Dane Dems

Here are your board candidates

In November we will elect new board members to two-year terms. Party members nominated at our October meeting are shown below. In addition to voting on these candidates in November, we will break into caucuses to elect represenatives by Assembly district. Thanks to all who are stepping up to help lead our party!

To vote in the board election you must be a current party member. If you need to join or renew, you can take care of that here.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Concourse Hotel, 1 W. Dayton St. in Madison.

Candidates for county party chair

Yogesh Chawla

Has withdrawn.

Alexia Sabor

Alexia Sabor photoI am excited to bring my energy and expertise to the position of Chair of the Dane Dems.  I will fight hard to continue building on our past successes through:

  • Transparency and trustworthiness – Heading into 2020, we need to focus on engaging voters and turnout at the polls. We need a county party leader that does not leave us open to concerns about insider politics and conflict of interest stemming from their duties as an elected official.  We will build a stronger party starting from a basis of transparency and trust.
  • Collaboration: I am experienced leading volunteer organizations and collaborating with diverse groups.  Two years on the Dane Dems Communication Committee have helped me craft a vision for how the Executive Board officers can work together to maximize the impact of our work.  I will  also strengthen our partnerships with neighborhood teams and local organizations.  
  • Inclusivity: We need Dane Dems to better reflect our communities, including more people of color, LGBTQIA community, and the people that live outside of Madison.  I am committed to implicit bias training for our Executive Board and to ensuring that our membership meetings feel accessible and welcoming to everyone.  
  • Winning elections: This election cycle is the most important one in our lifetimes.  I am an alumnae of Emerge Wisconsin and have been a campaign manager, so I know what it takes to win elections.  I will work hard and hit the ground running to ensure we elect Democrats at every level of government by supporting our candidates and grassroots teams with resources, not just in Madison, but in every part of Dane County. 

Let’s work together to inspire voters in Dane County and win back our country.   I look forward to hearing from you and I ask for your vote on November 13.

Candidates for vice chair of communications

Angela Jenkins

Angela Jenkins photoCommunication is how we connect to each other and create communities and if elected as Vice Chair of Communications that is what I will aim to accomplish, connecting our community. I am a first generation immigrant, a woman of color, a wife and a mother of young children and I chose to run for office last spring, https://www.angelaformadison.com/, because standing on the sidelines is no longer acceptable. During my campaign I worked to build relationships in low voter turnout areas and as Vice Chair I would continue to reach out to underrepresented communities. I want to help build an inclusive and welcoming party by growing relationships with groups in the smaller cities and towns in the county to create a united front heading into 2020. I am committed to working with the state party, the executive board and Dane Dems Membership to develop a plan to achieve our shared goal of turning Wisconsin blue once again. So please consider voting for Angela Jenkins for Vice Chair of Communications and thank you for your support.

Michael Slana

Michael Slana photoI’m running for Vice-Chair of Communications because I believe this position is vital to the organizational success of our party in promoting our shared progressive values and flipping Wisconsin blue in the 2020 elections.

I was honored to be nominated for this position by the incumbent, Eric Sundquist. As a member of the Dane Dems Communications Committee, I worked with Eric and others in 2017 to replace the party’s outdated former website with our current, modern website.

If elected to this position, I aim to build on Eric’s work and expand our party’s communications efforts in three main areas:

  • Provide resources – such as a social media tools guide – for our local activists and neighborhood action teams.
  • Further establish our party as a ‘go-to place’ for members and others to discover relevant local events.
  • Offer support to other county parties, which might benefit from our resources and experience.

More about me: I moved to Madison in 2014 for a Budget and Policy Analyst job with the state. I served three terms as Secretary, and one term as President, of the Eastside Madison Toastmasters club. Since March 2017 I’ve been a member of the City of Madison’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee.

Candidates for vice chair of membership

Luis Varela

Luis Varela photo“What can I do to stop the insanity going on in this country?” 

This question weighed heavily on me in 2016. I saw the election affecting not only the USA, but the world, including my home country, Colombia. This led me to look for activist meetings and ways to get involved. Finally, I came across the Dane Dems.

The Dane Dems wasn’t what I expected. I started to have doubts about if this was the place I could really have an impact. Instead of walking away, I stayed, asked questions, and realized that everyone involved was a volunteer, doing as much as they could. If they could volunteer, couldn’t I? After that, I was dedicated to move progressive ideas forward. 

Wanting to learn more, I made presentations for newcomers, helping them understand the party more. However, I realized I could do even more. In 2017, I ran for VC/Membership – shortly after I got my US citizenship. I wanted to stay in this country and fight.

After becoming VC/Membership, I worked on reaching new members, focusing on real concerns of Dane County citizens through topic-based events. I want this community to know that anyone can run for positions, propose ideas, and improve the party.

Tyson Vitale

Tyson Vitale photoNo statement received.





Candidates for vice chair of campaigns

Peter German

Peter German photoHello Dane County! My name is Peter German and I’m running to be the vice chair of campaigns because I recognize the need to recruit candidates up and down the ticket who not only accurately represent our beliefs, but are also willing to fight for them.

I have seen too many people fall victim to a system that does not care for them, people forced to resort to GoFundMes to pay their medical bills, people who believe that their voice is worthless. It is our job to recruit candidates that not only represent the people most disenfranchised by the system, candidates who will show people that their voice matters, candidates that will fight to give every member of our society a chance to live up to their potential.

When I grew up I never saw myself represented in politics, but a recent surge in LGBTQ politicians have shown me that my voice mattered, that I deserved to have a say. That recognition is something that I believe people of all races, identities, orientations, genders, and religions should have, and that is a goal I hope to strive for as your campaign vice chair.

Noah Lieberman

Noah Lieberman photoIt\’s been my privilege to serve as the party\’s Vice Chair of Campaigns for the past two years. In that time, I\’ve worked with the board to expand the scope of the Campaigns Committee, in every sense. We\’ve endorsed in a record number of races, electing new Democratic mayors and council members across the county. We\’ve made the endorsement process more accessible for board members, candidates, and party members. We\’ve made the process more inclusive, making it easier for first-time candidates to seek and gain our endorsement. And we\’ve expanded the other activities of the Campaigns Committee, recruiting more candidates, connecting campaigns with the help they need, and hosting forums and debates for several races.

If I\’m lucky enough to be reelected, I\’ll continue to increase the reach of the Dane County Democratic Party in local politics. The new county-specific resolutions will give party members a strong collective voice so candidates and elected officials know our stance on local issues. We will continue to work with local leaders to recruit and support more diverse, progressive slates of candidates. And we will work tirelessly to get those candidates elected so that Dane County remains a beacon of progressive local government.

Gloria Reyes

Gloria Reyes photoMy name is Gloria Reyes and I am running for Campaign Vice Chair.  I have wanted to join the Dane Dems Board since I was elected to the Madison School Board.  I strongly believe in providing opportunities for underrepresented groups and building an inclusive community.

As I think back during my campaign process, it was very intimidating because it was the unknown. I had no experience or exposure to the political process.  I realized that we needed to work towards building the capacity and support to encourage people of color to run for political office, so we started Adelante.  I am currently serving as President of Adelante, focusing on training people of color in all aspects of managing a campaign and supporting candidates who want to run for political office.  My election as Campaigns Vice Chair will be an opportunity to bring Adelante and the Dane Dems together for a stronger voice.

I hope that I gain your support to help candidates during their campaigns and lead the endorsement process.  I believe that I would be an asset to the Dane Dems and will work hard to elevate our democratic values.

Candidate for vice chair of development

Linda Kessel

Linda Kessel photoDevelopment is a nice word for fundraising. For now, money is a necessary evil in politics. It\’s how we support neighborhood action teams, open campaign field offices, and more. New installment options will make it easier to give. Merchandise sales will be an incentive to give more. Instead of donating to individual candidates or specific causes, your donation to the Dane Dems will benefit both. Let\’s do this together in 2020.


Candidates for nominations and elections

Michael Bell

Michael Bell photoI’m from the Democratic Party Class of November 8th, 2016. I was in shock that evening. (Still am.) I was complaining to my son, and he said, “well, Dad, what are you going to do about it?” So I joined the Dane Dems.

This organization has been my volunteer passion ever since. When the board seat for my district came open, I applied. Later, I became Vice-Chair for Nominations and Elections. I gradually stepped down from my other volunteer commitments to focus on the Dane Dems alone.

I’m a sociologist, and my great belief is that political change is fundamentally about relationships. While on the board, I have focused on weaving ties and diversifying our county party. We need to connect better with our county’s people. We need to look more like our county’s people. I have worked hard to make that happen, and I am delighted that this year we have such diversity in our board candidates.

We need even more. And we need to deepen our relationships with the many communities and progressive organizations in Dane. If re-elected to this position, I will continue to work hard to weave a broader, tighter, and more colorful fabric of progressivism.

Greg Geboski

Greg Geboski photoMy name is Greg Geboski and I’m running for Vice Chair of Nominations and Elections. I am a lifelong Democrat and over the decades have worked on campaigns and in party positions in Massachusetts, in Hawaii, and now in Wisconsin. I moved to Middleton in the summer of 2016, and got to work on the campaign here through Election Day. I have worked in Wisconsin for the Middleton Action Team and was a delegate to the 2017 state party convention.

Serving my local community will always be my first priority, but I also recognize Madison\’s special place within the Democratic Party during a critical moment in our nation\’s history. As both the capital of a crucial swing state and neighbors to the Democratic National Convention, Madison is poised to play an outsized role in the 2020 election and beyond, and I want to help keep the Dane Dems the gold standard for local political oversight. I am excited for the chance to work with my fellow Democrats in upholding the values of our great organization.

Candidates for vice chair of events

Josh Jacobson

Josh Jacobson photoI am running for Vice Chair of Events to help create a more inclusive and welcoming Dane County Dems. As a coalition, we have thus far failed to attract a diverse membership. Through tailored events, we have the opportunity to recruit people of diverse perspectives with a passion for improving our democracy.

In close collaboration with the Membership Committee, I will cast a broader net for hosting and participation opportunities within community events. In addition to our monthly meetings, I will facilitate more frequent satellite events focusing on specific topics and activities important to membership as well as providing a space for members to become better acquainted. By deepening our connection to one another as well as the broader Dane County community, we will build a stronger grassroots movement and ultimately achieve success in 2020.

I hope you will vote for me on November 13 and help me create new events, strengthen existing ones, and join others around our community more frequently!

Dorrie Sundquist

Dorrie Sundquist photoFor the past 6 years I have been Vice Chair of Development. Over those years I was responsible for bringing over $50,000 to the Dane Dems through parties, yard sales, dinners and more. I also originated “Sacrifice Your Vice,” which has brought in close to $3,000. Also, I have filled in doing jobs of the board that were undefined and therefore unassigned.

I am running for Vice Chair of Events because my strengths are in planning and outreach. In my changed role I will first form a committee and together we will reach out to Madison’s varied communities, especially communities of color and those that feel marginalized, for events that the Dane Dems can sponsor, be a part of, and help publicize. We will work with Development and Membership to create an on-line calendar where members can go to find Dane Dem and other community and politically sponsored activities and events. The calendar will also include a schedule of meetings and significant holidays. We will also work with Development and all members of the executive board to create fundraising opportunities for the Dane Dems. Thank you for your vote.

Candidate for vice chair of volunteers

Michelle Dunphy

Michelle Dunphy photoI am honored to be nominated to serve you again as your Vice Chair of Volunteers. Over the past two years, I’ve had a wonderful time sharing my enthusiasm with all of you about volunteering for our fantastic neighborhood teams. I moved to Dane County just a few years ago and when I did, I had no idea how to get involved. My goal was to make volunteering and getting involved more accessible and make sure that we were also supporting the people, like the neighborhood teams, that were doing the vital work of connecting with voters. My goal in this next term is to continue to expand our relationship with the neighborhood teams, financially supporting as much as their work as possible, and providing them assistance in terms of volunteer recruitment, as well as other efforts including the DNC Convention. Together, we are better and together, we will win.

Candidate for secretary

Meghan Parker

Meghan Parker photoI am honored to be nominated for my third full term as Secretary of the Democratic Party of Dane County. It has been inspiring to see the increase in people getting involved with the party in the last few years. I am excited to help lead the party into the crucial 2020 elections. Along with taking minutes at meetings, I enjoy helping at Dane Dems events, serving on the Campaigns Committee, and managing the Instagram account, https://www.instagram.com/dane_dems/

I am currently attending Edgewood College, majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Political Science. I have managed, interned, and volunteered on multiple local, state, and national campaigns. After politics, my second passion is theater and I enjoy visiting American Players Theatre every summer.

Candidate for treasurer

Corkey Custer

Corkey Custer photoI have represented my district on the Exec Board for almost a decade, and I have reluctantly agreed to help our party succeed in the coming struggle by serving as treasurer.

I can add, subtract, and multiply without assistance, and should more complex matters arise, I have a calculator on my phone. I will do my best to provide the executive board with up-to date financial information to make sure that our balance on 11/4/2020 is zero.