ANCHORAGE: Today, Mike Wenstrup announced he will be stepping down to make way for his successor, Casey Steinau of the Mat-Su, as Chair of the Alaska Democratic Party ahead of the 2016 election cycle.
Wenstrup, a Fairbanks resident, was elected party Chair in 2012. His departure follows the election of Independent Governor Walker and Democrat Lieutenant Governor Mallott who formed a “Unity Ticket.” At the local level, five progressive-backed mayors were elected to serve the Municipality of Anchorage, Fairbanks-North Star Borough, City and Borough of Juneau, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and Kenai Peninsula Borough.
“This is really bittersweet for me,” Wenstrup told the Executive Committee. “I’m proud of what this party has accomplished and am confident the party is well-positioned for victory in 2016.”
Wenstrup had put in motion plans to step down as Chair several months ago. The gavel will be passed to the new Party Chair, Casey Steinau of Big Lake, who currently serves as Vice Chair for the Alaska Democratic Party and Regional Vice Chair for the Mat-Su Democrats. Steinau has had a successful 20-year career in real estate sales and investing. She also brings to the party valuable experience as a small business owner, former field representative for former Senator Mark Begich, and long-time community volunteer for a variety of causes from garbage clean-up to the fight against homelessness.
Steinau praised Wenstrup for his service.
“Mike Wenstrup has done an outstanding job as party Chair,” she said. “I look forward to building upon the good work he has done in helping to elect Democrats at all levels of government.”
Steinau plans to focus efforts on grass roots organizing, community outreach, and voter protection as party Chair.
“We will continue to build a diverse and inclusive party,” Steinau said. “I look forward to engaging hardworking Alaskans in the political process to ensure everyone’s voice has an opportunity to be heard.”
Steinau will begin serving as Chair of the Alaska Democratic Party in January.
Congrats to Casey! Hopefully, with a good push, we can bring the Valley back into the hands of good people.