Indian-American Shasti Conrad first South Asian elected for post of Washington State Democratic Party chair : The Tribune India

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Indian-American Shasti Conrad first South Asian elected for post of Washington State Democratic Party chair

Conrad was named one of the ‘40 Under 40’ by American Association of Political Consultants

Indian-American Shasti Conrad first South Asian elected for post of Washington State Democratic Party chair

Photo: @ShastiConrad/Twitter



PTI

Washington, January 30

Indian-American political consultant Shasti Conrad has been elected as the new chair of the Washington State Democratic Party, becoming the youngest and first Indian-American woman to serve as a state party chair in the US.

Conrad, 38, a political consultant, ran unopposed, with the support of Gov. Jay Inslee, Washington’s Democratic US senators, most of the state’s Democratic congressional delegation and a majority of other elected Democrats.

“I’m so honoured 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,” said Conrad, who has worked on political campaigns since 2008 when she got her start as a field organiser working for then-Senator Obama’s primary campaign.

“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 said in a statement issued on Saturday.

“Today, Shasti Conrad was elected Chair of the Washington State Democrats by affirmation. Conrad is the first woman of colour 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,” according to a statement from the Washington State Democrats.

Conrad, a former leader of the King County Democrats, replaced Tina Podlodowski, who served as party chair since 2017.

“I’m thrilled to pass on the torch to my friend Shasti Conrad. Shasti has been a crucial part of our organising efforts over the past six years helping to build a top-notch state party which has seen unprecedented electoral success in both state and federal elections,” said Podlodowski, the outgoing party chair.

Conrad assumes leadership of an organisation whose voter contact operation has played a key role in Democrats’ statewide electoral dominance since the 2016 election, the statement said.

Locally, Conrad served as Chair of the Martin Luther King, Jr. County Democrats from 2018 to 2022, where she raised nearly USD 300,000 for a county party organisation mired in debt when she first took office.

As a political consultant working with candidate campaigns and political action committees across the country, Conrad has earned several awards for her work producing virtual fundraisers during the height of the pandemic, including the prestigious Pollie Awards from the American Association of Political Consultants in 2022 for Sen.

Conrad was named one of the “40 Under 40” by the American Association of Political Consultants, and one of the most influential people in Seattle Politics by Seattle Met Magazine.

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


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