Ky. Democrats on the hunt for new party chair after Sannie Overly says she's stepping down before next election cycle

08/23/2017 03:56 PM

The Kentucky Democratic Party is looking for a new chair after state Rep. Sannie Overly informed the party’s executive committee on Saturday that she will be stepping down ahead of next year’s election cycle, KDP spokesman Brad Bowman confirmed Wednesday.

Overly, a Paris Democrat and 2015 candidate for lieutenant governor who became chairwoman of the KDP in January 2016, did not immediately return a call seeking comment on her decision.

Bowman told Pure Politics that Overly will remain in the position until a new chair is named, with a search committee comprised of representatives selected by Attorney General Andy Beshear, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Senate Democratic caucus and the House Democratic caucus plus a member from each congressional district committee and the state at-large committee tasked with identifying Overly’s possible replacements.

The party’s State Central Executive Committee will choose a new chair once the search committee completes its work, Bowman said.

“She just thought it would be appropriate that the Democratic Party open it up to a new chair going into the 2018 cycle because obviously we have to prioritize what our party does and go strong into 2018 and 2019,” Bowman said when asked about Overly’s decision.

He added that Overly has led Kentucky Democrats through “a very difficult time” in an uncompensated role with the party. Democrats lost control of the state House for the first time in nearly a century last year as Republicans won a 64-member supermajority in last year’s election cycle, which Bowman attributed to a “Trump tsunami” as the first-term president won 118 of the state’s 120 counties.

“She led the party after that difficult time, and she’s done so without any compensation, and I think she has done as well as anybody could given the circumstances,” Bowman said.

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