President of the ASDC is New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman, Raymond Buckley. President Buckley was elected in January 2009. As President of the ASDC, President Buckley also serves as a DNC Vice Chair. He is assisted in leading the ASDC by an elected Executive Committee.
Raymond Buckley (View Bio ») - New Hampshire
Raymond Buckley was elected as Chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party in March of 2007. Prior to serving as Chair he served as the Party’s 1st Vice Chair and Executive Director. His professional political involvement began when he was an organizer for Jimmy Carter’s campaign for President in 1976. Since then he has been involved with each Presidential campaign in New Hampshire as well as campaigns for Governor, US House, US Senate and the NH State Senate. During the 2006 election cycle he was the Executive Director for the NH Senate Democratic Caucus. In 1986 he was elected to the State House from Manchester where he served eight terms.
In January of 2009, Chairman Buckley was elected the President of the Association of State Democratic Chairs. He was re-elected to the position in February 2011 and again in January of 2013. In his role as ASDC President he also serves as a Vice Chair for the Democratic National Committee. Chairman Buckley also serves on the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee.
As a national leader in the LGBT community, Chairman Buckley serves on the DNC’s LGBT Caucus as well as the National Stonewall Democrats. Chairman Buckley is the first openly gay politician to serve as the President of the Association of State Democratic Chairs and as a Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Karen Carter Peterson (View Bio ») - Louisiana
Senator Karen Carter Peterson was elected chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party in April of 2012, making her the first woman to ever hold this post. She represents New Orleans and parts of Jefferson Parish in the Louisiana State Senate. She is currently Chair of the Louisiana Women’s Caucus and Senate Select Committee on Women and Children. She also serves on the Senate Judiciary B, Insurance and Local and Municipal Committees. In 2012, she assumed the Chair position of the Louisiana Democratic Party, the first woman in Louisiana history to do so.
During her time in the Louisiana House of Representatives, Sen. Peterson established herself as a powerful, worthy asset to the legislature, serving on the House Appropriations Committee, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the House Governmental Affairs Committee, and most recently, she served as House Speaker Pro Tempore. During her service in the House, she was also the first woman to chair the House Insurance Committee.
Sen. Peterson is a 1991 graduate of Howard University School of Business, where she received a degree in International Business and Marketing, and of Tulane University Law School, where she was afforded the opportunity to attend both Boston College Law School and the University of Virginia’s Law School as a visiting student.
Sen. Peterson has many present and past professional and civic activities on her resume. She has been a board member and volunteer for a wide variety of organizations. Beginning at the age of 18 through the year 2008, she served as a delegate to Democratic National Conventions. She and her husband Dana are members of Blessed Trinity Catholic Church and live in downtown New Orleans.
Debra Kozikowski (View Bio ») - Massachusetts
Massachusetts Vice Chair Debra Kozikowski serves as Northeast Vice President to the Association of State Democratic Chairs. A thirty-five year veteran of grassroots politics, Debra is an independent business and technical writer, former educator, licensed real estate professional and rural policy advocate. Friends and colleagues know her best for promoting rural-urban partnerships around local food and clean energy policies. Her passion for rural equity has recently focused on voter suppression aimed at disenfranchising women, minorities and seniors. She is co-founder of RuralVotes, a rural advocacy organization. Little known fact: Debra won first place for her Spicy Blueberry BBQ Sauce in the 2008 blueberry bloggers recipe contest run by the US Highbush Blueberry Council.
Mike Tate (View Bio ») - Wisconsin
Mike was elected State Chair in June 2009. At age 30, he was the youngest state party chair in the nation. Mike has worked for Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Governor Jim Doyle, AFSCME Council 40, and Fair Wisconsin. Most recently, Mike directed Advancing Wisconsin’s vast voter mobilization effort in 2008, helping boost turnout in key legislative districts and the presidential election.
Rick Palacio (View Bio ») - Colorado
Rick is a 6th generation Coloradan who was born and raised in Pueblo. The son of a steel worker and homemaker, Rick's family's roots are in the southern part the state where both of his grandfathers were coal miners.
Before serving in his current role, Palacio worked in a variety of roles in Colorado and national politics. He was the Assistant to Colorado House Majority Leader Alice Madden. He served as the Regional Director of the Colorado Democratic Party’s Coordinate Campaign. In 2006 he sought the Democratic nomination for Clerk and Recorder in Pueblo, Colorado where he earned 49.9% of the Democratic vote - only two votes shy of becoming the party's nominee for the general election. Palacio then held multiple roles with U.S. Rep. John Salazar of Colorado's third Congressional District, including Legislative Assistant and later Deputy Communications Director. In 2008 he was hired as Deputy Director of Member Service in the office of the House Majority Leader, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer, the second highest-ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Rick was elected Chairman of the Colorado Democratic Party on March 5, 2011. He is the first Latino in Colorado to hold the office of chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, and when elected was only the second in the nation.
Yvette Lewis (View Bio ») - Maryland
Yvette Lewis was elevated to Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party in May 2011 after serving as the Party’s First Vice Chair. Prior to her time as Vice Chair, she served in the 2010 Maryland Coordinated Campaign as a lead volunteer coordinator. Ms. Lewis also played a pivotal role as director of the party’s Grassroots Rapid Response program, which gained national attention. Ms. Lewis has served honorably with the Hoyer for Congress Steering Committee, as a 2008 Obama campaign organizer, and in the statewide campaigns of Ben Cardin and Kweisi Mfume. Nationally, Ms. Lewis is the President of the Voter Empowerment Action Project. She is a member of the DNC Budget and Finance Committee and serves as the Secretary of the Association of State Democratic Chairs. Outside of politics, Ms. Lewis has an accomplished career in music as a vocalist and teacher. As an advocate for youth and the arts, she is the founder and director of “So This is Opera” a program that introduces young audiences to opera, and has taught music in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Montgomery County schools. President Obama recognized her contribution to the performing arts and appointed her to the Commission on Presidential Scholars. Yvette and her husband Ed reside in Bowie, Maryland and have two adult children.
Alexandra Gallardo-Rooker (View Bio ») - California
Born in Mexico City and a graduate of Cypress College, Ms. Alexandra Gallardo-Rooker is an accomplished leader in the political arena at both the national and state level. Her insight into the inter-workings of California’s legislative and political process has proven to be a valuable asset to her colleagues in the Democratic Party and the individuals she represents as the Legislative Advocate in California for the Communication Workers of America (CWA).
Ms. Rooker has a proven track record as a leader. During the past two decades Ms. Rooker has taken on a variety of roles with CWA Local #9400 ranging from Shop Steward to Vice President.
In addition, she was elected to the position of Second Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party in 1997 and currently serves as Female Vice-Chair, a position she has held since 2001. Her unfailing commitment to Democratic values and proven leadership skills are among a list of attributes that has made her a valuable member of Democratic National Committee and Governor Howard Dean’s Transition Team.
As a former recipient of the “Si Se Puede Award For Distinguished Service,” from the Los Angeles Chapter of Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Ms. Rooker has routinely demonstrated her commitment to Democratic values through her continuous efforts to fight for a better quality of life for hard working Californians across the state.
Finance Committee Chair
Roberto Prats - Puerto Rico
Cecil Benjamin (View Bio ») - U.S. Virgin Islands
Cecil is currently executive assistant to the commissioner of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Education. He has been involved in the United States Virgin Islands Democratic Party, serving either as chair or vice chair for over a decade and a half. He is currently in his second four-year term as chair.
Cecil has been awarded labor relations certificates from Rutgers University, New York University, Cornell University and the George Meany Center for Labor Studies. He is a chief negotiator for AFT Locals 1825 and 1826.
Cecil is married to Ferryneisa Hodge Benjamin, and they have two children, Lawrence and Ofari. They are also proud grandparents. Cecil was born in Guyana, South America, but he has lived in St. Croix, U.S.V.I. for over 40 years.
His extra-curricular activities include jogging, swimming, watching sports and reading.
Dominic Balletto – Connecticut
Dottie Deans (View Bio ») – Vermont
Dorothy Deans has been an active and loyal member of the Vermont Democratic Party for years. In 2007, she was elected Town Chair of Pomfret in Windsor County. In 2008, Deans was the recipient of the David W. Curtis Award for outstanding Vermont Democrats. In 2009, she was elected Windsor County Chair. Deans also serves on the 2012 Affirmative Action Delegate Selection Committee.
Deans is a graduate of Green Mountain College with an AA in Education and the University of Denver with a BA in Elementary Education. Before returning to Vermont in 1984, Deans taught first and second grades for 14 years in Denver, Colorado. In 1999, Deans became involved in HIV/AIDS activism, first as a volunteer and then as a paid staff member with the HIV/HVC Resource Center. After serving as board chair from 2008-2011, Deans serves the center as a member of the board.
Rickey L. Cole (View Bio ») - Mississippi
A seventh generation Mississippian, Rickey Cole has spent most of his adult life marketing Mississippi agricultural products, organizing grassroots networks, and serving as a leader, spokesman, administrator, advocate, advisor and strategist in Democratic politics.
The Cole family farm near Ovett in southeastern Jones County produces vegetables, melons, grass-fed beef, grain, hay, timber, and gravel. The farm's specialty is fresh turnips, mustard, and collard greens, which are delivered fresh daily in season to supermarkets and other retailers in the Pine Belt area. The Cole family has truck farmed since 1944. Rickey worked full-time marketing his family's and other farmers' produce from 1988 through 2003. During that period, he developed and managed a marketing and delivery system that annually sold and distributed thousands of dollars’ worth of Mississippi farm fresh vegetables directly to supermarkets and other retailers at more than forty locations throughout South Mississippi and Greater New Orleans. He is a member of the Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Mississippi Cattlemen's Association, Mississippi Farm Bureau, National Farmers Union and held a farmer/vendor permit at the New Orleans French Market prior to Hurricane Katrina. He continues to be involved in the management of the family farming operation, and has served as an advisor on marketing fresh vegetables to several growers, vendors and market groups. Rickey assisted in the development of new farmers' markets in Laurel and Hattiesburg. Cole Farm regularly sells fresh local produce at five seasonal farmers markets in South Mississippi. Rickey is also an active member of the Mississippi Food Policy Council board of directors.
Rickey is a United Methodist. He is a native of Jones County, having been born at Laurel on August 10, 1966, the youngest of the three children of Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Cole, Sr. Rickey attended Mississippi State University and studied political science on a John C. Stennis scholarship. Rickey is married to the former Ayana Smothers of New Orleans. Their daughter Katherine Alexandra, was born September 27, 2005, and their son Jackson Robert was born November 20, 2009. Ayana works in Human Resources and Employee Relations at the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Veterans Administration Medical Center in Jackson. The Coles divide their time between their house in the Fondren community in Jackson and their home at Cole Farm near Ovett.
Beginning as President of the Young Democrats at Mississippi State University in 1985, Rickey Cole served the Democratic Party as Second Vice President of the Young Democrats of Mississippi, President of the State Young Democrats (twice), National Parliamentarian of the Young Democrats of America, Member of the State Democratic Executive and Administrative Committees, Chairman of the Jones County Democratic Executive Committee, Chairman of the Mississippi Association of County Democratic Chairpersons, runoff candidate for United States Senate, Democratic National Committeeman, Member of the Credentials Committee of the Democratic National Committee, and National Parliamentarian of the Association of State Democratic Chairpersons.
Cole was elected Chairman of the Democratic Party of the State of Mississippi on August 18, 2001, serving until July 29, 2004. During his tenure, the state party renovated its headquarters, launched a state party website and a toll free phone hotline, upgraded office technology, secured party ownership of an updated 1.6 million name voter file, gave long overdue tribute to Fannie Lou Hamer by re-naming its signature annual event the Jefferson-Jackson-Hamer Dinner, settled a seven-year outstanding lawsuit, raised and spent over 1.2 million dollars, and successfully retained Democratic majorities in both houses of the Mississippi legislature. In December of 2005 the Young Democrats of Mississippi named their Legislative Internship stipend the "Rickey L. Cole Scholarship”.
From July of 2004 until March 2007, Rickey served as founding President of Mississippi Policy Forum, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit institute that conducted public forums, sponsored research projects, and assisted in the development of educational, community and grassroots civic organizations to improve civic literacy and encourage civic engagement in Mississippi.
Rickey Cole is a veteran volunteer, activist and staffer on more than twenty Democratic political campaigns since 1982. He was appointed to serve as a member of the Mississippi Chief Justice's Task Force on Judicial Selection in 2002. In May of 2002, Cole was part of a delegation of state Democratic Chairpersons who were guests of the Republic of China in Taiwan. In June 2003, he took part in a ten-day visit to the Kingdom of Morocco as a member of a bi-partisan delegation coordinated by the American Council of Young Political Leaders. In September 2003, Cole was appointed to serve as a founding member of the Advisory Council of the Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Policy at Tougaloo College . In July 2005, Cole presented a paper at the Fifth International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations at the Central Institute of Ethnic Administrators in Beijing, China . In December 2012, Rickey led a delegation of state Democratic Chairs and Vice Chairs to Taiwan, Republic of China. Rickey has served as a guest lecturer on politics and civic engagement at Lockhaven University, Roger Williams University , and North Carolina Central University. He is an advisory board member of Rural Votes, and is regularly consulted by members of the media, Democratic candidates and scholars for an insider's perspective on Mississippi politics, elections and government. He has testified in federal and state court, before state legislative and Congressional committees, and the 2008 Democratic National Platform Committee.
In the general election of 2007, Rickey Cole received 308,693 votes as the Democratic nominee for the statewide office of Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce. A shift of 356 votes from the incumbent to Cole or to a minor party candidate would have denied the incumbent a majority and thrown the election to the Democratically-controlled state House of Representatives. Though greatly outspent, Rickey was endorsed in that election by every newspaper in Mississippi that made endorsements in the race for Agriculture Commissioner.
Since January 2008, Cole has consulted as Governmental Affairs Advisor for the Eaves Law Firm in Jackson. His work focuses upon developing and implementing strategies for the firm to advance several major advocacy projects where they interface with the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.
On August 29, 2011, Rickey was appointed Executive Director of the Mississippi Democratic Party. On June 30, 2012, Cole was elected to a four year term as Chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party. Since that time, he has served as the full-time chief executive officer of the state party, with primary responsibility for the administration and development of the Democratic Party in Mississippi. On January 22, 2013, Rickey was unanimously elected to represent the Southern Region on the Executive Committee of the Association of State Democratic Chairs.
Belinda Biafore – West Virginia
Maureen Monahan – Nebraska
Scott Brennan – Iowa
Frank Dixon (View Bio ») - Oregon
Frank Dixon is currently serving his first term as Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon, after serving three terms as First Vice-Chair. He has been a member of the Democratic National Committee and the DNC LGBT Caucus since 2007, and was elected in 2013 by the Western Region of the Association of State Democratic Parties to serve on the national ASDC Executive Committee.
After moving eight times with his military family between five U.S. states and Germany, Frank graduated from Mount Carmel High School on Chicago’s Southeast side and the University of Notre Dame with a BA in American Studies and Communications.
He entered active duty as an Infantry Unit Commander in 1973 and retired in the Army Reserves after serving with the 104th Division as a commander of the Leadership Academy (drill sergeant school) and as the Division’s internal auditor.
Frank arrived in Oregon in 1976 to attend Lewis & Clark Law School. After receiving his law degree, Frank practiced consumer law for fifteen years in state and federal courts. He was the lead attorney on early cases filed in the Oregon Court of Appeals and US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of consumers under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Frank taught other lawyers about consumer protection and is a published author on the subject.
Frank started community organizing as a precinct committee person and neighborhood association leader, and went on to lead the group of neighborhood associations for West and Northwest Portland. Appointed to serve on numerous city and countywide commissions, Frank became the Portland City Commissioner’s staff liaison to the Office of Neighborhood Involvement in 1999.
Frank was one of the founders of Veterans for Human Rights, an early LGBT war veterans group. Frank served on the Board of Directors of Right to Pride PAC in the 1990s. Frank became a Director of Basic Rights Oregon in 2002 for ten years, co-chairing the Board and PAC for several years; and later serving as co-interim Executive Director. In 2004, Frank organized and was the first President of the Democratic Party of Oregon GLBT Caucus.
Frank owned property outside of Tumalo, spending a month or more of each year east of the Cascades, for almost 20 years. As part owner of his great-grandfather’s homestead and farm established in 1856 in Northeastern Kansas, Frank continues to respect the rural way of life. Frank lives with his partner of over 30 years, real estate broker Dan Volkmer, in Northwest Portland. They enjoy spending time together with Watson, their Boxer, and Ertha Cat at their other home in Netarts.
Jeanne Buell (View Bio ») – Idaho
Jeanne Buell serves as vice chair of the Idaho Democratic Party, having held that position since 2005. Prior to being elected vice chair she served as president of the Idaho Democratic Women’s Caucus and over the years has involved herself with the Kootenai County Democrats, where she resides.
Jeanne has also been a part of campaigns ranging from city council, county office, state legislative, Constitutional statewide races and federal offices. Her favorite campaign experience was a motor home trip she took through the state of Idaho with Keith Allred, and his family, who was running for governor. Throughout the years she has been able to renew old friendships and develop many new friends, not only in Idaho but also across the country, serving as a member of both the ASDC and DNC.
Jeanne resides on a ranch in North Idaho which she adoringly refers to as her own “private slice of heaven on earth.” She has two children, Jacob and Sandy and two grandchildren, Jimmy, 13, and Laci, 7. The latter spend countless hours on the ranch horseback riding, driving ATVs and snowmobiling. Jeanne counts it a blessing to live with her Bernese Mountain dog, Betsy, and her cat, Avery. In addition to the domestic animals, four horses, two mules, one donkey and three llamas, along with the abundance of wildlife, find their home on the acreage. If you find yourself in the Northwest, she invites you to come and visit.
ASDC Representatives to DNC Executive Committee
Jaime Harrison (View Bio ») – South Carolina
As the former director of floor operations and counsel for former House Majority Whip, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison was responsible for the successful navigation and passage of key legislation and served as a senior political and legislative adviser. Accumulating a wealth of experience and a deep bench of relationships, Jaime worked closely with House and Senate leadership in the United States Congress.
Previously, Jaime served as executive director of the House Democratic Caucus. Widely recognized for his work, Jaime was named six times as one of Roll Call’s “Fabulous Fifty Movers and Shakers Behind the Scenes on Capitol Hill” and listed as one of The Hill’s “35 Stellar Staffers Under 35.” In 2010, The Root web magazine included Jaime on its list of 100 “emerging and established African-American leaders who are making extraordinary contributions.” He was also dubbed one of the “Top 40 lawyers under 40” by the National Bar Association and Impact DC.
Jaime has appeared as a political strategist on CNN and MSNBC. He is a regular guest lecturer for the Brookings Institute and the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education Leadership Institute’s Political Training Boot Camp. In 2009, he served as a lecturer for the Harvard Kennedy School’s Black Policy Conference. Jaime has developed and conducted a small business development seminar and provided legal technical assistance to small business owners in Washington, DC. Before entering politics, Jaime worked in education serving as chief operating officer and director of program development for the College Summit, a national nonprofit organization that assists low-income students enroll in college.
A teacher at heart, Jaime once taught world geography at his high school alma mater in Orangeburg, South Carolina. A first-generation college graduate, Jaime earned a bachelor's from Yale University and Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.
Ken Martin (View Bio ») - Minnesota
Ken Martin has a long history of involvement in campaigns in Minnesota and around the country. It was during his senior year at Eden Prairie High School that Ken started his political activism having been inspired by a Carleton college professor`s campaign for the U.S. Senate. Like many people, Sen. Wellstone inspired Ken to a life of organizing for social justice, electing progressives, and building electoral power. To this day Ken believes strongly that we can change the world through electoral politics.
As Chairman, Ken has rebuilt the DFL party restoring confidence amongst donors, elected officials and party leaders that the party has a plan and vision to win elections and advance a progressive agenda forward. Inheriting a party deeply in debt and coming off of bruising defeats in 2010, Ken raised records amount of money both retiring the debt and building successful and permanent campaign infrastructure. Because of this work, the DFL party had one of the most successful election cycles in the party’s history in 2012 – winning majorities back in both legislative chambers, winning the seat in the 8th congressional district, and playing an instrumental role in defeating both divisive constitutional amendments. Under his leadership, the DFL Party now sits at the apex of political power – now holding more electoral power than at any other point in the DFL party’s history.
Before his election as Chair, Ken spent the past two decades working for several elected officials and managing a variety of issue and election campaigns. In 2010 Ken worked to elect a DFL governor as the Executive Director of WIN Minnesota and then as the Director for Governor Dayton`s recount efforts. In 2008, Ken ran the Vote Yes campaign to pass the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, a ballot initiative to dedicate funding to Minnesota`s arts, environmental and historical treasures. It is the largest conservation finance measure in the nation to ever become law.
For many years Ken has helped our candidates here in Minnesota and around the country. His extensive campaign experience includes playing leadership roles on the following campaigns: Hatch for Governor in 2006, Kerry for President in 2004, Humphrey for Secretary of State in 2002, Gore/Lieberman Minnesota in 2000 and various other races at the national, state, and local levels. Ken served as the Political Director for the Minnesota DFL in the 1998 cycle and as the Field Director for the Kansas Democratic Party in the 1996 cycle.
He has served on the DFL Party as a member of the State Executive Committee, Budget Committee and other Party offices since 1997.
Ken holds a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Kansas. He and his wife, Jennifer O`Rourke, currently live in Eagan, MN with their two sons, Sam (10) and James (8) and spend most of their time attending numerous school and athletic activities.
Roberta Lange (View Bio ») - Nevada
Roberta has worked as an activist and elected leader in Democratic organizations and professional consultant in national, state, and local campaigns for over twenty-five years. Recently Roberta was recognized by Campaign & Elections magazine as one of Nevada’s top 50 influencers and named to Who’s Who in Nevada in 2012 and 2014.
Moving to Nevada in 1995, to marry Ken Lange, former Executive Director of the Nevada State Education Association, Roberta joined the staff of Durango High School in Clark County. In 1998, she left teaching to become the Deputy Campaign Manager for U.S. Senator Harry Reid in 1998 and served as Operations Manager for the dramatic recount. Turning full time to politics, working as Finance Director for Bernstein for U.S. Senate, Operations Manager for Tom Gallagher for Congress, and Nevada State Director for Bill Richardson for President.
Currently Roberta is serving her second term as Chairwoman of the Nevada State Democratic Party, working tirelessly to elect Democrats and build the Democratic Party. In 2012 Roberta proudly led the Nevada Delegates at the DNC Convention to nominate the President for a second term.
Recently, her peers re-elected her to a second term on the Democratic National Committee Executive Committee and the Association of State Chairs Executive Board representing the Western Region.
Roberta is married to Ken Lange, currently a PhD student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas studying Public Policy. They have 4 children, Hilary, Jake, Liz, and Taylor and four grandchildren, Nate, Charlotte, Erick, and Xavier.
Association of State Democratic Executive Directors
Joe Aronson - Delaware Executive Director