The Vermont Democratic Party has a new executive director. Josh Massey takes on the party's top staff position on Monday, replacing Conor Casey, who announced in May that he was taking a job with the Vermont-National Education Association. Massey's hire was announced Friday afternoon.
The Dems' state chair, Terje Anderson, noted that the party was looking for someone with Vermont experience because the transition is coming in the middle of campaign season. Massey is a past chair of the Washington County Democratic Party and headed the Dems' 2014 coordinated campaign — the party's central effort to support the entire ticket.
"He's been around the track here," Anderson said of Massey. "He's ready to come in without needing a 'Welcome to Vermont' primer."
"Vermont is a very special place that can be an example on social justice," said Massey. "We have a huge responsibility to write our own future."
When asked about his priorities in the new job, he said, "We want to win this fall. We want a veto-proof majority [in the House] and to win back the governorship."
The 40-year-old Massey is a native of Kentucky. After living in Vermont and working for the state party for a few years, he and his family moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2015 where he worked for the Progressive Housing Society, an organization that found housing for homeless people.
Regarding his move to Canada, he said, "We thought the blue wave would continue, and either Bernie [Sanders] or Hillary [Clinton] would be elected. On Election Night , I realized that to run away from a challenge isn't a good way to solve anything."
So, when some were contemplating a move to Canada, Massey did the reverse.
He and his family settled in Winooski this past February. His wife, Melissa, is a yoga instructor. They have three children: 20-year-old Eden (who is a restaurant manager in Denver, Colo.), 11-year-old Clayton and 9-year-old Yemaya.