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San Diego Democrats Elect New Leadership Team

The San Diego County Democratic Central Committee has unanimously elected Jessica Hayes as the new Chair of the County Party, tapping her to lead at a time of particular urgency and grassroots energy.

Having served for four years as South Area Vice Chair, Hayes ran with the full support of Francine Busby, who chaired the County Party since 2013. Busby spent her first months deftly managing the challenge of the Filner crisis and went on to help the Party grow significantly in voter registration and resources. At the helm, she achieved a 70% win rate for local endorsed candidates in 2016.

“I look forward to working with Jessica Hayes and know that she’ll be a bold leader who will continue the growth and progress that we have built over the past decade,” said Busby, who will remain on the Executive Board and plans to remain active in the Party. “We are in good hands.”

Hayes is well qualified to take on the position. She chaired the County Party’s Personnel Committee and served on its Administration and Finance Oversight Committees. As Vice Chair, she raised funds, presided over endorsement meetings, mentored candidates, oversaw coordinated campaign offices, and developed valuable relationships with Democratic activists, leaders, and elected officials.

“I'm deeply honored to have been elected to chair an organization that has become a powerful force in San Diego politics,” said Hayes. “This is a time for the Democratic Party to organize and lead from the ground up, and I look forward to building on our success.”

Hayes began her political involvement at the age of fifteen, when she walked door-to-door to support the Equal Rights Amendment.  She served on the campaign kitchen cabinet for Diane Feinstein's campaigns for governor and senator and has worked on numerous campaigns since then.

In addition to Hayes as Chair and Busby as Past Chair, the newly elected officers of the San Diego County Democratic Party’s Executive Board are: 

  • Taisha Brown, Central Vice Chair
  • Eric Hereford, East Vice Chair
  • Melinda Vásquez, North Vice Chair
  • Luis Osuna, South Vice Chair
  • Anthony Montalvo, Secretary
  • Xavier Martinez, Controller
  • Steve Castaneda, Director of Administration
  • Hugh Rothman, Director of Grassroots Organizing
  • John Loughlin, Director of Clubs