DLCC Announces Senior Staff Ahead of 2023-2024 Cycle

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WASHINGTON — The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is announcing its slate of senior staff members as it prepares for the crucial 2023-24 election cycle. Fresh off a historic 2022 election where the DLCC helped state Democrats orchestrate the best midterm year at the state level in modern history, the DLCC’s senior staff is ready to empower state Democrats to protect our most fundamental rights, expand the committee’s data-driven operation, and continue implementing its Path to The Majority strategy to flip more seats in the years to come. 

“State Democrats beat the odds and delivered the best midterm year in modern history thanks in large part to the talent and vision of the DLCC’s incredible senior staff,” said DLCC Interim President Heather Williams. “These leaders understand the importance of state legislatures and the crucial role state Democrats will play in protecting abortion access, voting rights, and our democracy itself. With our proven track record, data-driven operation, and incredibly talented senior staff, the DLCC is positioned to continue delivering big wins in 2023 and beyond.”

The DLCC is the official Democratic Party committee dedicated to winning America’s state legislatures. In 2022, the committee raised $50 million to elect state Democrats across the country and helped orchestrate the best midterm year for state Democrats in modern history. This year, DLCC President Jessica Post is stepping back to begin her personal leave until the summer of 2023 — current Executive Director Heather Williams will act as interim President in Post’s absence. With Williams, the following senior staff are ready to lead the crucial committee to even greater heights in the coming cycle:

Interim President – Heather Williams

Heather Williams is the interim President of the DLCC, where she proudly leads the Democratic Party’s official campaign arm for state legislatures. One of the country’s premier experts on the state level, Heather brings an unparalleled level of experience working with state Democrats all across the map — including over a decade at the DLCC. Heather has brought the DLCC to new heights, drastically growing its fundraising, expanding its staff, and enacting a bold vision to build the DLCC into the premier force for Democratic legislative politics. 

Interim Executive Director – Heather Kashner 

Heather is a skilled political leader and organization builder with 25 years of experience on three continents leading candidate campaigns, political programs, and teams for LCV, EMILY’s List, and the National Democratic Institute. She has coached and consulted for leaders in the DNC, state parties, state-based PACs, non-profits, and the private sector. 

Vice President, Communications – Gabrielle Chew 

Gabrielle leads the communication strategy for the committee and brings over a decade of experience in strategic political communications that includes building brands and messaging for a variety of state-based campaigns. She previously developed messaging and brand-building initiatives for the US House Democratic Caucus through her role as the communication director for the House DPCC, and led communications for the Congressional Black Caucus and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03). 

Vice President, Digital and Mobilization – Jose Cornejo 

Jose joined DLCC in June 2021, where he just led the committee to have its best-ever election cycle of online fundraising. Prior to joining the DLCC, Jose worked at the Democratic National Committee as email director.

Vice President, Finance – Josh Handelman 

Josh leads DLCC fundraising efforts and has helped the committee grow its revenue by over 200%. He previously led finance teams for some of the nation’s most competitive US Senate campaigns, including the 2014 election of US Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii and for 2016 Democratic nominee Katie McGinty of Pennsylvania. 

Vice President, Data and Analytics – Stephanie Hendrick 

Prior to joining the DLCC in 2021, Stephanie was the Data Strategy and Targeting Director at BerlinRosen. She also served as a Regional Targeting Director at the DCCC during the 2018 cycle and has worked on a number of statewide and presidential races. 

Vice President, Political and Strategic Initiatives – Leslie Martes 

A veteran political strategist, Leslie leads the DLCC’s political department and has worked on campaigns at organizations running large-scale electoral efforts, including at the League of Conservation Voters. 

Vice President, Research – Will Rusche 

Will brings almost a decade of experience in political research to the DLCC, including two terms of service at the White House under both Presidents Obama and Biden. He was previously Chief of Staff at illumis, a tech startup building public data research tools, and has conducted research on hundreds of federal and state-level candidates, including during his time at EMILY’s List, as well as on independent projects.

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