The Iowa Democratic Party’s chairwoman and executive director are leaving.
Sue Dvorsky of Coralville was vice chair of the party in mid-2010 when the chairman resigned for health reasons. She steered the party through that election cycle and stayed on as chairwoman for the 2012 election. Dvorsky helped guide the effort that erased the Republican voter registration edge in Iowa in the months leading up to November 6th.
“Clearly we were making inroads in terms of message and candidates with people who had set out to vote and they didn’t register ‘no party,'” Dvorsky said earlier this week when talking about voter registration numbers. “They registered ‘Democratic’ because our candidates were talking about what they wanted to vote for.”
Dvorsky is a retired school teacher. Her husband is a state senator. She says the party’s in good shape and it’s time to move on. Norm Sterzenbach, the party’s executive director, is leaving as well. The state’s top elected Democrat — Senator Tom Harkin — says the pair did “tireless” work in getting more Democrats registered to vote in Iowa and in preserving Iowa’s first-in-the-nation Caucuses. Since Harkin’s likely to run for reelection in 2014, it will be Harkin who leads the process for selecting a new party chairman.
Even though there won’t be a presidential election in 2014, the out-going party chairwoman said earlier this week that 2014 will be an “active” year for Democrats with a U.S. Senate race and a race for governor.
“Given all that, I am absolutely convinced that voter registration and a robust field organization and a coordinated effort is going to be part of whoever is running at the top of that ticket,” Dvorsky said.
State Representative Tyler Olson — a lawyer from Cedar Rapids — is one of the names that has surfaced during speculation about Dvorsky’s successor.