Indian-American named chair of Washington state Democrats

Washington, Jan 30 (IANS): The Washington State Democratic Party has chosen Shasti Conrad as its new chair, making her the youngest and first Indian-American woman to serve as a state party chair anywhere in the country.

Conrad, 38, a political consultant and former leader of the King County Democrats, takes over from Tina Podlodowski, who had served as party chair since 2017.

"I'm so honored to have the opportunity to serve as Chair of our state party and build on the outstanding success Washington Democrats have earned at the ballot box for the last six years," she said in a statement.

"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 assumes leadership of an organisation whose voter contact operation has played a key role in Democrats' statewide electoral dominance since the 2016 election, the Washington State Democratic Party said in a statement.

She has worked on political campaigns since 2008, when she got her start as a field organizer working for then-Senator Obama's primary campaign.

Since then, she's worked on three more presidential races and concluded the 2020 cycle as Senator Bernie Sanders' National Director of Surrogates.

Locally, Conrad served as Chair of the Martin Luther King, Jr County Democrats from 2018 to 2022, where she raised nearly $300,000 for a county party organization mired in debt when she first took office.

Under her leadership, the King County Democrats' field operation helped flip six city councils and a County Council seat held by Republicans for 20 years, the party statement read.

"After six years serving as the Chair of the Washington Democrats, I'm thrilled to pass on the torch to my friend Shasti Conrad. Shasti has been a force in Washington Democratic politics for over a decade as a staffer on three presidential campaigns and a successful chair of the largest county party organization in the state," said Podlodowski, the outgoing party chair.

Conrad was named as one of the "40 Under 40" by the American Association of Political Consultants, and one of the most influential people in Seattle Politics by Seattle Met Magazine.She received her Master's in Public Affairs from Princeton University and her B.A. with Honors distinction from Seattle University.




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