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About

Executive Board

  • Jaxon Ravens, Chair

    Jaxon Ravens grew up in Missoula, MT. He has a bachelors degree in politics and economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an MBA from Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management. He was the Executive Director of the King County Democrats for a couple of years at the turn of the century and has been working for the Washington State Democrats since 2004. He served as President of the Washington State Young Democrats from 2000 to 2001 and as President of the National Association of State Democratic Executive Directors from 2009 to 2013.

    In each of these roles, Ravens has lead and worked with Democrats across the state, national party organizations, local party organizations, various constituency groups, allies, candidates, and elected officials, to help elect Democrats and build the Democratic community in order to promote the values expressed in the State Democratic Party Charter and Platform.

    He spent the 1990s traveling overseas and in 2003 biked solo across the US following the Lewis and Clark Trail. Jaxon is actively involved in several local non-profit organizations including the School for Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA), where he serves as Board President, Seattle Works and the Red Cross. In 2011 he was presented with a Washington State Volunteer Service Award from the Governor. He also serves as a member of the Washington State Arts Commission.

  • Valerie Brady Rongey, Vice Chair (Spokane)

    Valerie Brady Rongey is a small business owner in Eastern Washington. Running a growing Property Management business, creating real jobs for local people in Spokane County. Fascinated with the organization and inner workings of political organizations, Valerie has volunteered for every position from booth volunteer to county party treasurer to legislative district vice-chair. Now as Vice Chair Valerie is working with parties and volunteers across the state to train PCOs and campaign staffers in the use of Vote Builder and organizing events.

  • Rob Dolin, Secretary (Seattle)

    Rob grew-up in the Chicagoland area attended public schools. He holds a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Illinois where he was active in the College Democrats and served as a precinct captain and member of the county Democratic executive committee. He moved to Seattle in 2001 to work in the technology industry and currently works on interoperability, open source, and open standards for Microsoft.

    Upon arrival in Seattle, Rob immediately applied to be a PCO, joined the 36th District Democrats, and joined the King County Young Democrats. Within local Democratic organizations he has served in officer roles responsible for communications, elections, endorsements, finance, fundraising, membership, political action, recruitment, retention, social media, technology, treasury, and web presence; including caucus coordinator for the 43rd District Democrats in 2008 where over 20,000 people attended precinct caucuses. Prior to his election as state party Secretary, Rob served as First Vice-Chair for Communications for the King County Democrats and as national Secretary for the Young Democrats of America.

    Rob volunteers as an instructor of computer science in the Seattle Public Schools through the TEALS program and has previously served on the boards of the Northwest Progressive Institute, the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, and the Pacific Northwest Anti-Defamation League. Rob and his wife, Hillary, live in the Montlake neighborhood of Seattle with their newborn son and rescued black lab mix.

  • Habib Habib, Treasurer (Marysville)

  • David McDonald, DNC Member (Seattle)

    David is firm-wide co-Leader of the Intellectual Property Practice Area at the international law firm of K&L Gates LLP. He has been a Democratic PCO since 1974. David was 46th District Democratic Party Chair from 1981 to 1984 and King County Democratic Party Chair from 1984 to 1992. He has chaired three State Democratic Conventions and been the State Party's Parliamentarian since 1981. David was the Recount Manager for Washington's historic Manual Recount in the 2004 Governor's election and the Election Contest Manager for the subsequent litigation. He has served on the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee since 2001. David has been a Trustee of Harborview Medical Center since 1998. He lives with his wife, Dr. Pam McDonald, in Seattle.

  • Ed Cote, DNC Member (Vancouver)

    Ed was born and raised in Aberdeen and attended Grays Harbor Community College and later Washington State University. He eventually went on to earn his Masters in Social Work from Portland State University and then spent 31 years with the Department of Social and Health Services. He retired from DSHS in 2001 and has served as Director of Professional Services for Lutheran Community Services Northwest since then. Ed has been involved in Democratic politics and very active since 1968. He managed his first campaign in Grays Harbor County in 1970 and has been a precinct committee officer in Clark County. He was State Committeeman for Clark County from 1985 until 1993. Ed is married to Kasey Cote and has two adult daughters.

  • Sharon Mast, DNC Member (Bellevue)

  • Lona Wilbur, DNC Member (La Connor)

  • Todd Nichols, 1st Congressional District (Snohomish)

    Todd lives in Snohomish and practices law in Everett, emphasizing labor, employment, personal injury, and litigation. He has been Chair of the Snohomish County Democrats and on the State Central Committee since 1992. He has been a member of the Executive Board since 2001 and Chair of the Rules Committee since 2004. Todd is a graduate of Annapolis and George Washington University law school. He is also on the Board of the Washington State Association for Justice. He and his wife Chris are the parents of four devoted Democrats.

  • Tom Riggs, 2nd Congressional District (Camano Island)

    Tom is a working-class husband and father who serves his community on the board of the local Chamber of Commerce, teaches Sunday school at his church, and serves the people of our great state as a Washington State Park Ranger, currently managing Camano Island State Park. He and his family live on 5 acres that they maintain as a certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat and work in a sustainable fashion, raising heritage turkeys, pigs and chickens, and maintaining a garden, berry patches, and an orchard. Tom is a member of WFSE Local 1466, and has been active in the Democratic Party, serving at various points as a delegate and a PCO, and now as State Committeeman for Island County.

  • Marsha Manning, 3rd Congressional District (Vancouver)

    Marsha is a transplanted Texan who came to Washington state in 1983. She retired from the Georgia Pacific paper mill in Camas WA in 2002 from the position of Logistics Manager, and shortly after became involved in the local Democratic Party. She served as treasurer for the Clark County Democrats for six years as well as representing the 17th LD as state committee woman. She is now in her second term as the 3rd CD Representative to the Executive Board. Although retired, she has made politics, campaigns, and community involvement a full time job. She currently is the treasurer for several candidates, runs a small PAC for county issues, and makes campaign buttons for all of the Democrats running in the election cycle. She mentors first time candidates and consults on races from city council to congress on a volunteer basis to help get their campaigns organized, up, and running and help to minimize their early costs and time.

  • Brad Taylor, 4th Congressional District (Prosser)

  • Bob Esvelt, 5th Congressional District (Rice)

    Bob Esvelt received a degree in zoology at Washington State University, followed by a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin. Despite success in Vitamin D research, Bob decided in 1979 to return to the family farm partnership to marry Becky Miller and raise a family in the mountains of northeast Washington overlooking Lake Roosevelt. A State Committeeman for the 7th District from 1993 until the present, Bob Esvelt has been Chair of the Stevens County Democrats for 12 of the past 16 years, as well as Vice Chair and Secretary, and was recently re-elected Chair. Bob has served on the Executive Board since 2001.

  • Sherry Barry, 6th Congressional District (Shelton)

  • Javier Valdez, 7th Congressional District (Seattle)

    Involved in the Democratic Party since 1988 when he attended his precinct caucus as a high school senior, Javier served as Chair of the 43rd District Democrats from 1997 to 2002 and Chair of the 46th District Democrats from 2007 to 2009. He has been a member of the State Committee since 2001 and the Executive Board since 2003. Javier was Treasurer of the Institute for a Democratic Future from 1997 to 2008. Javier has helped countless candidates and campaigns throughout Seattle, King County, and the state in his 20+ years of Democratic involvement. A former boardmember of the Washington State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and former President of Hispanic Seafair, he remains active in his Latino community.

    Born and raised in Moses Lake, Javier resides in Seattle and is a Seattle City Light employee, managing the utility's Historically Underutilized Business program. Javier is a proud University of Washington School of Business alum and received his Masters in Public Administration degree from Baruch College, the City University of New York, as a member of the National Urban Fellows.

  • Kent Verbeck, 8th Congressional District (Cle Elum)

    Kent has been active in the Kittitas County Democratic Party since 1980. He has represented Kittitas County as a State Committeeman for more than 20 years. A former Democratic County Chair, 13th Legislative District Chair and candidate for County Commissioner. He is currently a Fire District #7 Commissioner and 26-year volunteer firefightter. A resident of upper Kittitas County since 1974 and active in many local organizations, he has recently retired from work as the Security Manager at the Snoqualmie Pass Ski area.

  • Bryan Kesterson, 9th Congressional District

    Bryan Kesterson is in his second term as the state committeeman from the 47th legislative district in south King County. Prior to that he spent three terms as the district chair. He has been involved in politics off and on since working to pass HJR-6 in 1970 which lowered the voting age to 19. Bryan became formally involved with the Democratic party in 2003 with the Howard Dean campaign. He acted as Legislative District Coordinator and discovered a talent for grassroots organizing which lead him to run for chair in 2005.

    Bryan holds a Ph.D. in psychology and works in the field human factors engineering. He lives in Kent with his wife, and has a son (26) and daughter (24).

  • Zack Smith, 10th Congressional District (Olympia)

    Zach was born in Seattle, but spent time in Limu, Peru, and upstate New York before moving to Vashon Island in high school and later to Olympia. Zach has worked as a printer for the Washington Federation of State Employees since 1985. In that capacity he has been afforded the opportunity to work as a union organizer, contract negotiator, shop steward, and political action coordinator. Zach is a unionist and with that believes that there is nothing that a small group of committed people cannot achieve. He believes that organized labor is directly responsible for many human rights that we all enjoy, like the 40-hour work week and benefits for working families such as health care and pensions. Zach is passionate about bringing people together who have relative interests.

  • Alec Stephens, Affirmative Action Chair

    Alec is Diversity Technical Advisor in the Diversity Programs Office of Sound Transit (the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority). A member of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) since 1980, he specializes in civil rights law and policy, and is the 2013-14 Chair-Elect of the WSBA's Civil Rights Law Section. Before coming to Sound Transit, Alec served as an administrator and policy advisor at King County/Metro, at the Seattle Urban League, and as Regional Attorney for the Northwest Regional Office of the U. S. Civil Rights Commission. He is state committeeman for the 37th Legislative District.

    Prior to service with the State Party, Alec served as a Vice Chair of the King County Democrats, Chair of the 37th Legislative District, and Delegate and National Rules Committee member to the 1992 and 1988 National Conventions, respectively. In 2012, Alec was a Washington Presidential Elector, casting one of Washington's 12 Electoral Votes for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Active in his community and his church, he currently serves on the City of Seattle Park Levy Oversight Committee, and has served on the St. Therese Catholic Church Pastoral Council, where he currently serves as a greeter.

    He and his wife, Helena, live in the Seward Park neighborhood in southeast Seattle.

  • Elaine Phelps, President of the Federation of Democratic Women