Local man to vote on Democratic Party’s future

Anderson advocates public engagement

By Tom Benton

Staff Writer

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‘The parties, whether they’re Democratic, Republican, progressive, independent — they’re us. We can make of them what we are.’

- Terje Anderson, DNC Committeeman

MONTGOMERY — The Democratic National Committee (DNC) doesn’t just vote on a new party chair at the end of the month. In doing so, DNC delegates will also vote on a new direction for their party after an unforeseen defeat in last fall’s presidential election. Montgomery’s own Terje Anderson will be among the voters.

Anderson was elected Vermont’s DNC Committeeman in May 2016. He works with Vermont DNC Chairwoman Mary Sullivan, of Burlington, who was elected at the same time.

He isn’t new to Democratic Party politics, or even to his “committeeman” position: Anderson previously held the position in 1988, and was re-elected in 1992 and 1996. Anderson stepped down to work on the board of the National Association of People with AIDS in Washington, D.C. He became the organization’s policy director in 1998, and worked as its executive director from 2000 to 2006.

Anderson said he hasn’t been so politically active for the past 10 years, until the presidential election, during which he did campaign work and was urged to run for the committeeman position once more. “You have to give a speech in front of several hundred people,” Anderson said. “I guess I gave a good-enough speech and they liked what I said about the DNC.”

He chose either the best time or the worst time to take the job, after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received more electoral college votes than Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, the forecast frontrunner in the race, to the shock of the Democratic Party. “Obviously, I don’t think most of us at the time thought this was the situation we’d be finding ourselves in,” Anderson said.

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