Democrats in Washington state choose Conrad as new leader
SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington State Democratic Party has chosen Shasti Conrad, the former leader of King County Democrats, as its new chair.
Conrad, 38, is a political consultant who ran for the post unopposed with the support of Gov. Jay Inslee, both of Washington’s Democratic U.S. senators, most of the state’s Democratic congressional delegation and other elected Democrats, The Seattle Times reported Saturday.
She is the first woman of color to be chair and the youngest chair in the state party’s history.
Conrad is also the first Indian American woman to serve as a state party chair in the country, according to the state party.
Tina Podlodowski announced this month that she would step down from the role after holding it since 2017. Since then Democrats have flipped two congressional seats, expanded their majorities in Olympia and now hold every statewide office.
Conrad had been chair of the King County Democrats since 2018. She worked on both of former President Barack Obama’s campaigns and in the Obama White House, and on Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns.
She also co-founded a political action committee in 2020 called the Opportunity PAC, which is focused on electing Black women to office and raised and spent about $400,000 in 2020 and 2021.
“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,” Conrad said in a statement.
Caleb Heimlich was reelected chair of the state Republican Party last week. Heimlich, 37, has worked for the state party since 2011 and has been chair since 2018. He faced a challenge this year from Keith Swank, a Seattle police captain who has run for Congress.
“The Republican Party is the party fighting for all people, I am honored to serve as its chairman,” Heimlich said in a statement.
Heimlich was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.