- File photo
- Electra Johnson
Many will remember Johnson as the Democrat who ran an impressive 2016 campaign for the District 3 El Paso County Commissioner seat that was won by Republican Stan VanderWerf. She was chosen to serve a two-year term as chair of the party on Feb. 4 by precinct chairs and central committee members.
Johnson says she wants to do more outreach and stand for issues that Democrats need to “own” — from women and minority rights to environmental protections. Democrats, she says, are the only party that can stop President Donald Trump’s agenda.
“We have some serious strength in this community, but we need to come together,” she says.
Johnson replaces Kathleen Ricker, who served three terms and was not running for reelection. Johnson ran against Shari Zabel in what insiders have said was an ugly competition with accusations of misdeeds on both sides.
Zabel, who was elected as an executive committee member and House District 16 chair, says the campaign exposed a rift in the local party. “It’s definitely not pulling together,” she says of the Dems.
Johnson, while acknowledging that the campaign was “an uglier race than the one I had with Stan,” says she was out of the country for most of the race. She says she hopes the party can heal its wounds and focus on next steps. “I really want to open the doors and welcome more people into the party,” she says.