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February 20, 2008
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Jill Derby resigns as party chair to run against Dean Heller

The Nevada Democratic Party released the following statement Wednesday:

Jill Derby announced today she will leave her post as Chair of the Nevada Democratic Party so she can focus on her bid for Congressional District 2.

First Vice Chair Sam Lieberman, a longtime party supporter, will immediately assume chairmanship of the Nevada Democratic Party in a year when Democrats have bolstered voter registration and organization, and are aiming to Turn Nevada Blue. Second Vice Chair Teresa Benitez-Thompson of Reno will become First Vice Chair.

"I'm proud that Democrats have made incredible progress over the past year in organizing from the precinct level on up," Derby said. "Here in Nevada, we've brought thousands of voters into the Democratic fold over the past year.

Across the country, Democrats have shown up in record numbers to presidential caucuses and primaries because they want a change of leadership in the White House."

"I believe Nevadans also want an independent voice in Congress, so I've decided to leave my post as state party chair to focus on a run for Congressional District 2," Derby said.

"Coming out of a highly successful presidential caucus, our party has the largest voter registration edge we've held in 15 years," Lieberman said. "Democrats are committed to bringing change to the White House so that we can bring a responsible end to the war in Iraq, provide health care to all Americans and strengthen our economy.

"I'm honored to lead our party as Nevada Democrats focus on winning the Silver State for our presidential nominee, sending more Democrats to Congress, gaining a majority in the State Senate, and picking up seats in the Assembly," Lieberman said.

"I'd like to thank Jill Derby for the foundation she laid as party chair, and I'm looking forward to a seamless transition and a successful year for Democrats."

A Nevada resident since 1980, Sam has served the Nevada State Democratic Party as a volunteer, staff member, activist and donor since 1986. Sam was elected as the Party's First Vice Chair on March 31, 2007, in Reno.

Sam has previously served on the Nevada-based staff for United States Senator Harry Reid and United States Congresswoman Shelley Berkley.

He currently serves as the Coordinator of Volunteers and Community Relations for the Las Vegas Marathon, and is the incoming executive director of the Volunteer Center of Southern Nevada.

Sam also serves as the Chairperson of Nevada Parents Encouraging Parents, a statewide parent training information center for parents of children with disabilities.

With a passion for politics and community service, Sam has a history of involvement with numerous other political and non-profit organizations.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Feb 20, 2008 06:12PM Published Feb 20, 2008 06:06PM Copyright 2008 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.