Party Politics

Shasti Conrad unanimously elected the new Chair of the Washington State Democrats

The Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty today select­ed a new Chair to serve as the par­ty’s chief exec­u­tive for the 2023–2024 pres­i­den­tial cycle.

Shasti Con­rad, the for­mer Chair of the King Coun­ty Democ­rats, was cho­sen unan­i­mous­ly by the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Com­mit­tee (of which I am a mem­ber) to be the suc­ces­sor to Tina Pod­lodows­ki at its bien­ni­al reor­ga­ni­za­tion meet­ing in Olympia, after run­ning unop­posed for the posi­tion. Pod­lodows­ki declared ear­li­er this month that she would be step­ping down.

Con­rad, who has con­tributed sev­er­al guests posts here on the Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate over the years, is the first woman of col­or to be elect­ed chair of the state party.

“I’m so hon­ored to have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to serve as Chair of our state par­ty and build on the out­stand­ing suc­cess Wash­ing­ton Democ­rats have earned at the bal­lot box for the last six years,” said Con­rad in a state­ment released by the par­ty. “I’m excit­ed to work with Demo­c­ra­t­ic lead­ers from every com­mu­ni­ty to build an unprece­dent­ed field oper­a­tion that will car­ry the mes­sage of how Wash­ing­ton Democ­rats are deliv­er­ing for work­ing fam­i­lies to each and every voter.”

“After six years serv­ing as the Chair of the Wash­ing­ton Democ­rats, I’m thrilled to pass on the torch to my friend Shasti Con­rad,” said Podlodowski.

“Shasti has been a force in Wash­ing­ton Demo­c­ra­t­ic pol­i­tics for over a decade as a staffer on three pres­i­den­tial cam­paigns and a suc­cess­ful chair of the largest coun­ty par­ty orga­ni­za­tion in the state. Shasti has been a cru­cial part of our orga­niz­ing efforts over the past six years help­ing to build a top-notch state par­ty which has seen unprece­dent­ed elec­toral suc­cess in both state and fed­er­al elec­tions. There is no one more qual­i­fied to take on the dif­fi­cult task of build­ing on this suc­cess, and I have every con­fi­dence in Shasti’s success.”

Con­rad cam­paigned on the fol­low­ing spe­cif­ic pri­or­i­ties:

  • Our Demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ty must do more than respond to the needs of this moment; we must also build a last­ing and resilient com­mu­ni­ty that can stand against all the chal­lenges that await us.  We can’t win by just fight­ing what we hate—we must pro­tect what we love, and demon­strate our strength by spread­ing our joy.
  • This past elec­tion, the Wash­ing­ton State Democ­rats proved that we can show vot­ers a vision that pri­or­i­tizes and bal­ances the needs of both rur­al and urban Democ­rats.  Our par­ty mod­els a big tent that includes the lead­ers of the DCCC, the Pro­gres­sive Cau­cus, and an inde­pen­dent work­ing class Demo­c­rat who flipped a seat by just a few thou­sand votes.
  • As a for­mer two-term Chair of the largest coun­ty par­ty in our state, I have a track record of suc­cess help­ing pro­gres­sive can­di­dates win at every lev­el of gov­ern­ment. In the four years I led the King Coun­ty Democ­rats, our orga­niz­ers flipped a Coun­ty Coun­cil seat, six city coun­cils, and raised the funds to make our Coun­ty par­ty for­mi­da­ble in win­ning elections.
  • Addi­tion­al­ly, I built a team of com­mit­ted, skilled vol­un­teers who cre­at­ed a cul­ture of trans­paren­cy and account­abil­i­ty that allowed for safer spaces to wel­come in folks who his­tor­i­cal­ly had not seen them­selves reflect­ed in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty: more women, more peo­ple of col­or, younger peo­ple, LGBT peo­ple, and immigrants.
  • I have the expe­ri­ence, the rela­tion­ships and the deep ded­i­ca­tion this job requires. I am eager to serve our state and our party—and couldn’t be more ready and excited!

Also elect­ed to serve as offi­cers of the state par­ty this morn­ing were:

  • David Green, Vice Chair (reelect­ed)
  • Rob Dolin, Sec­re­tary (reelect­ed)
  • David Kim, Treasurer

All will serve two-year terms end­ing in Jan­u­ary of 2025.

The Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can Par­ty reor­ga­nized last week­end; the Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can Cen­tral Com­mit­tee retained Caleb Heim­lich in his posi­tion as Chair for anoth­er two years and will be Con­rad’s counterpart.

Andrew Villeneuve

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