Our DemocratsChairwoman Susan SweckerState Steering CommitteeStaffParty Organizations and Networks

Office of the Chairwoman

Susan Swecker, Chairwoman

Executive Department

Andrew Whitley, Executive Director

Andrew has worked on political campaigns all across the Commonwealth, from Blacksburg and Fairfax to Virginia Beach and Richmond. Most recently he led Virginia’s successful coordinated campaign in 2019, Take The Majority, which resulted in flipping both the House and Senate for the first time in nearly two decades, and managed successful campaigns for Delegate Chris Hurst, the Lieutenant Governor of Nevada, Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw, but before that worked across the country for Hillary Clinton, beginning in the Iowa caucuses and ending in Philadelphia. A proud graduate of Virginia Tech, born and raised in Southwest Virginia, he started his career working for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2011.

Kiana Ham, Special Projects Director

Kiana is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and got her start in politics as an intern for the DPVA in 2017. She served as a finance assistant in the historic 2017 VA House of Delegates races where she was part of the team that gained 15 Democratic seats in one campaign cycle. Previously, she served as the Operations and PAC Director for the House Democratic Caucus where she was part of the team that won a Democratic majority in the House for the first time in almost 20 years. Kiana also serves on the Richmond City Democratic Committee Executive Board.  Outside of work, Kiana likes attending dance workshops with local Richmond dance groups, playing video games, and taking care of her plants.


Manuel Bonder, Deputy Communications Director

Manuel previously served as the Communications Advisor at the South Carolina Democratic Party for Jaime Harrison’s Senate campaign and is an alum of Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign. Manuel is from Massachusetts, where he grew up and became a Patriots fan, and his family is from Argentina, where he learned to play soccer and operate a grill.


Brenner Tobe, Deputy Executive Director, CTO

Brenner has been working to help elect Democrats for the past 20 years.  Having served as the State IT Advisor for the DNC, Brenner came to Virginia in 2001 to implement one of the first statewide online voter files in the country for Mark Warner’s campaign. Since then, he has continued to bring new, innovative and technological tools to help our candidates meet the changing demands of today’s campaigns.   Brenner lives in Richmond with his wife Kelly, and daughters Caroline, Isabelle, and Annika.

Katie O’Grady, Data Director

Katie O’Grady grew up in Wisconsin and was drawn into politics during the 2011 attempted recall of Governor Walker. As Quality Control Director for a political consulting firm, she worked on ballot initiatives, voter registration drives, and getting out the vote for Democrats across the country. After moving to Virginia in 2015, she managed a Virginia Senate campaign and went on to work as a legislative aide in both the Senate and the House of Delegates.


Nick Scott, Digital Director

Originally from Milwaukee, Nick got his start in politics taking a semester off of college so he could work as an Organizer for Hillary Clinton in 2016. He moved to the Commonwealth in late 2017 and started as an Intern at the DPVA in January 2018 before joining the staff full-time as a member of the Finance team during the 2018 and 2019 cycles. Nick spends his time cheering for the Green Bay Packers, the Wisconsin Badgers, Arsenal Football Club, and playing FIFA.

Rylie Cooper, Deputy Digital Director

Rylie cut their political teeth in their home state of Pennsylvania during the 2016 election organizing on Penn State’s campus for Hillary Clinton and Democrats up and down the ticket. They continued their organizing work in communities across the eastern United States including Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and most recently Virginia where they were Regional Organizing Director for Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign. They took their organizing experience and the HTML skills they learned to build Tumblr themes in middle school, and dove right into digital work at Authentic to break fundraising records for targeted Senate races across the country in 2020. Rylie enjoys spending their time hunting for the best cheap tacos or watching reality TV with their cat, Earl Grey.


Carrie Hamilton, Finance Director

Carrie Hamilton has a track record of successful fundraising and electing Democrats across the Commonwealth that she brings to the DPVA as the Finance Director. Previously, she served as Finance Director for Mayor Levar Stoney’s 2020 re-election campaign, which broke fundraising records for cash raised in a Richmond mayoral campaign. Before that she was a part of the team at the Virginia House Democratic Caucus that won the first Democratic majority in 20 years. Carrie is a Richmond native and graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. When not working to elect Democrats, Carrie can usually be found at one of Virginia’s State Parks or local wineries.

Randy Sprinkle, Deputy Finance Director

Randy is originally from North Carolina and most recently served as a Regional Political Director for the Jennifer McClellan for Governor campaign. Previously, he worked for State Senator Jennifer Boysko during the 2020 Session and on the 2019 Virginia Coordinated Campaign. Outside of work, Randy balances his love for the Great British Baking Show, reality television, and an ever-growing reading list.


Elise Vess, Chief Operations Officer

Elise joined the DPVA in December 2017.   A native Virginian, Elise began her political career as an Intern for Obama’s reelection campaign on the William and Mary campus.  After she graduated in 2013, Elise was a Field Organizer for Terry McAuliffe in her hometown of Chesapeake.  She continued to work for progressive candidates, but most recently served as an EMT.  Outside of work Elise can be found at the public library, playing with her dog Miss Liddy, or enjoying a friendly game of Scrabble with her wife, Jennifer Glass.


Shyam Raman, Political Director

Shyam joined the DPVA in June 2015. Shyam’s political career has taken him from Iowa to Nebraska to what is now his home here in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He’s a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals and Tottenham Hotspur fan and enjoys cooking, watching soccer, playing golf, and playing with his dogs Charlotte and Artoo. Fun fact, he met Charlotte and his fiancée Julie at the dog park. The dogs take all the credit for their meeting.

Jack Foley, Deputy Political Director

Jack is originally from Danville, VA, and most recently served as Deputy Political Director for Western Virginia on Senator Mark Warner’s successful campaign for reelection in 2020.  Previously, he worked with Virginia’s Joint Democratic Caucus in support of Democratic legislators and was a member of the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus team that took back the Senate in 2019. Jack is a proud Radford University Highlander, an avid NASCAR fan, and a member of the Metro Richmond Area Young Democrats’ leadership team.


Jara Butler, Training Director

Jara Butler is a seasoned political strategist. Most recently, she was the National Training and Services Director at the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee in Washington, DC. A proud graduate of the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs where she served as Executive Director of Georgia Students for Barack Obama where she successfully organized over 20 chapters across the Peach State. A Native of Dallas, Jara served as National Committeewoman for the Texas Young Democrats and Faith and Values Coordinator for the Young Democrats of America. After a brief stint in Corporate America, Jara became the District Director, Texas State Representative Victoria Neave. In 2018, she became Operations Director, then later, Political Outreach Director for Beto O’Rourke’s historic campaign for the US Senate. There, she focused on outreach in rural and African-American communities.

Voter Protection

Ja’Scotta Jefferson, Voter Protection Director

Ja’Scotta Jefferson is a May graduate from Virginia State University. She began her political career as an intern for Congressman A. Donald McEachin of the 4th District. Most recently, she was as a Field Organizer for Take the majority 2019; more specifically she helped get out the votes for Delegate Danica Roem’s re-election and Delegate John Bell for State Senate who flipped the seat. Ja’Scotta truly takes pleasure giving back to the community and helping others. During her free time she enjoys traveling, dancing Bachata, working out, and learning new languages.

The DPVA is committed to diversity among its staff, and recognizes that its continued success requires the highest commitment to obtaining and retaining a diverse staff that provides the best quality services to supporters and constituents. The DPVA is an equal opportunity employer and it is our policy to recruit, hire, train, promote and administer any and all personnel actions without regard to sex, race, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity or expression, ethnic identity or physical disability, or any other legally protected basis. The DPVA will not tolerate any unlawful discrimination and any such conduct is strictly prohibited.