Read Why Gov. Hickenlooper is supporting Rick Palacio for DNC Vice Chair
We wanted to share some exciting news — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who knows Rick’s success in Colorado first hand, is supporting Rick for DNC Vice Chair.
Here’s what Gov. Hickenlooper has to say about Rick:
Dear Fellow Democrats,
Most of us now know firsthand what the coming political battles after Donald Trump’s victory are going to look like — it’s going to be a fight in the states, and on the street and in the neighborhoods of those states. While President Trump continues to court outrage and protest with his outlandish executive orders and appointments, we must resist distraction. We must focus on the prize.
Republicans currently hold thirty-three governor seats. Twenty-seven of the 38 governorships up in 2017 and 2018 are Republican-held. These races present a tremendous opportunity for us to take a big step forward both as a party and as a nation. They will play a crucial role in the all-important redistricting processes that will ramp up in 2020.
Equally important, Republicans in thirty-two states presently hold majorities in both houses of state government. This number has been increasing steadily for a long time, independently of presidential politics.
That’s why we need leaders at the DNC who know what it takes to win, and what it takes to win tough swing states. The fight for governorships and state legislatures in the next two years will include nearly every battleground state on the map.
That’s why I believe so strongly in Rick Palacio, who is currently Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party. He would bring leadership and strategic vision as one of the next Vice Chairs of the DNC. And when the battle is fierce, he doesn’t blink. I’ve been with him in the trenches. I’ve seen it first hand.
Rick knows what it takes to win, because he’s done it in Colorado. Colorado is as purple of a state as they come, with nearly identical numbers of Republicans, Independents and Democrats, nearly two thirds of those Independents lean Republican. But under Rick’s leadership as State Party Chair in Colorado, Barack and Hillary won our electoral votes in 2012 and 2016. In 2014 I was reelected in a dirty race, in a disastrous year for Democrats around the country. And in 2016, Colorado reelected Senator Michael Bennet, and our Democratic majority in the State House was expanded.
Rick Palacio played a key role in each of these elections.
Rick knows that it takes more than data to win elections — it takes people. People getting involved, people organizing, and people working together. He understands instinctively that to share power is to multiply it, that only when we return power to the states and local, grassroots leadership, will we achieve widespread success.
Rick grew up in rural southern Colorado, just outside of the rusting steel town of Pueblo, a scrappy place to learn the hard knocks of grassroots organizing. As a Latino and openly gay man, he experienced bias and fought against injustice without losing his optimism and humor. As the son of a steelworker and grandson of coalminers, Rick has made sure our state party respected the voices of all of the diverse communities in Colorado. As an explorer of the vast array of natural landscapes, first in Colorado but eventually across the West and rest of America, Rick has become a fierce advocate for defending the national treasures that Republicans want to privatize and commercially develop.
He is one of the best listeners I know, and can skillfully find common ground between allies in conflict. More than ever, we Democrats, with all our various backgrounds and priorities, need to be united. Rick can bring people together, create a “safe space”, and gracefully remove himself so that the conflicted parties resolve their differences seemingly on their own. I’ve seen him do this, again and again.
Our party leaders are a voice for everyone — people in rural, suburban and urban areas, as well as people of all types and all stripes. Our leaders must help us create fresh new expressions for the truths of social justice, for the imperatives of equal opportunity. Our leaders must be relentless in demanding that basic health care should be a right, not a privilege.
Rick Palacio has a track record of doing all this and more as a proven Western leader. I am supremely confident he will bring this same, successful attitude to the DNC, and I could not be more enthusiastic to endorse and support Rick for DNC Vice Chair.
If you’d like to chat with Rick, you can find him on Twitter @RickPalacio. He’d love to hear from you.