Arkansas Democrats Elect New Chairman

Posted September 16, 2013 at 3:16pm

Arkansas Democrats selected businessman Vincent Insalaco of North Little Rock as their new party leader at the state committee meeting in Springdale on Saturday.

Former Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Will Bond announced in late July that he would step down from the position. On the heels of that announcement, Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe quickly backed Insalaco as Bond’s successor.

Now that he officially runs the party, Insalaco is charged with helping Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor — one of the most endangered incumbents of the 2014 cycle.

National Democrats have also suggested they want to target Republican Rep. Rick Crawford in the 1st District and Republican Rep. Tim Griffin in the 2nd District. But, for now, those seats are rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Last week, Natural State Democrats also announced that Patrick Burgwinkle, most recently of the Democratic National Committee, joined the state committee as the communications director. He succeeds Candace Martin, who is now the party’s executive director.

A Pelican Brief

The Louisiana Democratic Party launched a new program last week called “Campaign for Louisiana” and named Andrew Zucker as its communications director.

The goal is to boost Louisiana Democrats, namely Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, who is up for re-election in 2014.

Zucker worked on President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, for the AFL-CIO in Ohio, the Ohio Democratic Party and as press secretary on Democratic Sen. Edward J. Markey’s 2013 Massachusetts special election campaign.

“[Andrew’s] experiences working on winning campaigns will help guide Sen. Landrieu and the rest of our ticket to victory in 2014,” Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk said in a statement.

The Tennessee Un-Volunteer

Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Director Kevin Teets abruptly quit his post, The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported last week.

State party Chairman Roy Herron told the paper that Teets left “to pursue new opportunities.” But the Times Free Press characterized the exit as evidence of continued chaos in the state party.

Emily Cahn contributed to this report. Please send news of developments in the political industry to and follow us on Twitter @RCShopTalk.