Ivan Holmes, the new chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, is planning to get to know Democrats across the state.
Holmes, elected Saturday to a two-year term, pledged to go to each of the state’s 77 counties to help recruit candidates for every state House and Senate race.
Holmes, 69, said he realized the need for state party officials to work with local party officials while he worked as campaign manager Lloyd Fields in his successful race for state labor commissioner.
“Most of them said you were one of the few Democrats that showed up,” he said. “That’s the reason most of them supported me.”
His visits, he said, will build the Democratic Party from “the bottom up.”
“So that the people out there in these counties have some input into what’s going on,” Holmes said.
Holmes, a retired journalism professor at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, will give up an annual salary of about $50,000 as Fields’ communications director at the Labor Department.
Holmes, of Oklahoma City, said he wants to make the state Democratic Party more visible by holding regular news conferences.
He also wants to organize young Democrats across the state, he said.
Lisa Pryor, the party’s outgoing chairman, did not seek a second two-year term for the unpaid position. She will stay on until the end of this month as the party’s executive director, which has an annual salary of about $60,000.
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