County Democrats select new chairman

Richard Wright, a veteran Democratic activist and husband of a Snohomish County council member, is the new chairman of the county Democratic Party.

Wright won a two-year term in a vote of precinct committee officers Saturday at the Labor Temple in Everett.

Wright is married to Snohomish County Council member Stephanie Wright. The couple lives in Lynnwood.

He said he wants to keep the organization focused on raising money and strengthening the party’s grass-roots operation.

“We need to ride the momentum of the last election forward and get ready for the next cycle, by harnessing the energies of a vast group of new volunteers,” he said in an email. “We’ve got Democratic majorities to protect and some great opportunities to expand our organization, so I’m truly looking forward to getting started.”

He will succeed Bill Phillips who chose not to seek a third term as chairman.

“Simply put, I believe changing leadership after two terms keeps the organization fresh,” he said. “That’s one reason we’ve been so successful in Snohomish County: We don’t let things get stale.”

Wright, 40, is completing his second term on the executive committee of Washington State Democratic Party. Before that he served as chairman of the 21st Legislative District Democrats for five years.

Also Saturday, Democrats elected Laura Lewis as 1st vice chairwoman and Rick Bligh as 2nd vice chairman. Stephanie Wright and Todd Nichols won seats on the state party’s executive committee, Phillips said.

Last week, Billye Brooks-Sebastiani of Arlington narrowly defeated Larry Stickney to capture a two-year term as chairwoman of the Snohomish County Republican Party.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com.

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