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About Us

Who We Are

The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) is an independent voluntary political organization organized to support Democratic governors and candidates across the nation.

The DGA is proud to support the Democratic governors in 23 states and 4 U.S. territories, as well as the mayor in Washington, D.C.

What We Do

As the only organization dedicated to electing Democratic governors and candidates, the DGA participates at all levels of campaigns, from providing resources to fund operations to helping articulate and deliver their messages.

The DGA also helps governors lead their states. We serve as a clearinghouse of best practices to help governors and their staff share their policy successes and learn from each other.

DGA Leadership

Chair

Tim Walz 
Governor of Minnesota

Tim Walz’ career has been defined by public service, from serving our country in the military to serving Minnesota students as a high-school teacher and football coach to serving Minnesota in Congress.

Born in a small town in rural Nebraska, Walz’ parents instilled in him the values that guide his commitment to common good and selfless service. Soon after his high school graduation, Walz’ enlisted in the Army National Guard. He attended Chadron State College and graduated with a social science degree in 1989. Harvard University offered Walz an opportunity to gain a new perspective on global education by teaching in the People’s Republic of China from 1989 to 1990, where he joined one of the first government-approved groups of American teachers to work in Chinese high schools. Upon his return from China, Walz served full time in the Army National Guard, and accepted a teaching and coaching position. More importantly, he met his future wife, Gwen Whipple, who was teaching at the same school.

Gov. Walz and Gwen Walz moved to Mankato in 1996, where they began working at Mankato West High School. In addition to teaching social studies, Gov. Walz helped coach the Mankato West football team that won the school’s first state championship. After 24 years in the Army National Guard, Command Sergeant Major Walz retired from the 1-125th Field Artillery Battalion in 2005.

Gov. Walz won his first election to the United States House of Representatives in 2006, and was re-elected for another five terms serving Minnesota’s First Congressional District.

Vice Chair

Laura Kelly
Governor of Kansas

Headshot of Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly seated and smiling.Gov. Kelly grew up in a military family and learned the importance of service, integrity and accountability at a young age. She lived all over the world, but she and her family wanted to put down roots in a place with great public schools and vibrant communities. Kansas was an obvious choice.

As governor, Kelly has worked tirelessly to rebuild the state’s broken foundation. Since taking office, she fulfilled her promise to fully fund public schools, led the passage of a comprehensive 10-year infrastructure plan, eliminated Kansas’ food tax, and secured the largest economic development project in state history. All while balancing the state’s budget, as promised.

She continues to pursue policies good for Kansas families, and is fighting to expand affordable health care to approximately 150,000 Kansans.

Finance Chair

Phil Murphy
Governor of New Jersey

As Governor, Phil Murphy has restored New Jersey to its historic role as a progressive national leader. Gov. Murphy has succeeded in raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, securing paid sick leave for all workers, and requiring equal pay for equal work. He restored funding for Planned Parenthood and women’s health initiatives. He has embarked on one of the nation’s most-aggressive plans for generating offshore-wind electricity.

Prior to becoming Governor, Gov. Murphy served as the United States Ambassador to Germany under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013. He had also previously served as National Finance Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Gov. Murphy, who was born and raised in the Boston suburbs, graduated from Harvard University in 1979 and earned his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife, First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy, are the parents of four children: Josh, Emma, Charlie, and Sam.

Strategic Engagement Chair

Josh Shapiro
Governor of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro smiling and looking to his left.Throughout his career as a public servant, Josh Shapiro has taken on the status quo and brought people together to solve tough problems.

Josh grew up in Pennsylvania, watching his parents serve their community — his father was a pediatrician, and his mother was an educator. Their example inspired Josh to enter into public service, and from a young age, Josh recognized that standing up for others was how he wanted to spend his career.

During the 2020 presidential election, Josh protected the right to vote and defended Pennsylvania’s election result, winning in court dozens of times before and after Election Day. As Governor, he continues to call out the dangerous lies that undermine our democracy and provide steady, strong, and competent leadership to protect Pennsylvanians’ fundamental rights.

Josh and Lori live in Montgomery County with their three school age sons, and their eldest daughter attends the University of Pittsburgh.

Policy Chair

Gavin Newsom
Governor of California

California Governor Gavin Newsom, wearing a white collared shirt, speaking into a microphone and looking to the left.On January 6, 2023, Gavin Newsom was sworn in for a second term as Governor of California.

Gov. Newsom was born and raised in San Francisco. He graduated from Redwood High School in Marin County and received a baseball scholarship to Santa Clara University where he studied political science.

Gov. Newsom has established himself as a leader at the forefront of policy initiatives in arenas such as gun safety, same-sex marriage, education affordability and access, criminal justice reform, climate action, and universal health care.

Gov. Newsom and his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom have four children: Montana, Hunter, Brooklynn, and Dutch.

Green Governors Chair

Jay Inslee
Governor of Washington

During Jay Inslee time in Congress, Jay became known as a forward-thinking leader, especially on issues of clean energy and the environment. He co-wrote a book, “Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean-Energy Economy,” about a national program to fight climate change through clean energy innovation and job creation.

As governor, Jay’s top priority is growing Washington’s innovative industries such as clean energy, information technology and life sciences, and strengthening existing industries such as aerospace, agriculture, maritime, and the military. Since 2013, Washington has experienced a 30-year low in unemployment rates and record exports. Washington has been a leader in the fight against COVID-19 and in protecting and saving lives.

Women Governors Fund Chair

Maura Healey
Governor of Massachusetts

On November 8, 2022, Maura Healey made history, becoming the first woman and first openly gay person elected Governor of Massachusetts, as well as the first openly lesbian governor elected in American history.

In 2014, Maura was elected the first openly gay Attorney General in the country. She was reelected in 2018. As the People’s Lawyer, Maura took on some of the most powerful institutions on behalf of Massachusetts residents. She protected student borrowers and homeowners from predatory lenders, sued Exxon Mobil for lying about climate change, and held Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family accountable for their role in fueling the opioid epidemic. She made the AG’s office the first statewide office to implement paid leave for families and established the office’s first-ever Community Engagement Division to go out directly into communities, share resources, and empower people through education about their rights.

Maura delivered strong, steady leadership as AG, particularly through the tumultuous years of the Trump presidency and COVID-19 pandemic. She leads with a focus on teamwork, collaboration, open lines of communication, and bringing people together. As governor, she will bring people together to make housing more affordable, improve public transportation, expand job training and transition to a clean energy economy.

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