February 6, 2021 Media

Minnesota DFL Party Elects New Leadership Team

Today, members of the DFL Party State Central Committee gathered to elect new leaders of the Minnesota DFL Party. Those elected leaders include:

  • Chairman: Ken Martin
  • First Vice Chair: Marge Hoffa
  • Second Vice Chair: Shivanthi Sathanandan 
  • Treasurer: Tyler Moroles 
  • Secretary: Ceri Everett 
  • Outreach and Inclusion Officer: Cheniqua Johnson 

DFL Party leadership positions are for terms of two years. Biographies of new DFL Party leaders are included at the end of this release.

“I am honored to have been re-elected Chairman of the Minnesota DFL Party alongside a fantastic slate of organizers and activists that are ready to double down on our party’s winning record,” said DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin. “When I first took over the DFL Party in 2011, we were deeply in debt and reeling from a series of electoral defeats. Ten years later we have turned the party around and it is stronger – organizationally, financially, and electorally – than ever before in its 77 year history” 

Since Ken Martin was first elected DFL Party Chairman in 2011, the Minnesota DFL Party has:

“The DFL Party must be firing on all cylinders going into this next election because so much is at stake,” added Martin. “We’ll be taking on redistricting and reorganizing local units and the 2022 midterms, where all 201 of our state lawmakers, all of our members of Congress, and all of our state’s Constitutional offices will be up for election. The good news is that the DFL Party is stronger than we ever have been, and with an amazing new slate of leaders at the helm of our party and our movement, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.”

Below are biographies and headshots of the new DFL Party leadership ticket.

Chairman Ken Martin

Ken Martin is currently Chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party, President of the Association of State Democratic Committees, and a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. Martin was elected unanimously to a third term as President of the Association of State Democratic Committees by State Party Chairs and Vice Chairs on January 21, 2021.

Chairman Martin is currently serving his sixth term as chairman of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), the Minnesota branch of the Democratic Party. He has held this post since 2011—making him the longest-serving chairman in the 75-year history of the DFL.  Under Ken’s leadership over the past 10 years, the DFL Party has seen unprecedented success electorally, financially, and organizationally.  Martin has not lost a statewide election during his time as Chair and there has never been a 10-year period in DFL party history that has seen more electoral success up and down the ballot.

As ASDC President, Martin created a comprehensive strategy to increase our Democratic Party’s support for State Party organizations. The vision was to create a true partnership with the DNC and a real 57-State Party strategy to build durable long-lasting infrastructure, ensuring that no State Party was left behind and that we seized on all opportunities, big and small.  This plan led to robust investment, significant growth, and a greater impact at the ballot box.

Martin has played key leadership roles around the country in political parties, candidate campaigns, issue campaigns and on the independent expenditure side.  Before he was elected Chairman of the Minnesota DFL, Martin helped run campaigns up and down the ballot from Presidential, U.S. Senate, Congressional, Gubernatorial, State Legislative, and local offices.  In addition, Ken led a Minnesota-based donor collaborative where he helped develop, fund, and direct independent expenditures in Minnesota. 

In 2008, Martin led the campaign that successfully passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, which to this day is still the largest conservation finance measure to pass in our nation’s history, as well as the highest vote-getter for an issue referendum in Minnesota.

Martin lives in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife Jennifer O’Rourke and their two sons, Samuel and James.

First Vice Chair Marge Hoffa

A former Senate District and Congressional District Chair, Marge Hoffa first ran to serve as the Vice Chair of the DFL Party because she knew improvements needed to be made to the party and she wanted to contribute to this work. Marge is running to continue her service as the First Vice Chair because while the party has made many gains, she knows that work remains to be done to support activists and candidates around the state.

Second Vice Chair Shivanthi Sathanandan 

The current DFL Party Outreach Officer, Shivanthi Sathanandan, is running to serve as the party’s Second Vice Chair. Shivanthi knows the future is bright with possibilities, but Minnesota is deeply divided, and communities are searching for unity. As Second Vice Chair, Shivanthi will immediately work to build coalitions with communities outside of the traditional party infrastructure. The party must invest resources in building authentic relationships, listening to community members, understanding the issues most important to them, crafting messaging that resonates, and getting that messaging to them in effective ways throughout the year – not just at election time.

Treasurer Tyler Moroles

Since his election as Treasurer in 2017, Tyler Moroles has supported local party unit treasurers by identifying challenges and areas for improvement. In 2018, Tyler worked to build a more inclusive party by creating the “POCI the House” initiative. Tyler led efforts to door knock, phone bank and raise money for first-time Minnesota House candidates of color. This helped to elect the most diverse House membership in history. During the 2020 pandemic and presidential election, Tyler worked in affordable housing during the day, managing millions of dollars in emergency rental assistance funds, and volunteered his evenings to phonebank, having conversations with Spanish speakers in critical districts. As Treasurer, Tyler will continue to support party unit treasurers and to build on the DFL’s outreach and inclusion efforts.

Secretary Ceri Everett 

For nearly 20 years, Ceri Everett has been involved with the DFL Party and has served in leadership positions in MYDFL, Goodhue-21 DFL, and SD21, and the CD2 DFL. A veteran special education teacher, Ceri grew up in and lives in Red Wing. Ceri is passionate about organizing in rural communities and is eager to bring her experience to the ticket. As the party’s Secretary, Ceri will ensure a clean and timely line of communication to SCC party leaders; increase the party’s efficiency, particularly in the areas of communication, including the SCC listserv, so that everyone gets what they need when they need it; and be an advocate who is willing to listen, learn, and help.

Outreach and Inclusion Officer Cheniqua Johnson

Cheniqua Johnson (she/her) is a 2018 Team Ellison alumna where she worked as his Staff Assistant and Intern Coordinator in his congressional district office in North Minneapolis. She is a first-generation college graduate and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Family Social Science from the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota in 2017. Post-graduation, Cheniqua has worked predominantly in community organizing, politics, and is now philanthropy. Some of her previous roles include being a Legislative Assistant for the United States House of Representatives Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation, Honorary City Council member of the City of Worthington, Minnesota, and District Outreach Coordinator for Hennepin County Commissioner Angela Conley. A member of the SCC since 2018 Cheniqua was the youngest DFL-endorsed woman, and one of the first women of color to run for state office in her hometown of Worthington. As the Outreach & Inclusion Officer, Cheniqua will broaden the DFL Party base to elect leaders who share our values; explore new candidate/campaign team training strategies for the DFL Outreach & Inclusion Committee; and ensure all voices are welcome, heard and valued.