Department of Party Affairs

The Executive Department is lead by the Executive Vice President and manages alumni relations. All members of this department serve on the YDWA Executive Board.

Sarah Kohout, Vice President of Party Affairs

Sarah KohoutSarah Kohout is a recent graduate from Western Washington University, when she was there she studied Political Science and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Since graduation, Sarah has been the Campaign Manager for City Councilor Anders Ibsen’s reelection campaign to the Tacoma City Council and has been the Washington State Labor Council Legislative Intern for the 2016 legislative session. This is her fourth year on the YDWA board and her favorite part of the experience so far is meeting young democrats from across the state and working with the wonderful YDWA Party Affairs Department. In her spare time, Sarah registers people to vote, watches Netflix (currently watching The Office for the 4th time), pets her adorable rabbit, and reads political feminist books.

Joanna Nesgoda, National Committeewoman

Joanna NesgodaJoanna loves being involved with YDWA! She grew up in Northern Idaho where she honed her skills at being liberal in a deep red area.  After college at Seattle University, she moved with her husband to Wenatchee, WA, where she has adapted to the more conservative landscape thanks to her upbringing.  She is a graduate of the Institute for a Democratic Future (Class of 2013-Go Wolfpack!) and sits on the board of the Chelan County Democrats.

Joanna works as a legal assistant in areas of corporate law and litigation, and in her free time she enjoys traveling, music, wine tasting, being a foodie, hiking, and playing with her two crazy dogs.

Phil Gardner, National Committeeman

Phil HeadshotPhil Gardner is excited to serve as YDWA’s National Committeeman. Phil has worn a lot of different hats in Democratic politics after starting as a high school campaign volunteer in Pierce County. He managed Congressman Denny Heck’s 2014 re-election campaign, worked as a communications director on Capitol Hill, and served as Campaign Director for the largest College Democrats chapter in the nation. Most importantly, he once appeared on Nick News with Linda Ellerbee. Life hasn’t been the same since.
Phil lives in Seattle, works in digital communications, and convinces himself every spring that it’s o.k. to believe in Mariners baseball for one more season.

Seamus Davis, WSDCC Representative

Seamus DavisSeamus has been involved with the Washington State Democrats since 2012, when he worked as an organizer for the Obama campaign in Spokane and represented Washington as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Since then, he has served as the chair of the Spokane County Young Democrats and the vice chair of the Young Democrats of Clark County, as well as the Western Washington Director for YDWA. Having graduated from Eastern Washington University with degrees in History and Government, Seamus is currently enrolled as a graduate student in public affairs at Washington State University Vancouver.
Seamus believes youth should play a stronger role in the Washington State Democrats, which is why he is excited to serve as the 2015-2017 YDWA WSDCC representative. Working together with party leaders and his fellow Young Democrats, he hopes to help make the party more responsive to the needs of young people.

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