Dean looks to become DNC chair

(U-WIRE) WASHINGTON – With a majority of the votes and his opposition quitting the race, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean will most likely become the new Democratic National Committee Chair Feb. 12 when Democrats vote to replace out going Chairman Terry McAuliffe.

The final opposition candidate to Dean, former U.S. Congressman from Indiana Tim Roemer, announced his resignation from the race Tuesday only days after Michigan State Director for John Kerry Donnie Fowler and Democratic Activist Simon Rosenberg quit the race.

“I got in the race because I wanted to see change in the Democratic Party. I want to see the DNC get back to its real mission: To help each candidate and assist state and county parties to achieve new standards or performance,” said former candidate Donnie Fowler in a press statement. “Dean has brought with him a grassroots movement that will reinvigorate the Democrats with new activism and new voters.”

Focus on grassroots organization and movement helped Dean mobilize support in the presidential primaries last winter. With such projects as online threads, Web blogs, online donations and meetups, the Dean campaign sparked interest and excitement about grassroots cyber political activism, especially among young voters.

According to the University of Maryland’s youth voter research institute, approximately 21 million 18 to 29 year olds voted, 9 percent more than in 2000.

All that online cyber political activism translated into dollars. Alternet.org reported that, “attendees of Meetups for Democratic Party presidential candidates reported making an average of $312 in political contributions last year.”

“Young Democrats need to be involved and they need inspiration,” said Laura Gross, Communications Director for Democracy for America. “We need to make it real for them.”

As DNC Chairman, Governor Dean plans on using the same successful techniques from his campaign for the presidential nomination in mobilizing and invigoration young voters to participate in local and state races.

“We plan on involving a lot of college organizations,” said Gross.

Cyber political activism and the reach of internet technology makes politics accessible to every student in every dorm room across the nation and political strategists are hoping to translate cyber activism into political participation.

Some students however, don’t see the internet as the perfect solution.

“I may read one or two emails,” said Syracuse University Senior Kevin Heidt. “But after that, I delete it. It becomes spam.”

Dean has continued his focus on young voters, speaking to sold out crowds at universities across the country about his plan for the Democratic Party. In December, Governor Dean spoke at the George Washington University in a media event sponsored by Democracy for America.

“Election by election, state by state, precinct by precinct, door by door, vote by vote, we’re going to lift this party up,” Dean said at the event. “And we’re going to take this country back for the people who built it.”

“They need to be clear about how it will affect me personally,” said Syracuse University Senior Kevin Heidt. “Otherwise, I have other things to worry about.”

“We do know college kids,” said Gross, who is confident that Governor Dean use internet technology will make it possible to engage and encourage students to participate. “College students have grasped internet technology.”

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