Section 3

Officer Duties and Recommended Practices

Candidates for public office, whether statewide, congressional or legislative, will often say that the most important entity in the state party is the County Party.

A good County Party that provides volunteer assistance can mean the difference between winning and losing. A Democratic candidate’s campaign will usually rely heavily on the county for help in literature drops and door knocking, event planning, information gathering and communications.


The Chair leads the group (County Parties, Caucuses, or CDs) and must have the ability to organize, provide direction, and work well with others. The Chair assigns and monitors progress on tasks as needed. The Chair should consult with other officers about decisions, particularly involving expenditures and other matters that may require a vote of the group.

General Responsibilities

  • Call and lead meetings.
  • Attend state and congressional district Central Committee meetings and other committees on which they serve.
  • Outside the group, represent and speak on the group’s behalf, without inserting personal remarks or biases.
  • Manage and support the activities of other group officers.
  • Delegate tasks as needed to other members of the group.
  • Support and guide volunteers.
  • Recruit, welcome, educate and involve new members.
  • Lead development of a strategic plan for activities.
  • Send password requests to Voter File Manager for anyone in the group needing Voter File access.

First Duties After Being Elected

  • Welcome other new officers, State Central Committee members/Alternates, and members promptly and personally.
  • Notify the state party of new officers, SCC delegates/alternates with relevant contact information as soon as possible.
  • Stage an orientation event or training session for new officers, SCC delegates/alternates, and members as soon as possible.
  • Propose schedule for group’s meetings.
  • Notify Oregon Secretary of State of new officers (County Parties Only).
  • Change signatories on bank account (County Parties Only).
  • Obtain records and relevant materials from previous officers.
  • Send password requests to Voter File Manager/DPO for anyone in the group needing Voter File access.

Conducting a Successful Meeting

  • Prepare in advance: create an agenda and discussion topics.
  • Distribute agenda and discussion topics to committee members before scheduled meeting — the earlier the better.
  • Always be in control of the meeting.
  • Follow the agenda closely and move the meeting along quickly without discouraging meaningful discussion.
  • Plan ahead for appointments and delegation of specific tasks.          
  • Consider inviting a guest speaker to the meeting. Many legislative leaders, elected officials, and potential candidates would be willing to speak. Other potential speakers are experts on issues and other pertinent topics of local interest.
  • Ask someone to make a motion when needed.

Recommended Practices

  • Ensure that someone, ideally a PCP, is responsible for every precinct.
  • Appoint committees to carry out group activities, for example: Finance and Fundraising (County Parties), Communications — including website and social media, Data Management, Issues or Research, Community Service, Programs and Events, Speaker’s Bureau, County Fair, Precinct Organization, Campaign Coordination, Candidate Recruitment, and Neighborhood Leader Program.
  • Meet with committees.
  • Ensure each committee has sufficient members.
  • Consult with members on their duties, plans and progress.
  • Coordinate committee activities with other group activities.
  • Ensure committees meet and report to the group regularly.
  • Arrange regular group meetings.
  • Give officers and members training and information on programs, campaigns and issues.
  • Coordinate efforts and information between the county, congressional district and State party organizations.
  • Develop a budget and fundraising timetable so the group  and campaigns are properly financed.
  • Recruit and encourage potential candidates for state legislature, county offices, city or township offices, and school board.

Outgoing Chair Duties

  • Transfer materials, records, and equipment to the new Chair.
  • Assist in changing bank account signatories (Counties Only).
  • Notify vendors as needed of name changes.

Vice Chair

The Vice Chair works with the Chair, giving advice and sharing information to make both roles easier and more successful.

General Responsibilities

  • Keep up-to-date on the various group’s activities.
  • Serve as Outreach and Inclusion Officer if group does not provide for a separate one.
  • Assist the Chair as desired by the Chair.
  • Represent the group at State and Congressional District Central Committees as authorized.
  • Take extra initiative for specific projects as needed.
  • Be prepared to assume the duties of the Chair if needed.
  • Succeed the Chair in case of vacancy.
  • Fill in for other officers as needed; for example, take minutes in absence of Secretary.

First Duties After Being Elected (along with Chair):

  • Welcome new local officers, members, State Central Committee members and alternates promptly and personally.
  • Stage an orientation event or training session for members as soon as possible.
  • Obtain records and relevant materials from previous officers.

Outgoing Vice Chair Duties

  • Assist the Chair in the transfer of powers and materials.

County Party/Caucus/Congressional District Secretary

The Secretary is the group’s recorder and record-keeper.

General Responsibilities

  • Maintain rosters of group’s Central Committee, Executive Committee and State/Congressional District Central Committee members/alternates.
  • Distribute meeting notices, agendas, and minutes of the previous meeting.
  • Record minutes of each unit Central and Executive Committee meeting, including reports presented at those meetings.
  • Record attendance and excused absences of every meeting
  • Notify the DPO Operations Director of any changes to the group’s officers or State Central Committee membership.
  • Send the DPO office a copy of a revised Bylaws as they occur.
  • Assist in updating contact information, activist codes, and other pertinent information in the Voter File (VAN).
  • Maintain and provide a permanent record of group activities.
  • Maintain event/meeting dates on website and submit to the DPO calendar.
  • Conduct group correspondence.

First Duties After Being Elected

  • Create a complete roster of Central Committee, Executive Committee, and SCC members/alternates and submit to DPO.
  • Distribute the schedule for Central Committee and Executive Committee meetings
  • Obtain records and relevant materials from previous Secretary.

Outgoing Secretary Duties

  • Transfer electronic and physical records to new Secretary.

County Party Treasurer

The Treasurer is, according to state law, the legal representative of the county party. The Treasurer is responsible for keeping strict financial records of contributions and expenditures and to submit those records in the required format to the Oregon Secretary of State (SoS) Elections Division. The Treasurer should become very familiar with the SoS Campaign Finance Manual and ORESTAR Manual.

General Responsibilities

  • Deposit prudently and safeguard the local party organization’s funds and otherwise manage its finances.
  • Disburse unit funds only with authority or ratification by the Executive Committee or Chair of the local party organization, according to its Bylaws and rules.
  • Reconcile cash on hand with receipts and spending records.
  • Prepare and submit timely reports to the Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division according to its rules.
  • Report to each Central and Executive Committee meeting on the state of the treasury.
  • Work with the county party committees that oversee budget and finances.
  • The Campaign Finance Manual is one of the most important resources. The Elections Division is available and willing to answer questions and help train, as well.

First Duties After Being Elected

  • Change the signatories on the party’s bank account, accompanied by the Chair as needed.
  • File a new Statement of Organization.

Outgoing Treasurer Duties

  • Transfer financial records to new Treasurer.
  • Assist in changing bank account signatories (County Parties).
  • Notify vendors as needed of name changes.

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Organization and Meetings