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Democratic Governors Association

Democratic Governors Association
Chair Steve Bullock (MT)
Vice Chair Maggie Hassan (NH)
Founded 1983
Headquarters 1401 K Street, NW,
Washington, D.C., 20005
18 / 50
Politics of United States
Political parties
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 Republican counterpart is the Republican Governors Association. The DGA is not directly affiliated with the non-partisan National Governors Association. Elisabeth Pearson is currently the Executive Director of the DGA.


  • Founding and early years 1
  • 1990s 2
  • Recent history 3
  • DGA leadership 4
  • List of current Democratic Governors 5
  • List of DGA Chairs 6
  • Fundraising 7
  • Notable staff alumni 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

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 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:

Democratic Governors Appointed to the U.S. Cabinet:

  • Governor Richard Riley: U.S. Secretary of Education 1993–2001 (Clinton)
  • Governor Bruce Babbitt: U.S. Secretary of the Interior (Clinton)
  • Governor Gary Locke: U.S. Secretary of Commerce (Obama)
  • Governor Tom Vilsack: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (Obama)
  • Governor Janet Napolitano: U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security (Obama)
  • Governor Kathleen Sebelius: U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (Obama)
  • Governor Bill Richardson: U.S. Secretary of Energy (Clinton), prior to becoming Governor of New Mexico

Democratic Governors Appointed to Ambassadorships:

  • Governor Mike Sullivan: U.S. Ambassador to Ireland (Clinton)
  • Governor James Blanchard: U.S. Ambassador to Canada (Clinton)
  • Governor Richard Celeste: U.S. Ambassador to India (Clinton)
  • Governor Gary Locke: U.S. Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Ambassador to China (Obama)
  • Governor Ray Mabus: U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (under President Clinton)

Democratic Governors Elected DNC Chair:

Democratic Governors Elected to the U.S. Senate:

DGA leadership

The leadership of the DGA consists of elected Democratic governors.

Office Officer State Since
  Chair Steve Bullock Montana 2015
  Vice Chair Maggie Hassan New Hampshire 2015
  Chair-elect Dannel Malloy Connecticut 2015

List of current Democratic Governors

There are currently 18 Democratic governors:

Current Governor State Past Took office Seat Up
Jerry Brown California List 2011 2018
John Hickenlooper Colorado List 2011 2018
Dan Malloy Connecticut List 2011 2018
Jack Markell Delaware List 2009 2016
David Ige Hawaii List 2014 2018
Steve Beshear Kentucky List 2007 2015
Mark Dayton Minnesota List 2011 2018
Jay Nixon Missouri List 2009 2016
Steve Bullock Montana List 2013 2016
Maggie Hassan New Hampshire List 2013 2016
Andrew Cuomo New York List 2011 2018
Kate Brown Oregon List 2015 2016
Tom Wolf Pennsylvania List 2014 2018
Gina Raimondo Rhode Island List 2014 2018
Peter Shumlin Vermont List 2011 2016
Terry McAuliffe Virginia List 2014 2018
Jay Inslee Washington List 2013 2016
Earl Ray Tomblin West Virginia List 2010 2016

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
Alejandro García Padilla Puerto Rico List 2013 2016

List of DGA Chairs

Current and former DGA Chairs.

Year Chair State Executive Director
2015 Governor Steve Bullock Montana Elisabeth Pearson
2014 Governor Peter Shumlin Vermont Colm O'Comartun
2013 Governor Peter Shumlin Vermont Colm O'Comartun
2012 Governor Martin O'Malley Maryland Colm O'Comartun
2011 Governor Martin O'Malley Maryland Colm O'Comartun
2010 Governor Jack Markell Delaware Nathan Daschle
2009 Governor Christine Gregoire Washington 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 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."[2]

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.[3]

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.[4][5]

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.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

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.[10]


  1. ^ Devroy, Ann "Clinton Takes His Case to GOP's Western Stronghold", The Washington Post, October 22, 1993, accessed August 8, 2011.
  2. ^ O'Malley, Martin. "DGA Continues to Break Fundraising Records". 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Nathan Daschle". The Public Squared. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  9. ^ "HWS: Office of the President". Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  10. ^

External links

  • DGA Official Website
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