Idaho Democratic Party Executive Director Sally Boynton Brown announced her decision on Friday afternoon. Please see her statement below.
In the meantime, Sally is working with the IDP leadership to transition out of her role. Chairman Marley and the Personnel Committee have asked Dean Ferguson to be our interim Executive Director to ensure our Party doesn’t lose any momentum as we work for a successful 2018 election cycle. He will begin next week and continue until our Personnel Committee concludes their search for an Executive Director. You can contact the Party Vice Chair, Van Beechler () with any questions you may have regarding the transition.
My dearest friends –
After close to seven wonderful and challenging years working for the Idaho Democratic Party, I have decided it is time to move on. When I started at the IDP, as field director, I said I would stay 5-7 years and I am proud of all we have accomplished in that time. With visionary, flexible, and open-minded Democratic leaders—from counties all across Idaho—I was just one person in a team of hundreds who have turned the IDP into the vibrant, resilient Party it is today.
We have come out of two very difficult election cycles—2014 and 2016—however the Party has responded by growing stronger and growing our membership. The way toward electoral wins has been difficult and even disappointing and our Party has responded by doubling down and working harder and smarter. We should all be incredibly proud of the work we do here in Idaho.
Let me share with you just a few of our successes that I am particularly proud of. First, under my guidance we started our Party’s multi-semester internship program that has become very popular with students, advisors and our partners. We now give students structured, meaningful experiences that lead toward success and connect them with other political organizations to get an idea of the full spectrum of work we do. Did you know that the IDP Digital and Media Director Shelby Scott is a product of this program? I couldn’t be more proud.
We also have made a much needed change in how we recruit and support candidates. Historically, many candidates were often not made fully aware of their chances for outright election wins. The former belief was that Party leaders needed to be careful not to discourage people by telling them they can’t win. However, we took a different, more forthright approach. We used data to gauge the likelihood of Democratic success in any given district. Then we determined whether we were recruiting candidates for districts where our goal was to offer a progressive choice for voters against an opponent whose success was all but certain (Affiliation campaigns); or for a district that was in a position where it could be won over a successive number of election cycles (Education campaigns); or a district that we could win outright (Persuasion campaign). We then supported these candidates with multiple trainings, in person and virtually, directed them toward vendors, connected them with our ever-expanding resource base, including our digital campaign tool box, and did all we could to set them up with campaign basics and basic infrastructure for free or little cost.
A final success that I am proud of is that we have moved this organization into the black financially. We have set up a rainy day fund which means that we don’t have to fire staff or cancel programming or interrupt our innovative work because of any difficult budgetary direction changes. We have created professional outreach to donors and broadened our donor base. We now rely on more people to keep this organization in the black, which means that we have less exposure should one of our larger donors decide to invest elsewhere.
I have not yet decided where my next step will take me. However, I have several options and am proud to say I was one of the few folks interviewed for DNC Executive Director by Perez’s team. I promise to let everyone know as soon as Burr and I decide. We will continue to make Boise our home and Burr will continue to be an integral part of IDP operations and continue the investment we have made this last decade in Idaho politics. Please know that I would welcome staying in touch with all of you. I consider every person at Idahodems to be family and will forever be grateful for all you have taught me this last decade. Facebook, email () or (208) 440-2374 will all continue to be good ways to contact me.
In the meantime, I am working with the IDP leadership to transition out of my role. Chairman Marley and the Personnel Committee have asked Dean Ferguson to be our interim executive director to ensure our Party doesn’t lose any momentum as we work for a successful 2018 election cycle. He will begin next week and continue until our Personnel committee concludes their search for an executive director. You can contact the Party Vice Chair, Van Beechler () with any questions you may have regarding the transition.
I want to thank everyone who has helped me grow in this position. I want to thank everyone who has helped me and a staff of amazing Idaho Democrats move this Party in a position to make real gains in 2018.
Much love and as always, warmest regards,
Sally Boynton Brown