Leadership change coming to Dutchess Democratic Committee

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Julie Shiroishi

POUGHKEEPSIE – Long-time Dutchess County Democratic Chairwoman Elisa Sumner is not seeking re-election when the party conducts its convention in mid-December.

She refused to discuss her decision with Mid-Hudson News on Monday.

Julie Shiroishi, a committee member who lives in the City of Beacon, has expressed interest in running for the party’s top post.

She said she is running because she believes in the “aspirational ideals of democracy, freedom, and equality laid out in our nation’s founding.”

Shiroishi said as a child of an immigrant and an American-born citizen who graduated from high school and into an internment camp during World War II, “I also recognize that our ability to live in a fair and equitable democracy is not a given.”

She said as Democrats, “we are the shepherds of a legacy created by well-intentioned but imperfect people. It is our responsibility to both preserve and expand what it means to live in a democratic society and build a better world for future generations.”

Joe Torres, co-founder of Latino Democrats of Dutchess County, said if Shiroishi is elected as chairwoman, the party can “look forward to a  more inclusive, respectful, and inviting Democratic Committee that reflects all the communities we serve.”

Shiroishi currently serves as chief of staff to State Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson (D-Newburgh).