On Thursday, William A. Anthony Jr. announced via email that he’d be stepping down as Chair of the Franklin County Democratic Party next year when his term ends. In his email he also recommends a successor: Greg Schultz.
Shultz is the State Director of the Ohio branch of the Organizing for America campaign, was recently one of the 18 finalists for an open position on Columbus City Council, and can be found twittering @SchultzOhio.
The full text of Anthony’s email announcement is below:
Dear Committee Members,
Effective March 1, 2011 at 6:00 p.m., I will be stepping down as chair of the Franklin County Democratic Party. I have enjoyed my tenure as chair and consider my time serving the party as some of the most rewarding experiences of my career. I have seen this county get Bluer and Bluer and I am confident that it will continue in that direction. Under my leadership and with the support of so many committed officerholders, volunteers, candidates, and, of course, all of our great elected and appointed committee members, we have done an incredible job of electing Democrats to office locally, statewide and nationally.
Many of you may not know that I started this journey at the ripe old age of 17, when I had an opportunity to meet Presidential candidate, Hubert Humphrey who was also our sitting Vice President at the time. He was visiting Columbus and as his motorcade stopped in front of Blackburn Recreation Center I had the opportunity to shake his hand and tell him what I thought was wrong with our country. He directed me to the local party. I started volunteering and each election cycle I did more and more. However, it was not until Denny White became chair that I was given an opportunity to really step up to the plate. Under his leadership I became a vice chair of the Franklin County Democratic Party, then I succeeded him as chair.
We have achieved many notable accomplishments since I have been chair: for starters, I became the first African American chair of the local party; we elected Lori Tyack the first Democratic Municipal Clerk in the 90-plus year history of the office; Jan Gorniakbecame the first ever Democratic Coroner in Franklin County; we won all three Franklin County Commission seats; we continue to hold onto the Franklin County Treasurer’s office; we helped the greatest mayor in the United States, Michael B. Coleman, get re-elected in 2003 and 2007; we have retained all seven seats on Columbus City Council since 2003; we have a Democratic majority on the Columbus School Board; and we elected an additional four members to the Ohio House of Representatives, despite the heavily-Republican gerrymandered districts.
While my term officially ends in 2012, I have decided that I will not seek re-election. Since we all know 2012 is the presidential election year, I believe it is prudent to step down now so that my successor can hit the ground running and focus on winning this year and building towards next year’s crucial races.
I am recommending to the committee that Greg Schultz replace me as Executive Committee chair. I think it is important that I leave the party in the hands of someone who has been instrumental in our success, and Greg is that person. He is currently the State Director for President Obama’s Organizing for America group and he is well-suited to take over the reins of the local party. I have worked with Greg on numerous elections throughout my tenure as both a vice chair and the chair of the party and I believe strongly that the party will be well-positioned to achieve even more with Greg at the helm.
Last but not least, I want to thank you for all of your support and guidance over the years. None of our successes with the local party would have been possible without the dedication, commitment, and passion of committee members like you.
William A. Anthony Jr., Chair
Franklin County Democratic Party