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A message from our new Chairman


We probably don’t know each other yet, but I’ve just been selected to be chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party.

Here’s what you need to know: my wife Becca and I have three-year-old twins. My family comes from Pike County, and I’ve spent most of my life in Lexington. I started a brewery. And I really don’t like politics.

That might sound weird for the new chairman of a political party. But I decided to run for chair because I think politics has become too much about the game and not enough about the consequences for people’s lives.  

I first got inspired by Governor Howard Dean, who showed us that the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party can take it back from the incompetent and insular insiders who are happy to just muddle along. He didn’t get to be president, but he was a party chair who put people at the center of the party’s work. We need to get back to that.  

Kentucky Democrats have done some amazing things for this state -- from the state park system in the ‘50s to our community college system in the ‘60s, to the country-leading implementation of the Affordable Care Act here in Kentucky we called Kynect.

We’re a party that cares about the middle class -- that believes everyone who works should make enough money to put food on the table and a roof above their head, and that nobody should die for lack of access to affordable health care.

It’s been just two years of the Bevin administration, but we’ve seen enough. The people of Kentucky are rising up, in protests and town halls in communities everywhere. And they’re with the Democratic Party, the party of the people -- not the party of the Koch brothers and Steve Bannon and their twisted ideological fantasies.

This is a new role for me. Making a new Democratic Party also means a new role for you.

First: I want you to run for office. If we don’t compete, we can’t win. Virginia showed us just last week that every seat can be competitive. Now is not the time for back-room games and smoke-filled rooms in Washington and Frankfort. If you’re receiving this email and reading this sentence, you are likely someone who cares enough about our future that you ought to consider running for something. And I’m going to help you figure it out if you let me know you’re interested.

Sign up to take that first step in running for office.

Second: you can commit to volunteer to help someone who had the audacity to click on that link above and consider putting their name forward. Think about the hundreds of like-minded Kentuckians, some even in your town, who are right now thinking about taking the leap. I’m committed to doing everything I can to help them. I hope you’ll help, too.

Join us to volunteer and start building a new KDP.

Third: your dollars matter, too. Think about what it would mean to elect Democrats up and down the ticket in November 2018 and beyond. Now think about how much you care about being part of making that happen -- and translate that into a monthly contribution. Whatever number you can afford, your monthly, sustained commitment will impact the budget and planning for this party, and make a powerful statement of grassroots support for reducing the influence of big money in politics.

Make a monthly commitment here.

Finally: forward this message to somebody. Tell them which of those three things you’re willing to do. And most importantly, tell them why.  

I’m excited. Excited about the future, and excited about the candidates who are already signing up to represent you and the Kentucky Democratic Party.

The Republicans have driven our country and our state into the ditch. In Frankfort and in Washington, the Democrats are going to get things sorted out.

Please join me. My email is You can find me on Twitter at @bself.

I look forward to talking with you more.

In solidarity,