John Walsh to step down as Mass Dems Party Chair in September

As a member of the Democratic State Committee, I just received notice from Party Chair John Walsh that he will be stepping down from that position in September. Walsh will be “assuming leadership of Governor Patrick’s political operation as Executive Director of the Deval Patrick Committee and Together PAC.”  Stay tuned for the fall-out and scramble to follow this announcement!


Dear State Committee Member,

This wasn’t on my bucket list.

When I signed on with a guy named Deval Patrick over eight years ago, I was mostly focused on how to utilize the 2005 Platform Convention to best introduce the most remarkable candidate I had ever met to the Democratic activist community as it existed at that time.  I never thought I would be responsible for running seven conventions as MassDems Chair.  No, that wasn’t on the list.

After being elected Chair of this party, I definitely didn’t think I’d be in charge when we lost Ted Kennedy’s seat in the US Senate and provided encouragement to Tea Partiers all across America.  Wow, that was awful, huh?

But sometimes things don’t work out like you plan, right?  Sometimes opportunities (even opportunities to learn from your mistakes) just pop up.  I’ve learned that when possible, you need to be ready to seize those moments.  That’s why this fall I’ll be stepping down as Chair of the Mass Democratic Party and wrapping my arms around a new – if somewhat familiar – role.  In September, I’ll be assuming leadership of Governor Patrick’s political operation as Executive Director of the Deval Patrick Committee and Together PAC.  He’s STILL the most remarkable political leader I’ve ever met and I am so excited to have the chance to work more closely with someone who excites my sense of possibility for the future and inspires me every day. 

He and I will work together to define the exact duties and there will be plenty of time to share those details once they are finalized, but I know there is much to do in the final year and a half of his term as Governor to move Massachusetts forward in the spirit of the clear doctrine he has established: Grow a backbone, stand up for what you believe and talk to voters face-to-face about what is important.  I look forward to dedicating myself fully to that mission.

I have appointed an ad hoc committee of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee consisting of James Roosevelt, the party’s legal counsel, MarDee Xifaras, Co-chair of our By-laws Committee, Gus Bickford, Chair of our Rules Committee and Eric Turner, the party’s Treasurer to advise me on a process and timeline whereby the members of the state committee will choose our next Chair.  They are experienced and respected by all.  I’ll present my recommendation to the party’s Executive Committee at our upcoming meeting on July 24th.  In the interim, I will be consulting with the top elected Democrats in Massachusetts because I know that coordination with these leaders is essential for our continued success. I will keep you all informed as this process is developed and finalized.

The last six and a half years have been extremely rewarding for me and, to be clear, I remain fully committed to the Massachusetts Democratic Party and our candidates.  I’m more certain than ever that grassroots, issues-based politics is the key to our success.  I won’t be tossing out my door-knocking shoes and I’ll be available for whatever assignments our new Chair asks of me.

And oh yeah, just in case our friends over at the Mass GOP are wondering, there are just about 450 days until GOTV’14 begins and I intend to be up to my eyeballs in it.

John Walsh, Chair
Massachusetts Democratic Party