Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Observer Editorial: Change Has Come

On Saturday, January 24, the Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) showed that change can happen. Coming off a disastrous election year, the ADP State Committee changed course and elected a new tough-talking, grass roots leader who's vowed to take the fight to Republicans.

Paul Eckerstrom, the former boss of the Pima County Democrats, mounted a surprising last-minute challenge to soundly beat incumbent Don Bivens and take control of the Arizona Democratic Party. Eckerstrom, who captured almost 56 percent of the vote, was aided in large part by widespread disappointment among party members who expected big wins in the 2008 Legislative races, reported the Arizona Guardian online.

As Pima County Democratic Chair, Eckerstrom played an instrumental role in the election of Karin Uhlich to the Tucson City Council in 2005, the first open Lesbian elected to political office in Southern Arizona. Eckerstrom was a loud opponent of Proposition 107 in 2006, helping in the cause to defeat the measure.

Eckerstrom, who has worked to the Attorney General's office, said in interviews that he has a plan to put the party on a better position to win in 2010 by running candidates in every legislative district in Arizona. He compared his plan to a local version of Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Howard Dean's 50 state strategy that many have credited for helping Democrats with control of Congress.

In addition to Eckerstrom, former Pima County Democratic Party Chair Vince Rabago was elected as a State Vice Chair - Male, along with Mohur Sidwa as a State Vice Chair - Female. Both Rabago and Sidwa will help Eckerstrom during this next two year term, of which positive, progressive change will occur, as well as a spirited campaign in 2010, something this publication applauds heartily.

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