Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was re-elected Monday to a second one-year term as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, which lost ground in the 2016 elections, at the group’s winter meeting in New Orleans.
He will be succeeded in 2018 by Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also was elected to the DGA leadership team: He will serve as policy chair for 2017.
Democrats did poorly in 2016 when they defended more seats than Republicans. The GOP won open races for governorships that had been held by Democrats in Missouri, New Hampshire and Vermont, but Democrats unseated North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who didn’t concede the close race until Monday.
“Governor Malloy’s leadership in 2016 helped the DGA recruit strong candidates, set fundraising records and win the marquee governor’s race in North Carolina while protecting all three Democratic incumbents,” said Elisabeth Pearson, the executive director of the DGA.
The Republican Governors Association offered its tongue-in-cheek thanks to the DGA for keeping a “failed governor Dan Malloy, who just guided Democrats to their worst gubernatorial election losses in 95 years, as their Chairman for 2017.”
The electoral map is friendlier to Democrats in the next cycle of elections: Twenty-seven of the 38 governors up in 2017 and 2018 are held by Republicans.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be chosen by my fellow governors for another year as DGA chair in 2017,” Malloy said. “As Democrats, there is nothing more important we can do as a party than to begin rebuilding at the state level. That’s why we must elect Democratic governors in 2017 and 2018.”
Some of the governors elected to four-terms in 2018 will influence redistricting of congressional and state legislative districts after the 2020 census, raising the stakes of those elections. There are 35 states where governors play some role in the redistricting.