The Kentucky Democratic Party recently hired Mary Nishimuta as director. While this may seem like small news in a deep red state, it could very well be the best chance the party has to make any sort of comeback in the 2018 mid-term elections.
One of the greatest challenges the party faces is citizens’ reluctance to vote. Many Kentuckians who once felt at home in the party have abandoned it, calling Kentucky Democrats “Republican Lite.”
However, Nishimuta’s hiring shows an effort to unite traditional Democrats with more progressive Kentuckians who, in the past, felt abandoned by the party.
Nishimuta, a former Bernie Sanders staffer, has said she hopes to draw in young progressives and independents, while still working with Kentuckians who have been active in the party for decades.
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As a member of the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition, a youth-based progressive organization, I am enthusiastic about the hiring of Nishimuta.
In my work with KSEC, I’ve met a number of individuals who either choose not to vote or vote for independent candidates who are unlikely to win a statewide election.
I am hopeful that Nishimuta can rally Kentuckians of every demographic around a progressive candidate with the concerns of all Kentuckians in mind.