Press Releases

Heading into critical election season, DPO elects new chair, officers

Mar 17, 2019

For Immediate Release
Contact: Molly Woon
(503) 367-4327
press [at] dpo [dot] org 
March 17, 2019​

INDEPENDENCE — Hundreds of Democrats gathered in Polk County, Oregon, this weekend for the first State Central Committee Meeting of the 2020 election cycle. On Sunday, the Party elected new officers, including Carla “K.C.” Hanson as Democratic Party of Oregon Chair. Hanson has a long record in progressive Oregon politics, including serving as Chair of the Multnomah County Democrats from 2008 to 2013. Hanson replaces Jeanne Atkins, who is retiring from public office.

“The Democratic Party of Oregon’s strength is fueled by the dedicated people that give their time and energy to make our state and world a better place for everyone," said Hanson. "It is an honor to be chosen to lead them during these historic times. The officers elected today are poised to join a DPO leadership team that has proven itself to be effective and collaborative. My leadership approach is centered around teamwork and I’m eager to get to work with this new team of dedicated activists.” 

2020 is poised to be one of the most consequential elections in decades, as Democrats work to win the Presidency and rebuke the dark vision of the current White House. In addition to overseeing Oregon’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention, the new DPO officers will preside during campaigns for the reelection of U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, our U.S. Representatives, three seats for statewide office in Oregon, and building on our legislative majorities.

In addition to Atkins, Vice Chairs Valdez Bravo and Lupita Maurer and Secretary Alex Josephy did not run for reelection, leading to open races for the positions. Newly elected officers include: 

CHAIR K.C. Hanson
VICE CHAIR Michelle Risher
SECRETARY Eileen Kiely

The new officers join DNC Members Tanya Shively, Matt Keating, and Travis Nelson on the DPO administrative committee. Eddy Morales serves as the current DPO Treasurer, a position that will be appointed by the chair. 

In other business, the SCC approved the first resolution of 2019, advocating for a permit-to-purchase system regulating firearm purchases. The next DPO State Central Committee Meeting will be held May 18-19 in Prineville, Oregon.