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“John Gromada’s ascension to Rockland Democratic Party chair on Monday offers a change in direction for a divided political organization. Gromada, a critic of party leadership, took the helm after acting chairman Chris Sampson withdrew, following months of internal strife and court battles. Gromada and his supporters went to court in September after the party named Sampson as chairman without a ballot vote.
Gromada, a Nyack Democrat, promises change to a party that holds a countywide registration majority but has lost ground outside of Democratic bastions of Ramapo and Haverstraw. Republicans control the town governments of Clarkstown, Orangetown and Stony Point, while one seat shy of taking control of the 17-member Rockland Legislature. The GOP has controlled the County Executive’s Office for 28 years.
Democrats fight for party control: Rockland Democrats fight for party control, legal filing seeks a vote count for chairman.
Convention chaos: Rockland Democrats name Chris Sampson chair in a disputed vote
Gromada leaned on a coalition of disenfranchised Democrats, led by the party’s progressive wing and some moderates. The vote was delayed several times but several hundred people attended the vote at the West Haverstraw Community Center. “My goal as chair is to engage and energize more Democrats in Rockland, by showing them this is a party whose sole purpose is to work to better people’s lives by electing excellent candidates who will lift us all up,” Gromada said. “We are not a party serving special interests or any one group – we are here to work for all the people.”
Gromada will serve out the current term until September when the party reorganizes and holds elections for chair and committee members. The party boasts about 1,050 seats, but not all are filled. He succeeds Kristin Zebrowski Stavisky, who became co-director of the New York State Board of Elections.”
Read the complete Journal News coverage here.