Idaho Democrat Sally Boynton Brown is promising to lead the “insurgency” if she wins the contest to become leader of the Democratic National Committee.
“Our party can’t afford to spend the next two years having an ideological debate on whether we are liberals or moderates,” Boynton Brown said in a prepared statement. “The Democratic Party has always represented the people and now more than ever we must blow the walls off our tent so everyone feels welcome.”
Her bid comes as the Democratic National Committee is deciding how to move forward after major losses in the presidential contest and races nationwide – including losing four key legislative seats in Idaho, a surprise blow to many Democratic state leaders who hoped to push back against the supermajority control held by Idaho’s Republican Party.
Coming from a red state, I already know what it’s like to bring people together and fight for Democrats.
Sally Boynton Brown
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The party is also in the middle of addressing lingering distrust over its perceived favoritism of Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary.
“If people haven’t noticed, our country is becoming more Republican,” Boynton Brown said. “Coming from a red state, I already know what it’s like to bring people together and fight for Democrats.”
Boynton Brown, the first woman to throw her hat in the ring, is running against Minnesota U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress; Labor Secretary Tom Perez; South Carolina chairman Jaime Harrison; and New Hampshire party head Ray Buckley.
All the candidates must woo nearly 450 voting Democratic National Committee members at four regional forums before the official election at the end of February.
Boynton Brown says she has the endorsement of all four Idaho DNC members, which includes party chairman Bert Marley.
Marley did not immediately return a phone message on Friday.
Boynton Brown, 40, became Idaho’s party executive director in 2011 after serving as the party’s spokeswoman. At the national level, of the DNC, she’s the president of the Association of State Democratic Executive Directors. She is an Idaho native.
She said she would take a two-month leave of absence from the Idaho party while she campaigns nationwide for the post.
“On Nov. 8, 50 percent of American voters stayed home,” Boynton Brown said. “It’s time to have an organizational conversation on how we become a resilient, innovative party for the 21st Century. Our most important mission is to inspire all Americans to participate fully in democracy and clear all barriers that stand between Americans and their right to cast a ballot.”
Sally Boynton Brown
Details from the Idaho party’s website:
Role in Idaho: Sally oversees all the operations of the Idaho Democratic Party and manages its staff and interns, which has been as small as three or as large as 17. If Sally is reaching out to you, it can be to let you know about an upcoming meeting of our State or Executive board, ask you to run for office or enroll you as a key adviser on one of our steering committees.
Professional experience: Sally was first hired by the Idaho Democratic Party at the start of 2011 as field director and became the communication director in November 2011. She became executive director in March 2012.
She received her B.A. in Communications from Boise State University in 2005 and began her career in politics shortly afterwards. She specializes in building volunteer capabilities and operational structure for successful campaigns. She ran Rep. Sue Chew’s legislative campaign in 2006 and Rep. Phylis King’s legislative campaign in 2008. In 2010, she was gubernatorial candidate Keith Allred’s field director/volunteer organizer. Sally strongly believes that democracy only works when individuals participate to the fullest extent possible. Voting is just the beginning step to ensuring our government is of, by and for the people.
Personal: Sally is an Idaho native. She enjoys yoga, running, hiking, and escaping into any of Idaho’s natural playgrounds – from our hot springs to our back country. She and her husband are raising two daughters in Boise.
Boynton Brown’s Friday statement:
“Our party can’t afford to spend the next two years having an ideological debate on whether we are liberals or moderates. The Democratic Party has always represented the people and now more than ever we must blow the walls off our tent so everyone feels welcome.
“On November 8th, 50% of American voters stayed home. It’s time to have an organizational conversation on how we become a resilient, innovative Party for the 21st Century. Our most important mission is to inspire all Americans to participate fully in democracy and clear all barriers that stand between Americans and their right to cast a ballot. As your next DNC Chair, I will lead the insurgency against the forces that threaten the country we love.
“I am accessible, responsive, and an action-oriented professional who people trust. I have a unique skillset that joins high level strategic thinking with day-to-day operational execution. For the last decade, saving our American democracy has been my personal mission. As DNC Chair, I will strive to involve everyone in the political process. Voting is just the beginning step to ensuring our government is of, by and for the people.
“The challenges ahead demand innovation and passion. Let’s not let this opportunity slip through our fingers.”