Candidate Statement, Penny Githens, Party Chair

I am sad that Mark Fraley is stepping down as the Chair of the Monroe County Democratic Party.  Since his election as Chair in January 2015, Mark has worked tirelessly to expand the party, recruit candidates, fill precinct chair positions, hire an executive director, and put the party on a firmer financial footing.  Mark leaves an incredible legacy and has set the bar for the next chair of the MCDP.

I have met with Mark and other members of the executive committee to discuss the various responsibilities of the chair, so I have at least some idea of what would await me. 

So, why me?  First of all, this is a position that requires time flexibility.  Now that I am retired, I have that flexibility.  Second, it requires someone with established relationships, both within Monroe County and at the District and State levels; over the past 3 years I have developed many of those relationships.  Third, I understand the complexity of elections, both from the perspective of a candidate and from seeing what it takes to recruit poll workers.  Additionally, I was one of the people who helped initiate the “Your Voice Matters” listening tour in 2017, something I would like to replicate in 2019 in preparation for the 2020 election.

Since announcing my candidacy for the Monroe County Democratic Chair in late November, I have met and/or talked with several precinct chairs and vice-chairs.  People have given me suggestions on how to improve what we learn from a second round of “Your Voice Matters,” ideas for trainings, and thoughts for ways to expand our links with organized labor.  I hope those with suggestions are willing to step up and chair committees to make those things happen. 

If you have questions for me prior to the caucus on January 13th, please contact me at [email protected].  Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you soon.

Penny Githens