DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE 2008 CONVENTION CHAIRS
Speaker Pelosi to Serve as Permanent Chair of Convention;
Governor Sebelius, State Senator Van de Putte, Mayor Franklin Named Co-Chairs, Chairs Represent Strong Democratic Leadership At All Levels
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Governor Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, announced today his intention to nominate Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California to serve as Permanent Chair of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. Dean also announced that three outstanding leaders, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, Chair of the Democratic Governors Association; Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, President of the National Conference of State Legislatures; and Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, President of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors, will be nominated as Permanent Convention Co-Chairs.
This distinguished group of strong Democratic leaders from all levels of government and all parts of the country exemplifies the vision, values and commitment to America's future that the Democratic National Convention will showcase in Denver.
“Our Party is bringing a new kind of leadership to our country at all levels,” said Governor Dean. “We are extremely fortunate to have such a distinguished group of strong Democratic leaders chairing our Convention. I want to thank Speaker Pelosi, Governor Sebelius, state Senator Van de Putte and Mayor Franklin for their commitment to putting our presidential nominee on the path to victory for the November 2008 election.”
The recommendations by Governor Dean will be presented to the Convention Rules Committee next summer and then voted on by the delegates to the 2008 Convention at the opening session. The Permanent Chair and Co-Chairs preside over the Convention proceedings, ensuring order, decorum and efficiency as the Party nominates its presidential and vice presidential candidates, adopts the National Platform and conducts other important business.
Biographical information about the Permanent Convention Chair and Co-Chairs (nominees):
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the first woman to serve as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Before assuming this position in January 2007, Pelosi served for the last four years as House Democratic Leader and was the first woman to lead a major political party in Congress. She has represented California’s Eighth District since 1987. She served as a member of the Democratic National Committee from 1976 to 1996, serving terms as Northern Chair and State Chair of the California Democratic Party. She was a Vice Chair of the 1996 Democratic National Convention, Co Chair of the 1992 Democratic Platform Committee and served as Chair of the 1984 Democratic National Convention Host Committee in San Francisco.
“It is an honor to serve as Chair of the national convention as Democrats from across the country select our candidate who will become the next President of the United States,” Pelosi said. “At the convention, Democrats will share with the American people our priorities and values that will take our nation in a new direction.”
Governor Kathleen Sebelius was first sworn in as governor of Kansas in January 2003 and in 2005 was named one of America’s Five Best Governors by Time Magazine. She was re-elected to a second term in 2006 and currently serves as Chair of the Democratic Governors Association. Sebelius previously served four terms in the Kansas House of Representatives and two terms as the states insurance commissioner.
"The national convention is one of our best opportunities to share our Democratic message of progress with the nation,” Sebelius said. “And, it's fitting the convention is in our neighboring state, Colorado, home to new Democratic Governor Bill Ritter. I look forward to working with my fellow chairs to hold a convention that highlights our shared values and which brings new voters to the Democratic Party."
State Senator Leticia Van de Putte is the first Hispanic to serve as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures – a position she has held since 2006. Representing a large portion of San Antonio, Van de Putte has been elected to four terms in the Texas Senate, following five terms as a state representative. Since 2003 she has also served as Democratic Leader in the Texas Senate.
"I could not be more proud to serve with these distinguished women as a Co-Chair of the National Convention which will nominate the next President of the United States," Van de Putte said. "Texas women, including Barbara Jordan and Ann Richards, have long served our Party at National Conventions, and I'm humbled to be asked to join their ranks."
Mayor Shirley Franklin has served as Mayor of Atlanta since 2001, when she became the first female mayor of Atlanta and the first African American woman to serve as mayor of a major southern city. She is the first woman to chair the National Conference of Democratic Mayors. Franklin has restored financial stability with five balanced budgets and healthy reserves and implemented the strongest ethics reform program in the state.
"It is a great time to be a Democrat!,” Franklin said. “Our diverse leadership for the convention represents the core values of Democrats everywhere. As we prepare for the Democratic National Convention and to send our nominee to the White House, we will also showcase the best in our party and in America."