CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Democrats around the country are demanding change from a national committee they say has focused too heavily on the White House at the expense of governorships, legislatures and state party operations.
"It's got to be helping us organize in our states to be able to build that power at the state legislative level," Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon said of the Democratic National Committee, currently searching for a new leader. "We've lost governorships and state legislatures at a rate that is pretty astounding."
DNC members gather in February to elect a new chairman, with five candidates running so far, each pledging to rebuild from the ground up. Money from the DNC to state parties has been inconsistent during President Barack Obama's tenure and, in most states, less than it was under former chairman Howard Dean. Party chairs say that's resulted in fewer staff members and training programs, a change felt particularly in Republican-leaning states. State leaders also say Obama's grassroots group Organizing for Action has functioned more like competition than a partner.
Beginning in 2017, Republicans will hold 33 governorships and fully control legislatures in 25 states, as well as the Congress and presidency. During Obama's two terms in office, the party lost more than 1,000 seats at the state and national level.
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