New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will serve as Policy Chair of the Democratic Governors Association in 2017, the group announced Monday. It’s Cuomo’s first formal Leadership role with the DGA.
“Progress at the state level is more important now than ever and with my fellow DGA members, we’re working to develop and advance an agenda that improves the lives of all Americans,” Cuomo said in the DGA’s statement. “From raising the minimum wage, to passing strong paid family leave, to making record investments in infrastructure and education, New York has been focused on delivering real results. I look forward to working with my fellow Democratic governors to enact meaningful change and work to unite a nation that has been divided for far too long. Only by standing together can we stand against the forces of intolerance and injustice.”
Gov. Cuomo, who tends to restrict his out-of-state travel, did not attend the Group’s winter meeting in New Orleans, but his Secretary Bill Mulrow represented him.
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, who has feuded with Cuomo in the past, was re-elected to serve a second term as DGA Chair. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, now Vice-Chair, will take over in 2018.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, like Cuomo a longtime ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton, was chosen as Chair of the DGA’s Redistricting project, dubbed “Unrig The Map.”
More from the DGA’s statement:
“We are proud to name these strong leaders to the Democratic Governors Association’s leadership team for 2017,” said DGA Executive Director Elisabeth Pearson in a statement. “Gov. Malloy’s leadership in 2016 helped the DGA recruit strong candidates, set fundraising records and win the marquee governor’s race in North Carolina while protecting all 3 Democratic incumbents.
“Gov. Malloy has also been a Democratic policy leader: raising the minimum wage, passing paid sick leave and signing historic criminal justice reform,” Pearson continued. “Gov. Malloy and Gov. Inslee are a proven and effective leadership duo, and we look forward to building on their success in 2017.”
Malloy was elected to his first one-year term in December 2015. He succeeded Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be chosen by my fellow governors for another year as DGA Chair in 2017,” Gov. Malloy said. “As Democrats, there is nothing more important we can do as a party than to begin rebuilding at the state level. That’s why we must elect Democratic governors in 2017 and 2018.”
“Democratic governors will continue to lead on innovative solutions to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class,” Malloy said. “And, the governors elected over the next four years will play a pivotal role in undoing GOP gerrymandering during the 2021 redistricting process. I am honored to serve as DGA Chair during these critical times and look forward to working with the full DGA leadership team.”
As Chair-Elect, Gov. Inslee will serve as DGA Vice Chair through 2017 and as DGA Chair in 2018, an Election year which is said to bring “widespread opportunities for Democratic gains.”
“Democratic governors have a critical voice in policy, as Washington D.C. considers damaging plans like ending bipartisan Medicaid expansion in the states,” Gov. Inslee said. “Democrats will go on the offense in 2018, with major opportunities to grow our ranks of Democratic governors. I look forward to serving as Chair-elect and to working with governors and candidates across the country.”
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