Barbara Boxer+John Burton

John Burton, California Democratic Party chairman, introduces U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, during a California Democratic Party’s convention in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, April 17, 2010. |

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
June 27, 2015

  • Executive Director Shawnda Westly steps down, takes role of ‘senior strategist’
  • Chairman John Burton confirms he will leave office in 2017

California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton confirmed Saturday he will not seek re-election when his term ends in 2017, and the party’s executive director, Shawnda Westly, has stepped down in anticipation of his departure.

Westly said in an email to party leaders Friday that she will stay on as a paid senior strategist and that her role, if not her title, “stays the same.”

Burton, 82, was not expected to seek another term after next year’s presidential election, but Westly’s move came well before the end of Burton’s term. Chris Myers, the party’s managing director, replaces her as executive director.

Westly said the changes are designed to provide “for a smooth transition … which prioritizes institutional knowledge and allows for ‘time on the job’ prior to the new Chair assuming office.”

She said Angie Tate, the party’s chief financial officer, also plans to leave the party when Burton’s term expires.

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