornberry
2003 Governor Gary Locke Washington BJ Thornberry
2002 Governor Parris Glendening Maryland BJ Thornberry
2001 Governor Gray Davis California BJ Thornberry
2000 Governor Paul Patton Kentucky BJ Thornberry
1999 Governor Frank O'Bannon Indiana BJ Thornberry
1998 Governor Pedro Rossello Puerto Rico Katie Whelan
1997 Governor Howard Dean Vermont Katie Whelan
1996 Governor Gaston Caperton West Virginia Katie Whelan
1995 Governor Mel Carnahan Missouri Katie Whelan
1994 Governor Evan Bayh Indiana Katie Whelan
1993 Governor David Walters Oklahoma Katie Whelan
1992 Governor John Waihee Hawaii Mark Gearan
1991 Governor Roy Romer Colorado Mark Gearan
1990 Governor Dick Celeste Ohio Mark Gearan
1989 Governor Bill Clinton Arkansas Chuck Dolan


The DGA reported raising approximately $11 million in the first six months of 2011, more than doubling what it raised during the comparable 2007 election cycle. The DGA reported having $8.6 million cash-on-hand in July 2011. "This record-breaking outpouring of support for the DGA reflects the important role Democratic governors are playing in our party's resurgence," DGA Chair Martin O'Malley said. "Because of our strong fundraising efforts, we will have the resources to win our competitive races in 2011 and lay the groundwork for 2012." [2]

In the 18 months ending June 30, 2010, the DGA raised $40 million, while its Republican counterpart RGA raised $58 million. "Unlike the national political parties and federal candidates, the governors’ associations can take in unlimited amounts from corporations," according to Bloomberg Businessweek, which notes that the RGA recently received $1 million from Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp, the parent corporation of Fox News, and $500,000 from WellPoint, a major US health insurance firm. Labor groups giving money to the DGA include the Service Employees International Union ($1.1 million) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees ($3.3 million). [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. He is currently an advisor to 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 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 Chuck Dolan is the Managing Director of the Sage Agency and a lecturer at the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11]


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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