The National Democratic County Officials (NDCO) is the official campaign arm of the Democratic Party dedicated to electing Democrats at the county level. NDCO will empower county commissioners, sheriffs, registers and other county officials to work together and build the infrastructure of the Democratic Party.  The following candidates are in a position to become NDCO’s next generation. 

Devan Allen
Tarrant County Commissioner District #2 (Texas)

Allen is well-positioned to become the second Democrat on the Tarrant County Board of Commissioners.   She has served in outreach capacities for Democrats in the state legislature, and her personal story of triumph is inspiring.  This is a great opportunity for Democrats to earn a seat at the table in a county where we need to have a better footing.  The past chair of the National Association of Counties is the only Democrat on the board.  Devan comes highly recommended from labor allies in the state. 

Diana Barrera
Nueces County Clerk (Texas)

Barrera is attempting to win back her old job after being defeated by 614 votes in 2014.  Nueces County is home to approximately 360,000 people and includes the Corpus Christi area. 56% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race. Trump received 48.8% of the vote to Clinton’s 47.2% vote in 2016.

Barbara Butterhof-Rheault
Atlantic County Freeholder (New Jersey)

Butterhof-Rheault is an educator and leader with the New Jersey Education Association. She has the backing of the local party and is running to increase educational and employment opportunities. Two of three Freeholder victories for Democrats swings control of the board. 

Carol Carter
Median County Commission (Ohio)

A current Mayor, Carter won her current post by a mere six votes in 2015.  Now, she is looking to break through in Medina County and put the commission on the map in 2020. 

Pam DeGryse
Kent County Commission (Michigan)

A former teacher with well-known name identification, Ms. DeGryse needs to develop tools in order to leverage the favorable political climate.  Helping her to professionalize her campaign is imperative.

Marc Elrich
Montgomery County Executive (Maryland)

Elrich, a three term County Councilman won the Democratic nomination by defeating a better funded opponent by running as progressive with strong support from organized labor. In heavily Democratic Montgomery County outside Washington DC, this should be an easy victory. Unfortunately many of the business interests who opposed Elrich in the primary are supporting the independent campaign of Democratic Councilwoman Nancy Floreen. Floreen has the support of much of the developer and business community that are opposed to Elrich’s progressive agenda. Elrich, who is taking public financing in his campaign will likely be outspent by Floreen.

Celeste Fernandez
Atlantic County Freeholder  (New Jersey)

Celeste has extensive background at the intersection of health care and labor, formerly working in a local UNITE HERE HEALTH office.  Her trailblazing campaign has been met with strong support from establishment Democrats.  Two of three Freeholder victories for Democrats swings control of the board. 

Mike Hamper
Ashtabula County Commission (Ohio)

Hamper brings a refreshing perspective to Ashtabula County, which has been dominated by Republicans.  This young upstart comes highly recommended and is seen as a potential foothold in the county, where a win this cycle would put the county in play in 2020. 

Lindsy Judd
Washoe County Commission #5 (Nevada)

Judd is a prime pick-up opportunity in Washoe County.  The incumbent held the seat in 2014 with 56% of the vote.

Kitty K. Jung
Washoe County Commission #3 (Nevada)

Commissioner Jung is the only incumbent Democrat up this cycle on the Washoe County Commission and will need to maintain her standing as Washoe becomes an area of focus for both parties.  She is well-situated to win reelection. 

Unzell Kelley
Coosa County Commission (Alabama)

Kelley is the current chair of NDCO.  Despite his long-standing efforts in the county, he faces insurgent opposition from Republicans.  Ensuring his work continues is a priority. 

Vicki Kline
Portage County Commission (Ohio)

Klein currently serves as the President of the Portage County Commission as Democrats maintain a two-to-one seat majority.  Appointed Commissioner Mike Kerrigan will be on the ballot next cycle and both contests will be highly competitive as either race will determine control of the commission. 

Maureen Leidy
Atlantic County Freeholder (New Jersey)

Leidy is an outspoken advocate for Democratic values.  Two of three Freeholder victories for Democrats swings control of the board. 

Brianna Lennon
Boone County Clerk (Missouri)

Boone County is a small swing-county in Missouri that identifies best with Columbia and the University of Missouri.  The current Board of Commissioners includes two Democrats and one Republican.  Lennon has worked closely with Jason Kander and seeks to replace a long-time retiring incumbent who was a leader in progressive election administration across the state.  She ran for office in 2016 and was the third-highest vote getter among county Democrats. 

Joan Lopez
Arapahoe County Clerk & Recorder (Colorado)

Lopez is a proud Democrat having served in the County Clerk’s office for 17 years.  Arapahoe County is home to nearly 428,460 registered voters with Democrats maintaining a partisan 25,000+ registration advantage.  NDCO has active membership in Arapahoe, and this race offers a unique opportunity to defeat an incumbent Republican administrator who has been very active within election administration circles. 

Bob McCollister
Lawrence County Commission (Ohio)

McCollister is a former educator who is running on an education platform to help reinvigorate his home county.  He is the son of a steelworker that understands the economy of the past will not re-emerge. His election will put Democrats on the map in Lawrence County and make the 2020 decisive in terms of partisan control.   

Betsy Melton
Kent County Commission (Michigan)

Ms. Melton is an incumbent running in a district that could become competitive.  She needs to continue to serve and ensuring her campaign has the resources to develop professionalized tools will help cement her incumbency.

Fred Miller
Macomb County Clerk  (Michigan)

Miller, a former state legislator that previously chaired the Michigan House Labor Committee, is seeking to absolve the county from the Karen Spranger nightmare.  The clerk maintains some functions with regard to elections administration and serves in a county that swung for Trump with 53% in 2016 despite deep Democratic roots.  Given Macomb County’s role as a pivotal swing county, it will be important for Democrats to exhibit strong leadership and values in the years to come. 

Danny Plaugher
Henrico County Commissioner  (Virginia)

Plaugher is one of only a few county candidates on the ballot this November in Virginia.  This seat will determine control of the Henrico County Commission, a commission that Democrats have only brief controlled in recent history.  Plaugher is facing a well-financed Republican opponent but overlap from a competitive Senate and House race is seen as mitigating factor.  Baseline funding here would give Plaugher the communication tools needed to connect with an ever-changing base of constituents. 

Carolyn Rice
Montgomery County Commission (Ohio)

Rice looks to retain a Democratic seat on the Montgomery County Board.  She now serves as the County Treasurer.  Interestingly, by holding this seat the composition of the three-person board would be all Democrats and all women.  Further, the other two commission seats will be up in 2020, and each incumbent won with less than 52% of the vote in 2016. 

Phil Skaggs
Kent County Commissioner  (Michigan)

Skaggs is leading efforts in Kent County to flip the commission.  He and his team have identified the critical races where Democrats need to outperform expectations.  A seasoned leader, Phil also must win his own race.  Democrats should pick-up a few seats, but overcoming the 13-6 disadvantage will require all hands on deck.

Monica Sparks
Kent County Commission (Michigan)

Ms. Sparks is receiving national attention due to her twin sister’s opposing political views and candidacy.  Monica is running to bring common sense values to the Kent County Commission and help to flip commission control.

Tim Swager
St. Joseph County Commission #1 (Indiana)

Swager is 30 years old and a first-time candidate running in a complicated county system.  St. Joseph County is serviced by a County Council and County Commission.  The Commission is a three-person body that serves in the role of executive.  Currently controlled by Republicans, when elected Swager will shift the balance of power to Democrats.  The county is home to 270,000 people, and the county seat is South Bend. Senator Joe Donnelly lives in this county commission district.

Diane Trautman
Harris County Clerk (Texas)

Diane Trautman represents what may be the most consequential county race in the entire country.  The Harris County Clerk administers the elections in Texas’ largest county, which includes the city of Houston, is home to over 4,500,000 people, and ensuring fair elections will help end the systematic voter suppression that has been taking place in Harris County.

Harris County is an incredibly diverse county. As of the 2015 Texas Population Estimate Program, the population of the county was 4,530,268, non-Hispanic whites 1,323,437 (29.2%). Black Americans 817,096 (18.0%). Other non-Hispanic 395,206 (8.7%). Hispanics and Latinos (of any race) 1,994,529 (44.0%). Hillary Clinton received 54% of the vote in Harris County in 2016.

Trautman came through a contested primary tested and ready.  She is receiving support from local organized labor and the Texas Democratic Party establishment. 

Stephen Wooden 
Kent County Commissioner  (Michigan)

This is a race that Democrats will need to win if they hope to make any progress in Kent County.  The most likely race to flip in the county, Wooden is running a professional campaign and hitting all of the necessary benchmarks.

Kalie Work
Washoe County Recorder  (Nevada)

The Recorder has some involvement in election administration and ultimately works with the appointed register of voters to administer elections.  Work comes from the private sector where she will bring state-of-the-art best practices to the role currently held by an entrenched national leader in election administration circles.  Synergy with other races in Washoe County also make this race a great opportunity. 

Strategy 2018

Official Endorsements

NDCO is identifying the key races that will make a difference in 2018 and beyond.  Highlighting viable candidates that represent shared values is central to the NDCO mission.   

When we talk about county races to friends and allies we often characterize the Harris County Clerk’s race as the most important race you have not heard about. Democrat Diane Trautman is running against an incumbent Republican in this blue territory of Texas that needs to take a fresh look at a wide-variety of policies and procedures. Trautman has experience in county government and will bring an open-mind to voter access, election security and administration.  Voter suppression has long been a tactic used by Republicans across the country, it is time for Democrats to do something about it. 

And if you want to know what that will mean in the future…. A county of 4.5 million people that supported Hillary Clinton with 54% of their vote having a fair election administration might just have an impact on the six Congressional seats, and 15 state legislative seats currently held by Republicans in Harris County.

Electing Democrats to Countywide Office. Winning Democratic Majorities on County Boards. Defending Democratic Incumbents

and Assisting Democratic Challengers. Increasing Minority Representation in County Government.