Governor David A. Paterson Approves Leadership Changes At New York State Democratic Committee

June O’Neill To Lead Executive Committee Upon Return From Medical Leave; Jay Jacobs Tapped For Chair

ALBANY, NY — July 12, 2009 – With major hip surgery temporarily sidelining New York State Democratic Party Chair June O’Neill, she has announced she will step down from her current position. Governor David A. Paterson has asked O’Neill to become Chair of the Executive Committee (the party’s number two post) and has asked Nassau County Chair Jay Jacobs to become the new Chair of the New York State Democratic Committee. These leadership changes, to be voted on by the Committee, would be effective at the Fall meeting.

Statement from Governor David A. Paterson:

“June O’Neill has served our party and my administration with great passion, dedication and energy. She enjoys the admiration and support of people from one end of this great state to the other, people who have seen her fight for Democratic principles during her more than 30 years of service. Her efforts have allowed us to make great strides as a party, including helping our party raise $12.9 million. Although we will miss one of our ‘winningest’ state party chairs in New York history, I understand and support her wish to put her health first.”

“I am delighted that June will continue as Chair until the Fall State Committee meeting, and has agreed to be nominated as Chair of the Executive Committee. This will allow her to continue to be intimately involved and provide us with advice and counsel going forward. In light of her wishes, I am asking the State Committee to support the highly regarded Jay Jacobs, Nassau County Democratic Chair as our next State Chair as well as June O’Neill as Chair of the Executive Committee. I have tremendous faith that Jay and June will make a tremendous team for our party.”

Statement from June O’Neill:

“I have been in close contact with Governor Paterson for the past several months about my desire to cut back on the travel and time required to continue as State Chair. My recent surgery is requiring significant recuperation and a severely curtailed travel schedule for the next six weeks. This change is the best course of action for me, my family, and the party. It is an honor to have been elected by the outstanding men and women who serve as Democratic County Chairs, members of the State Committee, our Democratic elected officials and Democrats across this great state. I hope the State Committee will support my decision and elect me as the next Chair of the Executive Committee in the Fall. I look forward to continuing to be actively involved in party affairs as well as preparing for Democratic victories in 2010.”

“Jay Jacobs and I have worked together on many Democratic victories, and have become political allies and personal friends. Over the summer, Jay and I will be in close contact with the State Committee members and County Chairs to ask for their support this Fall to elect us as their new leadership team for the Democratic Party.”

Statement from Jay Jacobs:

“I am honored that Governor Paterson has confidence in me to lead the State Party and build upon June’s good work. I’m delighted that she will continue as Chair until the Fall State Committee meeting and has agreed to be nominated to serve as Chair of the Executive Committee. As she recovers, I look forward to speaking together with June to county chairs, State Committee members, and other elected and party leaders to ask for their support. I am dedicated to ensuring that our state party is fully mobilized, united, and ready for victories in 2010.”

Background:

As Chair of the State Party since January of 2007, O’Neill has:

· served under two Governors;

· been elected twice by unanimous vote of the State Committee;

· overseen 14 Special Elections (with Democrats winning 13 times – including key State Senate victories by Craig Johnson and Darrel Aubertine, and electing Scott Murphy to Congress in NY-20);

· been elected to the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Democratic Chairs;

· been a member of the Democratic National Committee;

· served as a superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2009;

· served as a member of the historic 2009 Electoral College;

· raised and spent a total of $12.9M to elect and re-elect Democrats at all levels of government in New York State;

· presided over electing a majority of Democrats to the State Senate for the first time in 90 years;

· helped local party organizations so that there are now more registered Democrats than Republicans in upstate New York for the first time in history.

As Nassau County Democratic Chair since October of 2001, Jacobs has:

· helped Nassau County elected its first Democratic County Executive since the 1960s;

· helped elect and reelect a Democratic Comptroller and elected a Democratic District Attorney;

· elected more Democratic judges in the past seven years than in all prior years combined;

· helped the County Party raise over $10 million;

· battled the strongest Republican machine in the country and now has more registered Democrats than Republicans for the first time in history.

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