Photo by Robert J. Wilson
                      Stephen Handwerk

The Louisiana Democratic Party announced the conclusion of a national search and the appointment of Lafayette resident Stephen Handwerk as the new executive director of the state party. A member of the Lafayette Parish Democratic Executive Committee, Handwerk has served as interim director since the state party’s most recent chairman, Buddy Leach, was ousted in late April. The Ohio native has more than 20 years experience in Democratic politics including serving as co-chair of the National Stonewall Democrats, which represents LGBT members of the party.

“Stephen’s worked hard during this transitional period since April and has grown into a key member of our Democratic Team,” says Louisiana Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson in a press release announcing the appointment. “His dedication to Democratic principles and to building a strong grassroots organization bode well for the future of our state party. Building a strong team is essential to building our Democratic ranks and conveying a strong, positive vision for the people of Louisiana.”

“I am incredibly humbled and excited about the future,” Handwerk says. “The job of the state and local parties is to provide the right tools in order for our elected officials and party activists need to be successful. I see my job as largely providing and sustaining those very tools. Under the leadership of Chair Peterson and our outstanding and diverse executive committee we will be making those investments and working very hard to support our members.”

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