With a more than sufficient quorum of 624 voting members present of 744 eligible statewide, the ADP State Committee reorganizing meeting elected Yolanda Bejarano as the new ADP Chair for a 2-year term, to lead Democrats through the ’24 cycle. The vote was 186 for Gallardo, and 440 for Bejarano. Congratulations, Yoli!
Many have seen this race as a test of strength for new Governor Katie Hobbs, endorsing Steve Gallardo, as the selection of a Party Chair is generally seen as a prerogative of a new Governor. It was also seen as a test of political strength for Senator Mark Kelly, endorsing Yolanda Bejarano, and his influence and confidence among Party faithful. No doubt there is some validity to that inference of influence, but I think the vote hinged as much on the strength and credibility of the two candidates themselves.
If you are not familiar with the candidates and race, please see our recent coverage, including: Read Here to See Who is Supporting Yolanda Bejarano and Steve Gallardo for Arizona Democratic Party Chairperson, Watch AZDP Chair Candidates Yolanda Bejarano and Steve Gallardo in Conversation at TheDGT.org, and Why I Will Cast My Vote for Yolanda Bejarano for ADP Chair.
I will be updating this post as new election results come in. None of the Vice Chair offices are expected to be contested after Yoli’s election.
Paul Eckerstrom, Esq. was elected 1st Vice Chair as the first of Yolanda’s preferred slate of candidates by acclamation.
Sierra Yamanaka was elected Senior Vice Chair also by acclamation.
Shanna Leonard, Ray Fry, Brianna Westbrook, Will Knight, April Ignacio, Javier Ramos, Daydrek Scott, and Lupe Conchas were nominated and the candidates in bold were elected as the 6 Vice Chairs by election among the 8 candidates.
Llama Habern was elected Party Education Co-Ordinator in a contested 2-way race between Llama Habern and Xanthe Bullard.
Damián Preciado was elected Party Equity Moderator in a contested 2-way race between Damián Preciado and Xanthe Bullard.
END LIVE UPDATES
The press has sometimes emphasized the Chair’s race as a proxy fight between the Governor and the others (Kelly, Fontes, etc) as if this was a big split in the Party. While activists sometimes had strong opinions about it, I have trouble seeing this as anything like a fundamental schism. The choice of the state party board is kind of “inside baseball.” It’s different than having opinions about, say, Bernie vs Hillary. And even if this weren’t so, the dominance of MAGA Republicans on the other side, and the proliferation of terrible bills coming from the legislature, both make it unlikely that any differences of opinion on things like this race would have any significant effects in the current environment.