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Christale Spain Becomes First Black Woman to Lead Democratic Party in South Carolina

Christale Spain was elected as chair of South Carolina’s Democratic Party, becoming the first Black woman to lead the organization in what will be the Democrats’ leadoff presidential voting state in 2024. 

“South Carolina – we did it! I am honored to be the first Black woman to ever chair our party,” Spain’s campaign tweeted. “We made history, and our work is just getting started.”

The 2024 Democratic presidential primary process will begin on Feb. 3 after the Democratic National Committee (DNC) voted earlier this year to overhaul the primary calendar. 

Spain takes over in a wave of changes across state Democratic parties in 2024. With the party’s recent revamp of its primary schedule, four of the five states in which Democrats will vote first next year – Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and South Carolina – now have Black women chairing their state parties. 

Spain called her victory “a historic moment for our party, for women,” and pledged to implement “year-round voter engagement” and mobilization efforts, in hopes of garnering more statewide wins for the party, as the nation’s attention hones in on South Carolina for the 2024 cycle. 

“I now know from all the experience, all of the volunteering, all of the jobs that I’ve held, the importance of this role, who is setting the stage, who is implementing the strategy, so that we can win,” Spain told reporters.

Spain takes over from Trav Robertson, who has led the party since 2017 and recently announced he wouldn’t seek another term.

Spain garnered support from several party leaders including Rep. Jim Clyburn for whom Spain worked doing constituency service and outreach in his district office. She was also endorsed by former party leaders such as Robertson and Jaime Harrison, who preceded Trav Robertson as state chair and currently leads the Democratic National Committee. 

Harrison said Spain “has the experience, judgment, and strategic vision to get South Carolina Democrats back on the winning track, and I know she will be an excellent chair.”

Spain, 46, is highly experienced in South Carolina’s political spheres. She worked as a political director for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (D-VT) 2016 presidential campaign and served as Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) state director for his 2020 White White House bid. 

She founded a political action committee, 46 Hope Road, aimed at energizing voters who had been inactive since Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, and worked on Black voter engagement for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2022 midterms.

DNC Chair Jaime Harrison tweeted that Spain’s election is “historic” and “long overdue”. 

“I’m grateful to President Biden and @theDemocrats members’ leadership in elevating new, diverse voices that for too long were not heard, to lead the way,” he added.


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