DNC Announces Arizona Victory Leader Council, Vows to Maintain Presence After November Election

A Hillary Clinton supporter cheers for her candidate as election results come in.EXPAND
A Hillary Clinton supporter cheers for her candidate as election results come in.
Miriam Wasser

Doubts as to whether the Democratic Party sincerely believes it has a strong future in Arizona – not just this November but in elections beyond – might be put to rest later today, when, New Times has learned, the national party will announce a new, long-term effort to strengthen its place in Arizona.

The effort, which is part of the DNC's mission to run a nationwide election campaign, comes in the form of a state-based Victory Leader Council. The VLC is essentially a very long list of prominent Democrats who will help coordinate political and grassroots efforts between the state Democratic Party and the national party in Washington, D.C., to get Democrats elected at all levels of government in this election and in elections to come.

New Times got a peek at the list, which includes state leaders including U.S. Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick, Ruben Gallego, and Raul Grijalva; former U.S. Representatives Gabby Giffords and Ed Pastor; and former U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini. (See below for full list.)

The VLC launch comes on the heels of two other DNC actions in Arizona: a six-figure ad buy, and the launch of Hillary for America field offices in Phoenix and Tucson. While it remains unclear whether the DNC will invest more money and effort in Arizona this year, this council is a symbol of the Democrats' optimism about the party's future in the state.

According to Brandon Davis, chief of staff at the Democratic National Committee, Arizona is in play now and in the future thanks to its rapidly changing demographics.

"Democrats are making the investments to make gains now so that we can take majorities later," Davis writes in a statement provided to New Times.

Another goal of the VLC is to create a stronger year-round presence. In a state like Arizona, the national Democratic Party tends not to be as visible in non-presidential-election years, and so VLCs will play a crucial role in mobilizing voters during midterm election years.

"We are committed to winning up and down the ticket from the White House to the state houses," Donna Brazile, interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said in a press release. "We are building on the momentum of our hugely successful convention, where we passed the most progressive platform in history that would do the most good for the most families."

A similar effort, Organizing for America, sprang up after President Barack Obama won in 2008. But according to NBC, "It was set up outside the party apparatus and was deemed to have delivered mixed results."

VLCs were announced in Georgia and Utah earlier this week. Adam Parkhomenko, the DNC's National Field Director based in Washington, D.C, will oversee all three.

Here is the full list of Arizona Victory Leader Council participants to date:
Lela Alston
Liz Archuleta
Nathan Bacal
Doug Ballard
Ron Barber
Clinton Bartlett
Alexander Seth Benezra
Dennis Burke
Virgel Cain
Mark A. Cardenas
Delia Carlyle
Susan Castner
Junelle Cavero Harnal
Stan Chavira
Andrei Cherny
Stephanie Cherny
Allison Childress
Guadalupe "Lupe" Contreras
Tom Cuevas
Paul Cunningham
Maria Dadgar
Debbie McCune Davis
Dennis DeConcini
Fred DuVal
Jose "Diego" Espinoza
Lisa Fernandez
Charlene Fernandez
Charlene R. Fernandez
Richard Fimbres
Adrian Fontes
Lena Fowler
Randall "Randy" Friese
Steve Gallardo
Kate Gallego
Ruben Gallego
Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords
Neil Giuliano
Samuel "Terry" Goddard
Monica Goddard
Alejandra (Alex) Gomez
John V Gomez
Sally Ann Gonzales
Raul Grijalva
Georgia Gudykunst
Linda Gutierrez
Art Hamilton
Junelle Harnal
Daniel Hernandez
Kathleen "Katie" Hobbs
Patrice Horstman
Laura Hunter
Dennis Kavanaugh
Mark Kelly
Sandra Kennedy
Ann Kirkpatrick
Matthew A. Kopec
Lauren Kuby
Jonathan Larkin
Sylvia Lee
Stephen Roe Lewis
Marty Luna-Wolfe
Jeanne Lunn
Ana Ma
Stefanie Mach
Corina Madruga
Austin Marshall
Joseline Mata
David McKell
Jim McLaughlin
Rodd McLeod
Megan M McPherson
Mark Mitchell
Harry Mitchell
Danica Oparnica
Margaret "Lynne" Pancrazi
Ed Pastor
Laura Pastor
Jim Pederson
Frank Piccioli
Erin "Celeste" Plumlee
Marco Reyes
Rebecca Rios
Lawrence Robinson
Bill Roe
Regina Romero
Felecia Rotellini
Jonathan Rothschild
Macario Saldate
Karen Scates
Mary Ellen Simonson
Steven Slugocki
Greg Stanton
Victoria Steele
Lenore Stuart
Alexis Tameron
Tania Torres
Anna Tovar
Karin Uhlich
Roman Ulman
Ramón Valadez
Daniel Valenzuela
Nan Walden
Ann Wallack
Carolyn Warner
Bruce Wheeler
Corey Woods


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