Colmon Elridge was elected chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party on Saturday by the party’s State Central Executive Committee after being nominated to the position by Governor Andy Beshear. Elridge will follow outgoing chair Ben Self, who became chair in 2017 and announced in September that he would be resigning from the position at the end of the year.
Elridge, a native of Cynthiana, Ky., has a long history in Democratic politics. He served as DNC Outreach Director for the KDP in 2007, was a national committeeman for the Kentucky Young Democrats from 2008-2009 and was the Executive Vice President of the Young Democrats of America from 2009-2011.
In Kentucky, Elridge served as a special advisor to Gov. Steve Beshear from 2007-2015 and recently served as government relations director for the Kentucky Education Association. Elridge is a graduate of Transylvania University, holds an M.B.A. from Sullivan University and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of the Cumberlands.
Elridge will be the first African-American chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party.
Elridge said he was honored to be selected as chair of the KDP.
“As a Kentuckian, it is an honor to be asked to lead my party into the future. I am grateful to Governor Beshear for his friendship, his guidance, his leadership, and his trust in my ability to lead our party. As a father, it is humbling to be able to live out the prayer my parents prayed for my sister and I, and that Victoria and I pray for our three boys — that when they grow up, they can be anything they want to be — including the head of their own state political party. As a black man who was the first person in his immediate family to have been born with the right to vote, it is an honor to be able to make history today. I believe the Kentucky Democratic Party has a strong future ahead of it and I can’t wait to apply things I’ve learned from my experience to help Democratic candidates win in 2022 and beyond.”
Gov. Andy Beshear said Elridge has the experience, leadership and ethics to lead the party going forward.
“I’ve known Colmon for a long time and I can’t think of a better person to continue to build the Democratic Party here in Kentucky. Colmon is a devoted father and husband who is committed to trying to build a better world for his kids and all of Kentucky’s kids. As chair, Colmon will work every day to elect Democrats committed to public education, access to quality and affordable healthcare and good paying jobs.”
In a statement, outgoing chair Ben Self said the future of the party is in good hands with Elridge.
“As a Kentucky Democrat, I’m excited that Colmon Elridge will lead our party into the future. As a party, we have made great progress and laid the groundwork for future success for Democratic candidates. We have built and hopefully will continue to build a permanent campaign infrastructure that allows our party to speak to Kentuckians all year around with no “off-years” so that we can build the trust needed to win elections when the time comes. I know that Chairman Elridge will take that foundation and run even further with it in the years to come.”