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Building on the 50 State Strategy, especially in Virginia

Under former DNC Chair Howard Dean, the DNC adopted a “50 state strategy,” which included DNC funding of staff assigned to state parties.  The strengthened state parties played an important role in the election of Barack Obama in 2008.  Following that election, the DNC reevaluated the workings of that program.  One of the first things I did after my election to a first term on the DNC was to write to Chair Dean and urge continuation of the Strategy. 

The DNC has adopted a State Partnership Program that carries forward 50-state Strategy.  This program provides state parties with more funding than they received under Strategy and the states have more control because the employees – who are focused on communications, voter file management, compliance, and/or outreach – are now state party employees.  In addition, Obama for America is again setting up field offices all over the Commonwealth to advance Virginia Democratic Partyefforts. 

Democrats did an extraordinary job in winning Virginia for President Obama in 2008, but that momentum did not carry through to 2009 statewide campaigns.  We cannot let that happen again.  We need to plan now to ensure that our 2013 campaigns pick up where the Obama campaign left off.  One my priorities for my next term on the DNC will be to work with DPVA and the DNC to have a smooth transition that will enable us to carry Virginia both for the Presidential and the Gubernatorial (and other 2013) campaigns.