Michigan Democratic Party will have an African-American leader for the first time in history
The Michigan Democratic Party made history Saturday as delegates chose Lavora Barnes as the next party chair. With the decision, Barnes, who currently serves as chief operating officer, becomes the first African-American to ever lead the Michigan Democratic Party in the state’s history. Barnes says, while it’s been a long time coming, she understands the historical significance of the moment.
“It definitely should have happened before now,” Barnes said. “It is shocking to some folks that we have gotten to 2019 and we are just getting here, but it something to be celebrated. Because the African-American community and particularly women, we work really hard for this party. So it is a big deal to finally have someone at the head of the party who looks like so many people who look like so many who work so hard for the interests of this party.”
In 2016 state Democrats failed in their efforts to deliver Michigan to Hillary Clinton who lost the state to President Donald Trump by a narrow margin. Barnes says the party must learn from the mistakes of the last election as attention shifts towards 2020.
“Our challenge is to get to work, get activated and to get motivated before we have a nominee,” Barnes said. “I will tell you that whoever that Democrat nominee is going to be the next President of the United States.”
Meanwhile, Michigan Republicans are also gearing up for the 2020 race as its party will also see new leadership after their party convention meets later this month.