FRANKFORT — The chairman of the state Democratic Party has announced he will step down from the position and said Wednesday that Gov. Steve Beshear will tap a key aide to take the job.
Charlie Moore, who has been the volunteer chairman of the Democratic Party since March 2009, said he told Beshear at the time of his appointment that he would be able to serve for only one year. Moore, a lawyer in Union County, said Wednesday he needed to return to his law practice and spend more time with his family.
"I was only supposed to be in the position for a year, and we've stretched that a little bit," said Moore, whose last day will be June 30.
Moore said Wednesday that Beshear will recommend that Daniel Logsdon, the governor's deputy chief of staff, take over as chairman.
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The 51-member Central Committee of the Kentucky Democratic Party will vote Saturday on Moore's replacement. According to the by-laws of the party, the governor recommends the party chairman, but the choice must be approved by the party's central committee.
Key Democrats also said Wednesday that the committee will consider making the job a full-time, paid position.
To save money, the party asked people to serve as chair without compensation beginning in 2003. But few people have been able to afford to stay in the job for long because of the long hours and lack of pay, creating turnover in the leadership position.
"Particularly in times when elections are going on, we need someone who is devoting all of his or her energies to running the party," said Jennifer Moore, a former Kentucky Democratic Party chairwoman. "It's too much to expect from a volunteer."
Charlie Moore said he thinks Logsdon is a lock for the job.
"The governor has selected someone that our party will be confident with," he said. "Dan has great support from all the leaders in the party, including Jack Conway."
Conway, the attorney general, faces a tough fight in November for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, who is not running for re-election. Republican Rand Paul, a Bowling Green eye surgeon, leads in most polls.
Jennifer Moore said the new Democratic Party chair will have to work hard to control the message this election cycle. Republicans have already started to link Kentucky Democrats with President Barack Obama, whose approval ratings are low in Kentucky.
"We want to be on the ground," Moore said of the party. "A chairman will be out there traveling the state, being accessible to the entire Democratic Party and to voters."
Jerry Lundergan, who has been Democratic Party chairman twice during the past 25 years, said the party will need someone who is organized and has the ability to raise millions of dollars. It takes a minimum of $2 million a year to run the party, Lundergan said.
"I think we are a united party, but we need to be re-energized," he said. "If I were to give him any advice, I would tell him to work very, very hard to organize every precinct in the state to include those people in the decisions of the party."
Logsdon, who could not immediately be reached for comment, was named Beshear's deputy chief of staff in September.
Before joining the Beshear administration, Logsdon worked for Windstream Communications for five years, supervising local and state government affairs in Kentucky and Pennsylvania.