Tag Archives: King County Democrats Reoorganization

Rich Erwin Elected New King County Democrats Chair


Rich Erwin - Chair - King County Democrats

Rich Erwin – Chair – King County Democrats


Every two years the King County Democrats in Washington state elect new officers as do other county and legislative districts and the Washington State Democrats. On Saturday December 6th, 2014 some 208 King County precinct committee officers were present and signed in out of the 820 elected in the August Primary. The meeting was in south Seattle at the Machinists Hall.

Three candidates were running to succeed the previous Chair who decided not to re-run.  They were Rich Erwin – a former Chair of the 41st LD Democrats, Omaha Sternberg – Chair of the 33rd LD Democrats, and Betsy Walker – Chair of the King County Young Democrats. The meeting was full of surprises, including the power and lights going out during the election of the Chair and the extreme closeness of several votes. Rich Erwin after 3 votes was elected the new Chair.

In the initial vote for Chair the following results were obtained:

Rich Erwin 68

Omaha Sternberg 67

Betsy Walker 67

spoiled ballot 1

After much discussion of how to proceed a revote was taken with the following tally:

Rich Erwin 69

Omaha Sternberg 70

Betsy Walker 63

A third vote was then taken, dropping the lowest vote. The lights were  still out. The new tally was:

Rich Erwin 105 – elected Chair

Omaha Sternberg 89

Almost immediately after Rich Erwin was declared the new Chair, the  power and lights came back.

1st Vice Chair

Omaha Sternberg was nominated to be 1st Vice Chair and was elected by acclimation.

The 2nd Vice Chair election was as follows:

Joel Ware 108 – elected 2nd Vice-Chair

Roger Crew 54

The 3rd Vice Chair results:

Christina Lewis 116 – elected 3rd Vice-Chair

Julius Caesar Robinson 20

Linda Seltzer 23

The 4th vice-chair position drew 4 nominees.

Roger Crew 20

Sara Franklin 53

Julius Caesar Robinson  64

Linda Seltzer 7

Roger Crew withdrew and the vote was held on the top 2.

Sara Franklin 68

Julius Caesar Robinson 68

one spoiled ballot labeled Sara Robinson

A revote was taken:

Sara Franklin 62

Julius Caesar Robinson 65 – elected 4th Vice Chair

Other officers elected:

Javier Valdez was nominated and elected by acclimation as the male State Committeeman

Ann Martin was nominated and elected by acclimation as the female State Committeewoman

Dave Fish was nominated and elected by acclimation to be the Treasurer

Roger Crew was nominated and elected by acclimation to be the Secretary

news reports on elections:

Bothell Reporter

Mercer Island Reporter


King County Democrats to Elect New Chair

King County in Washington State has about one third of Washington State voters, is strongly Democratic and has typically provides the margin of difference in many state wide races for Democrats. Every two years State,  County and Legislative District  Democratic organizations reorganize and elect new officers.  On Saturday Dec. 6th, 2014 some 840 precinct committees officers elected in the August 2014 Primary are eligible to meet and vote to elect a new Chair for the King County Democrats.

This year there are 3 candidates running for Chair of the King County Democrats –  Rich Erwin, Omaha Sternberg and Betsy Walker.

Rich Erwin is a former Chair and Vice-Chair of the 41st LD Democrats, Omaha Sternberg is the current Chair of the 33rd LD Democrats, and Betsy Walker is the current Chair of the King County Young Democrats.

Here is the contact information to learn more about these candidates:

Rich Erwin

website Rich Erwin for KCDCC Chair

facebook Rich Erwin for KCDCC Chair

Omaha Sternberg

website Omaha Sternberg – Chair for King County Democrats

facebook  Omaha for Chair

Betsy Walker

website Betsy Walker for King County Democratic Chair  

facebook Betsy Walker for KCDCC Chair

The 46th LD Democrats on Nov 20th held a forum for the Chair candidates.  You can watch the video here:

The reorganization meeting will be held on Dec 6th, 2014, with sign in starting at 8:30 AM and the meeting starting at 9 AM. The meeting will be held at the Aerospace Machinists Union Hall at 9125 15th Pl S in South Seattle. Also to be elected at this meeting are four Vice Chairs, a Secretary, a Treasurer and a male and female Committee member to represent King County on the Washington State Democratic Central Committee.

King County Democrats Elect New Officers

This last weekend the King County Democrats met and elected new officers for 2011 and 2012. Here is a list of who was elected.

Chair: Steve Zemke

1st Vice Chair: Megan Gustafson

2nd Vice Chair: Andrew Villeneuve

3rd Vice Chair: Chad Lupkes

4th Vice Chair: Omaha Sternberg

Secretary: Chris Maryatt

Treasurer: Jeff Upthegrove

State Committeeman: Javier Valdez

State Committewoman: Ann Martin

And here is a little more about each of the officers in statements they wrote for the election:

Chair: Steve Zemke

King County represents a third of the voters in this state. I am running to be the next Chair of the King County Democrats because I believe we must work hard to organize and turn out Democratic voters in King County, not just to win local races but to keep our state blue and re-elect Barack Obama and other Democrats in 2012.

I have been active in Democratic politics for over 30 years, helping to elect Democratic candidates and pass progressive initiatives supported by the Democratic Party. For the last 2 years I have the Co-Chair of the King County Democrats Legislative Action Committee and served on the KCDCC Board.

My involvement in Democratic politics, grassroots organizing, fundraising, legislative action, initiative campaigns, candidate campaigns, media outreach, managing campaigns, serving on and chairing Boards of organizations and much more has given me the skills and insight needed to help us more aggressively forward over the next 2 years to counter the Republican onslaught that has emerged over the last two years. Working together we can get much done and help Democrats prevail and triumph in 2011 and 2012.

First Vice Chair – Megan Gustafson

My name is Megan Gustafson and I’ve been very active with the young democrats and politics. I’m running for 1st Vice Chair for KCDCC. I work as an IT & Sales Admin for a small business in Kirkland, WA and I earned my BA from University of Iowa and MPA from University of Nebraska. I actively volunteered for Governor Gregoire’s campaigns doing research and helping process contributions. As the KCYD Chair, I attended KCDCC meetings regularly. I was proud to be a part of the KCDCC at that time which taught me about the party and supporting our candidates. In 2009, I was the Young Democrats of Washington State President after multiple years as the YDWA Vice President of Finance where I wrote the budget, kept track of the finances, and wrote some fundraising letters. I was named Washington State Democratic Party Female Rising Star of the Year at the 16th Annual Warren G. Magnuson (Maggies) Awards Ceremony and I completed the Institute for Democratic Future program. I am the Women’s Political Caucus State Secretary and want to help more women get elected. Currently, I am PCO in the 45th Legislative District and serve as their alternate for KCDCC. I am excited to serve as the 1st Vice-Chair and I hope you will support me on Saturday. Thanks! Megan Gustafson.,

Second Vice Chair: Andrew Villeneuve

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute and a columnist for Sound Publishing’s Reporter Newspapers. He has helped organize opposition to every Tim Eyman initiative since 2002, principally through NPI’s Permanent Defense project, and has served on the King County Democrats’ Endorsements Committee in addition to chairing the 45th District Democrats’ Endorsements Committee. He is running for 2nd Vice Chair to put his expertise – especially in strategy, communications, and technology – to work for the King County Democrats during what promises to be a challenging 2011-2012 election cycle.
Andrew Villeneuve
NPI :: revolutionizing grassroots politics @ nwprogressive.org

Third Vice Chair: Chad Lupkes

Chad Lupkes became active in the Democratic Party in 2003 after beating Cancer. He was active in Democracy for Washington, the Progressive Democratic Caucuses of Washington, and the Washington State Progressive Caucus. Chad is the chair of the 46th District Democrats and 1st Vice Chair of the King County Democrats from 2009-2010. He is running for 3rd Vice Chair in order to take on the challenge of building the membership and PCO recruitment efforts of the county organization as we head into the 2012 Election Season. The mission is to organize the membership information of the King County Democrats to make engaging, educating and empowering Democrats and Progressives in King County as easy as possible.
Chad Lupkes – http://chadlupkes.blogspot.com
Chair, 46th District Democrats – http://46dems.com/
1st Vice Chair, King County Democrats – http://kcdems.org/
Webmaster, Washington State Democratic Chairs Organization – http://wa-demchairs.org/

Fourth Vice Chair – Omaha Sternberg

My name is Omaha Sternberg, and I am asking for your vote for 4th Vice Chair. I am a lifelong Democrat. I started as a teenager helping my best friend’s parents in their election campaigns, and was heavily involved with the Equal Rights Amendment work in Florida. With the advent of Bush politics, I felt the need to become more active than ever, joining the 33rd legislative district and eventually becoming the chair.

With the current economic crisis still overshadowing our efforts locally as well as nationally, and with the Republican party having so effectively manipulated the public political voice, now is the time to take aggressive measures to make sure that our rights and values are upheld. There is no room for complaining about what hasn’t happened. There is only room for looking at what needs to happen, planning how it will happen, and taking the steps to ensuring that it will.

Recruitment, especially of younger democrats, and proper communication of our message is crucial to that plan. Building the party with enthusiastic members with fresh ideas using cutting edge tools will bring our message to new and larger audiences. Communicating our messages in new ways…clear and concise…will help our message be heard and transmitted farther.

I hope that you will join me in this endeavor and elect me as your vice-chair. Together, we will be heard!

Secretary – Chris Maryatt

Chris has been working on campaigns since he was sixteen. He was then active in the Young Democrats at Vassar College, and before going to law school, spent three years as a Canvasser, Field Manager, and Citizen Outreach Assistant Director for various progressive issue campaigns. He served as Vice President and President of the Young Democrats at Seattle University Law School, and has been active with the 43rd Legislative District Democrats, serving two terms as Treasurer and one concurrent term as First Vice Chair. He is currently the Secretary for the King County Democrats, and looks forward to working to make sure President Obama, Senator Cantwell, and many other Democrats up and down our ballot are elected in 2012.

Treasurer – Jeff Upthegrove:

Jeff has been involved with Democratic politics as an organizer, campaign worker, fundraiser and volunteer for 20 years. He currently serves on the Executive Board and as Membership Chair of the 34th District Democrats, where he has led an effort in recent years to upgrade systems for management and reporting of financial and membership information. Jeff has extensive experience in finance and bookkeeping in the business world, having worked as Business Manager, Chief Operating Officer and CEO of a series of small and medium sized businesses. Jeff currently works as a political consultant doing professional campaign Treasury and other services for progressive candidates, office-holders and organizations.

State Committeeman: Javier Valdez

As a member of the KCDCC Executive Board for over seventeen years, I’ve had the honor serving you as your State Committeeman for the past ten years. I ask for your support for another term. As a member of the State Party Executive Board., I’m proud to have helped lead the effort for King County/Seattle being chosen to host the 2012 State Party Convention. My commitment to the Party and its causes runs deep, including Chair of the 43rd LD (1997-2002), 46th LD (2007-2009), and I was recently elected as President of AFSCME Council 2, Local 21-C. Thank you. Javier Valdez

State Committewoman: Ann Martin

Ann and her husband moved to West Seattle in 1976 where they raised a son and daughter, Seattle-Public -School educated Democrats, who are working on bachelor and doctorate degrees, respectively. Ann has been active in Democratic politics as a PCO and in many leadership positions at the district and county levels. She has also served on rules, credentials, and platform committees at all levels of the Party. She has served as a campaign manager, campaign treasurer and other volunteer positions for Democratic candidates and issues. She is active in her community, serving on the board of the Southwest Youth and Family Services and involved in many groups like the West Seattle Democratic Women. For the past two years, she has been proud to serve the KCDCC as state committee woman, participating in statewide meetings and in the Agriculture and Rural Caucus and the Elections Committee. She chaired the KCDCC Multicultural Networking Team and was a member of the Bylaws, Platform, and Resolutions Committee. She hopes to continue to represent you on the state committee for the next two years.