Political consultant Shad Murib will lead the Colorado Democratic Party for the next two years after being chairman Saturday in a three-way race.
Murib received about 52% of the vote of 535 central committee members on the second round of voting at Saturday’s state party organizational meeting, defeating party volunteer Tim Kubik, who received 48%.
Howard Chou, the former first vice chair of the party, received 29% of the vote in the first round, and was dropped from the ballot as bylaws require. Murib received 43% on the first round and Kubik 30%. Fifty percent of the vote was required to win outright in the first round.
Several high-profile Democrats endorsed Murib, including former U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter; state Sens. James Coleman, Julie Gonzales, Nick Hinrichsen and Dylan Roberts; and state Reps. Barbara McLachlan, Elizabeth Velasco and Meghan Lukens.
Murib vowed to grow the party’s majorities and work on local elections.
“Whether you’re a moderate from Douglas County or progressive from Boulder, I want to make sure that we are not only growing our majority, but that we’re sustaining it in the long term,” he said. “And so that means going to the places that we haven’t won yet.”
Murib succeeds Morgan Carroll, a former state Senate president who led the party to a string of electoral successes during the last six years. She announced in December that she would step aside.
In her opening speech Saturday, Carroll cited those accomplishments including electing and reelecting Democrats to the top four statewide offices, receiving a standing ovation.
“You helped us defeat Donald Trump and (former U.S. Sen.) Cory Gardner,” Carroll said. “You helped us flip the 6th Congressional District. … You elected Yadira Caraveo as the first representative of the new 8th Congressional District. Over the past six years, we regained the majority in the state Senate. And we have now grown to our largest majorities in the Colorado House and the Colorado Senate.”
Murib worked for Gov. Jared Polis’ 2018 campaign and U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper’s 2020 U.S. Senate race. He served as state director for Hickenlooper before starting Ulysses Strategies, his consulting firm. He is married to former state Sen. Kerry Donovan. Carroll earned about $73,000 as party chair last year.
Saturday’s Democratic meeting in downtown Denver lacked the drama of the Republican organizational meeting last month. Former state Rep. Dave Williams, of Colorado Springs, won the chairmanship on the third round of voting after indicted former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters withdrew and threw her support to Williams. Both Peters and Williams continue to falsely claim that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election.
Plenty of elected officials, who are automatically members of the central committee, showed up at the Democratic event, including U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Reps. Yadira Caraveo, of Thornton, and Joe Neguse, of Lafayette.
Several Democratic state senators attended (including Sen. Kevin Priola of Henderson, who switched from Republican to Democrat last summer), as well as Treasurer Dave Young, Secretary of State Jena Griswold and Attorney General Phil Weiser.
But state House members missed the event because they were debating three reproductive health bills in yet another Saturday session.
Republican House members also missed their central committee organization meeting March 11 because the House was debating gun bills that day.