Laura Winchester, a friend of mine and local Democratic activist, is supporting John Burton for Chair of the Democratic Party of California. My first reaction was that we needed an outsider for this position, but I always listen when Laura has a strong opinion on a subject. She has been right more than I care to acknowledge here.
Anyways, here is her guest post:
Sen. John Burton for California Democratic Party Chair
As you may know, the Democratic Party is holding its Assembly District Delegate elections this weekend. In each of the 80 AD's, 12 people (6 men and 6 women) will be elected to represent their District at the annual State Convention for the next 2 years. As expected, interest is higher than usual after the exciting Presidential election.
Locally, in AD35 there are 26 people competing for these positions, in AD37 there are 22, in AD38 there are 19, and in AD 41, there are 28. It's exciting to see not only longtime activists running, but new people who got involved in the Obama campaign, and are now looking to stay involved .
One thing you can expect to see at each caucus is a strong presence from the John Burton campaign, looking to court delegates and activists, and20elect as many Burton supporters as possible.
Current Chair Art Torres is retiring in April, and Burton declared his candidacy late last year. He quickly garnered the endorsements of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Barbara Boxer, State Senate Pro-Tem Darryl Steinberg, and all Ventura County Democrat electeds, including Rep. Lois Capps, Sen. Fran Pavley, Hon. Pedro Nava, Hon. Julia Brownley and State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O'Connell. Equally strong has been his support from rank and file Democrats at the local level.
LA County Central Committee Chair Eric Bauman had declared his candidacy for the Chair position early in 2008, but a few weeks ago he bowed out, and is now running for Vice Chair instead. That leaves current Vice Chair, Alex Rooker, as the only other candidate in the race and Sen. Burton as the overwhelming favorite.
A legendary figure in California politics, Senator Burton has over 40 years of public service, including multiple terms in Congress, the State Assembly, and State Senate, where he served as Pro-Tem from 1998 until retiring in 2 004.
While some activists might question the ability of a powerful insider and longtime politician to bring change to the party, one only need look at his record to know that fear is unfounded. He was a Progressive before it was cool, always on the cutting edge. But most importantly for a party leader, he knows how to win elections. His leadership and fundraising ability is unquestioned. It takes money to win elections, as well as powerful strategy, discipline and organization. I have no doubt that Sen. Burton will be able to raise the kind of money and attract the talent, both professional and volunteer, that we will need to compete and protect the seats that will become more competitive after Prop. 11 is implemented.
Posted on his website, www.burton2009.com, is a powerful message and plan that addresses his vision for the future of the Party. He makes specific reference to two of our districts here in Ventura County , and recognizes the difficulty of competing in red districts. This is good news for us and all "red zones" in California . Take a few moments and read his ideas and plan for leading the CDP. Once you do, I'm confident that you will be excit ed and energized about supporting Sen. Burton, and will join the hundreds of Democrats that have already committed to help elect him as our new Party Chair.
UPDATE: Laura, thanks for writing this guest blog entry. I checked out the Google News search results and you were correct, this entry was the number one result for John Burton!