The Georgia Democratic Party has hired a new executive director. The news comes at a time when the Party is gearing up for some major elections, including the 2014 Senate race and the Georgia governors
Rebecca DeHart has worked for the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, and on several political campaigns. State Democratic Party Chair DuBose Porter, who nominated DeHart, says she has a way of bringing people together.
“She worked on a lot of legislative issues,” Porter says. “She’s worked on direct mail. She’s managed campaigns. There’s just so much in her background and experience that lines up with the needs of the Party at this time.”
One of those needs is stronger leadership. The Party hasn’t had an executive director for two years. Former chair Mike Berlon resigned last spring after being suspended from the state bar. Finances have dwindled. Emory political science professor Andra Gillespie says hiring both Porter and DeHart signals the party is trying to rebuild.
“I think the general takeaway is that the Democratic Party of Georgia has recognized the challenges that it has had in the past, recognizes that those challenges are actually going to make it really difficult for them to be competitive on a statewide level going forward, and they’ve now taken affirmative steps to try to ameliorate that,” she says.
But Gillespie says that could take a while, especially in a state where voters tend to favor conservative candidates.