Now Reading
Indian American Becomes the First Person of Color to be Elected to Lead Washington State Democrats

Indian American Becomes the First Person of Color to be Elected to Lead Washington State Democrats

  • Shasti Conrad, a political consultant, ran unopposed, with the support of Gov. Jay Inslee, and the state’s Democratic U.S. senators.

The Washington State Democrats have elected Shasti Conrad as the new chair of the Washington State Democrats at its Reorganization Meeting and Officer Elections event on Jan. 29. She is the first woman of color and youngest person to be elected chair of the Washington State Democrats as well as the first South Asian and first Indian American woman to serve as a State Democratic Party Chair in the country.

Conrad, 38, a political consultant, ran unopposed, “with the support of Gov. Jay Inslee, both of Washington’s Democratic U.S. senators, most of the state’s Democratic congressional delegation and a passel of other elected Democrats, The Seattle Times reported.

She takes over from Tina Podlodowski, who had served as party chair since 2017 and announced this month that she would step down. The young political consultant “assumes leadership of an organization whose voter contact operation has played a key role in Democrats’ statewide electoral dominance since the 2016 election,” according to The Seattle Times report. “In the last six years, Washington Democrats have won control of every statewide elected office, flipped two Congressional seats, flipped the state Senate, and grown their legislative majorities in each of the last three election cycles, the report — all while electing the most diverse cohort of state legislators in Washington’s history,” the report added. 

“I’m so honored to have the opportunity to serve as Chair of our state party and build on the outstanding success Washington Democrats have earned at the ballot box for the last six years,” Conrad said in a statement. “I’m excited to work with Democratic leaders from every community to build an unprecedented field operation that will carry the message of how Washington Democrats are delivering for working families to each and every voter.”

She served as chair of the King County Democrats since 2018, according to her website. She has worked on political campaigns since 2008 when she got her start as a field organizer working for then-Senator Obama’s primary campaign. Since then, she has been staff on three presidential campaigns and one senate campaign: National Advance for Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016; Briefings Manager for President Obama, First Lady, Vice President and Dr. Biden for the 2012 Obama Re-Election Campaign; Field Organizer for Obama for America in 2008; and Political Director for the Jim Barksdale for U.S. Senate campaign in Georgia in 2016.

In the Obama White House, she served in various capacities, including as Assistant to Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, where she developed a policy portfolio on youth violence, and worked on disability rights and constituency outreach in the Office of Public Engagement. 

See Also

Locally, she served as chair of the Martin Luther King, Jr. County Democrats from 2018 to 2022, where she raised nearly $300,000 for a county party organization mired in debt when she first took office. Under her leadership, the King County Democrats’ field operation helped flip six city councils and a County Council seat held by Republicans for twenty years. 

She has earned several awards including the Pollie Awards from the American Association of Political Consultants. She has also been recognized by the AAPC as one of the organization’s “40 under 40.”

She received her Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University and her B.A. with Honors distinction from Seattle University.

What's Your Reaction?
In Love
Not Sure
View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2020 American Kahani LLC. All rights reserved.

The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and editorial policies of American Kahani.
Scroll To Top