For the second time in less than a year, the Vermont Democratic Party is looking to fill its top staff position. Its current executive director, Josh Massey, plans to leave his post later this month.
Massey's predecessor, Conor Casey, resigned in June 2018 — just as campaign season was kicking into high gear — to take a position with the Vermont-National Education Association. Massey was hired in July.
As a former party staffer, Massey had the experience to step in at a crucial time. But now, he’s not sure he wants to go through it all again. “It’s a lot to put my family through,” he said. “2018 was my third election cycle with the party. I’ve served my time.”
Massey and party chair Terje Anderson say they reached a mutual decision that it was better to cut ties before the next campaign season begins.
“I’ll be picking up some of the executive director functions,” Anderson said. “We’re taking our time and evaluating the job description. We plan to have someone on board by sometime this summer.”
After the 2018 election, the party cut loose all but two of its paid staffers: Massey and political director Brandon Batham. Now, Anderson said, a rebuild has begun. Spencer Dole is on board as House campaign director; he can often be seen prowling the Statehouse halls. The party plans to rehire R. Christopher DiMezzo as communications chief, effective April 23, thanks in part to a union contract signed between party and staff in 2017. “Under the contract, Chris had call-back rights,” Anderson said. “But we would have hired him anyway.”
Eventually, Massey plans to seek employment with a labor union. Between now and then, he's going to go to work for his wife, Melissa. "She owns a yoga clothing business, Subtle Soul Studio," Massey said. "Her business is really growing, and I’m going to help with a big festival coming up in June."