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Democratic Party of Oregon Re-Elects Chair KC Hanson Heading Into Critical 2022 Elections

Rosa Colquitt, PhD, becomes first Black woman elected to serve as DPO Vice Chair, Vice Chair Pete Lee and Secretary Eileen Kiely re-elected

March 24, 2021

For Immediate Release
Contact: Tim McCann
[email protected]

PORTLAND – Oregon Democrats met virtually this past week to safely and securely cast their ballots to elect our Democratic Party of Oregon officers for the next two years. The DPO State Central Committee (SCC) re-elected Carla “KC” Hanson to another two-year term as Democratic Party of Oregon Chair. 

After helping Oregon Democrats to big victories up and down the ballot in 2020, Hanson is ready to keep leading the team at the DPO ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Hanson and the DPO will work to re-elect Senator Ron Wyden, elect a Democrat as our next Oregon Governor, re-elect our great Democratic Congressional delegation and elect a Democrat to a potential new sixth Oregon Congressional District, re-elect Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle, and win important races to build our Democratic majorities in the Oregon Legislature.

“I’m proud to be part of a team that reflects not just the diversity of our Party, but the diversity of America,” said Hanson. “The Democratic Party is committed to making people’s lives better. Whether you are an urban grocery worker or work the land in beautiful rural Oregon, Democrats are fighting for YOUR health care, YOUR kids’ education, and to make sure YOUR income provides you and your family a good life. Our Oregon Democratic Leadership team is driven by those ideals and more, and we’ll be working hard for you over the next two years and beyond.”

SCC members also elected Rosa Colquitt, PhD, and re-elected Pete Lee as the DPO’s Vice Chairs. 

Dr. Rosa Colquitt is the current Chair of the DPO’s Black Caucus, the DPO Budget Committee, and the DPO Racial Equity, Accountability and Leadership Committee, and is now the first Black woman elected to serve as DPO Vice Chair. 

“In 2020, Black women leaders across the country organized at the ground level, despite the difficulties of a COVID pandemic, to register voters, mobilize neighbors, use our voices, and most importantly, to use our vote to put a Democrat in the White House,” said Dr. Colquitt. “It was my privilege to coalesce with many of them in this national effort. In my bid to be elected as a DPO Vice Chair, the first Black woman leader to do so, I asked all members of our SCC delegation to join me in making some ‘good’ Oregon history. To my great joy, that’s exactly what they did! I am incredibly grateful, honored, and ready to get to work stirring up some ‘good trouble.’” 

Pete Lee will continue his role as the DPO’s Vice Chair Representative to the Democratic National Committee. He was first elected in 2019, and has served as an Executive Board Member on the DNC’s Environment & Climate Crisis Response Council. 

“Serving as DPO Vice Chair has been the most challenging and rewarding civic service role I’ve ever had.” said Lee. “I’m thrilled and honored to continue our work to fight for marginalized communities, advance bold and visionary policies to build back better and tackle the climate crisis, and strengthen the Democratic Party of Oregon’s connections to people, movements, and campaigns.”

Outgoing Vice Chair Michelle Risher presided over the elections. Risher did not run for re-election, having been elected as one of Oregon’s three Democratic National Committeemembers in December.

DPO Secretary Eileen Kiely also won re-election. A legislative candidate for Oregon House in 2018 and Oregon Senate in 2020, she also serves as Vice Chair of the Deschutes County Democratic Party, and has played an important role in turning Deschutes County blue.

“The work we do is not about one election, or one issue. Politics is a relay race, and we build on the people who came before us,” said Kiely. “I am excited to continue the work, and to represent the Eastern side of the Cascades in Party leadership as we represent all 36 counties in Oregon.”

The officers join DNC Members Travis Nelson, Matt Keating, and Michelle Risher on the DPO Administrative Committee. Eddy Morales serves as the current Democratic Party of Oregon Treasurer, a position that will be appointed by the Chair. We congratulate all of the Officers on their elections, and thank and commend all of the candidates for a well-run campaign and for being willing to serve and support Oregon Democrats.

In addition to our reorganization elections, the SCC unanimously approved a resolution submitted by the Democratic Party of Oregon’s Asian American & Pacific Islander Caucus condemning anti-Asian American & Pacific Islander hate and racism.

“The uptick of hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans, Pacific Islander, Immigrants, and Refugees, from our children to our elders, is nauseating,” said Chrissy Erguiza, Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon Asian American & Pacific Islander Caucus. “We must all come together and denounce hate crimes in all forms and say enough is enough. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect – we all have a part to play to eradicate fear and hate with compassion, love, and understanding.”

The SCC also approved resolutions regarding Oregon forest management and taxation, reaffirming support for workers and labor unions in Oregon, and honoring essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The next DPO State Central Committee Meeting will be held in the 2nd quarter of the year.

Results of the Democratic Party of Oregon 2021 Reorganization Elections 

Chair: Carla “KC” Hanson
Vice Chair: Rosa Colquitt, PhD
Vice Chair:
Pete Lee
Secretary: Eileen Kiely