TJ Donovan Gets Serious on AG Bid

When I received the TJ for AG press release (below the fold), I felt like I was coming home to a real Vermont grown campaign team.  Sam Winship will serve as Campaign Manager, Mary Sullivan as Treasurer for Donovan 2012, and Jay Els will serve as communications consultant.

Personally, I think this could really turn out to be an exciting race.  Odum used to rave about how great primaries are, and I always despised them after my exposure to Connecticut races where primaries seemed more like back room deals pretending to be an open race.  After Vermont’s Democratic Gubernatorial primary, I have changed my mind.  I learned more about each candidate and their campaign promises than I ever imagined.  I think a real race for Attorney General will help Vermont’s talent shine and put real substantive issues on the table.  

I have worked with all three Donovan 2012 professionals, and each one is a veteran campaigner.  I have also hosted a variety of campaign workers during our time in Vermont, and as a relatively new flatlander in VT – 11 years, I think that getting a quality team like this one that consists of local Vermonters is really important.  Vermont is a unique state facing some tough issues, we need campaign teams who understand Vermont and want to listen to its many and diverse voices.  

Mary Sullivan was chair of the Burlington Democrats when I first became really active in Burlington politics and was appointed as a public works commissioner.  I have learned more about city and state politics and the inner workings of Burlington and the Vermont Legislature from working with Mary than from almost anyone I know.

I will be interested to see what other teams come together for this race.  Original Press Release below the fold:


TJ Donovan 2012


                (802) 488-4800

State’s Attorney Donovan Hires Veteran Campaign Staff in Bid for Attorney General’s Seat

BURLINGTON, VT – Chittenden County State’s Attorney TJ Donovan has hired a team of experienced campaign staff to support his run for the office of Attorney General of Vermont. The three new staffers bring more than 30 years of political and campaign experience.

“We wanted to hit the ground running and getting quality people like this on the team is vital to building a strong campaign,” said Donovan.

Sam Winship will serve as Campaign Manager for Donovan 2012. Winship, a native Vermonter and University of Vermont grad, brings strong experience as a dependable fundraiser and manager to the team. After working on the John Tracy for Lt. Governor primary campaign in 2006, Winship spent the 2008 election cycle as the Finance Director of the Segall for Congress Campaign in Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District. More recently, he served as a fundraising consultant for Doug Racine’s gubernatorial campaign and was the Campaign Manager of the Steve Howard for Lt. Governor campaign.

Mary Sullivan has signed on to be Treasurer for Donovan 2012. Sullivan brings over 20 years of experience in Vermont politics and campaigns, 10 of them serving as a State Representative from 1990-2000. Sullivan chaired the House Natural Resources Committee during her final two years in the legislature. She has also served as chair of the Chittenden County Democrats and Secretary of State Committee. Currently, Sullivan is the Communications Coordinator at Burlington Electric Department.

“Over the past five years, TJ has done an incredible job as Chittenden County State’s Attorney. As Vermont’s Attorney General he will take his knowledge, energy and passion to better serve all Vermonters. He will be great for our state,” said Sullivan.

Japhet (Jay) Els will serve as a Communications Consultant. Els got his start working for Howard Dean’s Presidential campaign in 2003 before going on to work the 2004 election in the swing state of Wisconsin for America Coming Together. After serving as National Online Fundraising Director for Senator John Edwards’ 2008 presidential campaign, Els helped lead a national effort to limit the influence of money on national politics and public policy. Els grew up in South Burlington and attended South Burlington High School.

“I’m thrilled to have great Vermonters working with me,” said Donovan. “Our campaign will be a grassroots operation that earns the supports of Vermonters all over the state.”

Donovan is available for comment: (802) 488-4800

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