Alaska Democrats Looking For New Face To Lead Party

Earlier this week the Alaska Republican Party announced they were replacing Communications Director Suzanne Downing with new Executive Director Josh Walton. Now Alaska Democrats are following suit with a staff shake-up of their own.

Kay Brown

Kay Brown

Longtime Alaska Democratic Party (ADP) Executive Director Kay Brown announced late today she will be retiring in January.  ADP Communications Director Jake Hamburg, who himself leaving the party at the end of this week, said this afternoon the Party will be accepting applications to fill the ED position through December 2.

After that, per the APD’s party plan, a seven-member committee that includes Party Chairwoman Casey Steinau will be formed to evaluate applicants and make a hire.

Here is the ADP’s full statement on Brown’s retirement:

Democratic Icon Kay Brown Announces Retirement

ANCHORAGE: The Alaska Democratic Party announced today that Executive Director Kay Brown is retiring after more than a decade working for the state and national Democratic Parties.

Brown is the longest serving state party Executive Director in state history, having held the position for the last 5 and a half years while serving under four state party chairs.

“A lot has been accomplished under Kay’s leadership,” said Alaska Democratic Party Chair Casey Steinau. “Kay has recruited, trained and mentored hundreds of candidates for state and local offices.  She led our state party to be more effective and helped achieve electoral gains for Democrats. We are grateful for her excellent service.”

Brown helped Democrats achieve pick ups in the State House over the past two election cycles, leading to a new Democratic-led coalition that now controls the State House for the first time since the early 1990s.  “I’ve been working hard for a long time to get that accomplished, so it’s gratifying to see,” Brown said.

Brown was instrumental in forming and helping elect the “unity ticket” of Governor Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott in 2014.

Brown previously worked as Alaska Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee (2005-08), and was the first Alaska hire made possible by Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy.  She became ADP Communications Director in 2009, and was Director of the Coordinated Campaign in 2008 and 2010.

Before going to work for the Democratic Party, Brown was elected 5 times to the State House of Representatives (1987-1996).  She was Director of the Division of Oil and Gas and Division of Minerals and Energy Management in the administrations of former Governors Jay Hammond and Bill Sheffield (1982-86).

Brown said she will continue to be involved in politics after taking some time off.  “I’ll still be working to advance progressive values, just in a different capacity,” she said.

“I look forward to moving ahead with our new team,” Steinau said.

Applications for Executive Director are being accepted through Dec. 2. A job description is available online.


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