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Selma resident Kessler elected to head local Democratic Party region

Selma resident Doug Kessler is the new Region 8 director for the California Democratic Party.

Kessler, 57, was elected at this past weekend’s state Democratic Party convention in Sacramento.

Doug Kessler

The election means that two Fresno County residents are heading their respective regions for the two major political parties. Last month, Fresno resident Marcelino Valdez was elected as the California Republican Party’s new Central Valley Region vice chair.

Kessler will head up a region that includes Fresno, Kings and Kern counties and part of Tulare County.

He replaces Bakersfield resident Candi Easter, who held the position for eight years. Kessler also serves on the CDP’s Voter Services Committee and is chair of the Fresno County Democratic Party Field Coordination Committee.

The GOP’s region that includes Fresno is much larger than the Democrats’. It includes 11 counties that takes in all the San Joaquin Valley — and more.

In addition to Kessler, Fresno County Democratic Party chair Michael Evans was elected as chairman of the Federation of Democratic County Central Committee Members. The committee shares ideas for developing central committees and working with the state party.

Also elected to the group as secretary was Sanger resident Rose Ann Martinez.
Two area Democrats were also elected to spots on the state Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus. Susan Good is now Central Region director, and James Williams was reelected as parliamentarian.

Tulare Assembly Member Conway holds Staples Center fundraiser

Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway of Tulare has close to two years left in the Assembly, but that isn’t stopping her from looking at what could be her next political step.

And it is a step that is far, far down the line.

Conway is holding a $2,500 per person fundraiser tonight at the swanky Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. She has rented a suite for the Lakers basketball game versus the Memphis Grizzlies.

The money is for her 2018 state Senate account — though she’s nowhere near making any sort of commitment to an actual run.

“Her main focus is here in the Assembly, and that has not changed,” spokeswoman Sabrina Lockhart said.

In fact, it isn’t even known if she’ll run.

Conway is termed out of the Assembly at the end of next year, but she now lives in the state Senate district of fellow Republican Jean Fuller of Bakersfield.

There’s no way Conway will challenge Fuller, and Fuller doesn’t term out of office until 2018.

This year, Conway will turn 63.

She could opt to retire and use the money to help other candidates or causes.

Fresno’s Valdez easily elected as state Republican Party’s new region vice chair

SACRAMENTO — Fresno insurance agent Marcelino Valdez rolled to an easy election win this morning in his campaign to be the California Republican Party’s next Central Valley Region vice chair.

Valdez, 33, was unopposed for the post after his long challenger, Sacramento County’s Ruth Crone, dropped out of the race weeks ago. But under the state GOP rules, a challenger could have stepped forward right up until 9 this morning, and as delegates gathered in a conference room at the Sacramento Convention Center, Valdez’s people kept handing out campaign stickers and keeping an eye out for any possible 11th-hour challengers.

None came.

it made for short work at the meeting, and Valdez soon found himself making a quick acceptance speech. It was all done in about 20 minutes.

Leading up to the vote, Valdez had continued to campaign, putting up signs, handing out stickers and meeting with delegates.

Valdez replaces Kings County Republican Central Committee Chair Prudence Eiland, who decided not to seek re-election.

Now, Valdez says, the hard work begins.

He plans to start by visiting each of the 11 county Republican central committees. Those counties are Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Tuolumne, Merced, Tulare, Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Sacramento. Valdez plans to do a “needs assessment” to find out what the county party’s need to help them succeed in next year’s election.

Valdez’s message: “I need to find out your challenges. How can I help you?”

He expects the feedback to surround technology needs, getting out the vote and ethnic outreach.

Job two is getting those who are registered to actually vote on Election Day. And job three is giving the county parties fundraising help, likely through shared strategies on what has worked elsewhere.

Finally, Valdez says he’ll take the concerns of the county party to the state Republican Party. He feels the state party should work to assist the counties, and not the other way around.

This is especially important, he says, in the San Joaquin Valley.

“Our Valley sometimes feels like your voice isn’t being heard,” Valdez says.

 

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Choose from the most used tags“Our Valley feels sometimes like our voice isn’t being heard,” he says.