History

The Young Democrats of Georgia have a long history going back generations to as far as the 1920s. Since the election of Waymon Scott Wright in 1968 as our first Black president, the Young Democrats of Georgia, like our counterparts in the Democratic Party of Georgia, have increasingly moved to the left of Georgia politics, advocating for equal justice under law for all Georgians. We are proud of the individuals who have developed strong political careers through the Young Democrats of Georgia since 1968. Below is an in-progress record of our past officers, caucus leaders, committeemembers to the Young Democrats of America, state conventions and award recipients, and we hope to keep this page up to date for historical purposes. If you have further contributions to this page, please contact us.

Past Presidents

  • R. J. Reynolds Jr.. (1935)
  • Robert Fellows (1944)
  • Jim Evitt Jr. (1945)
  • Ivan Allen Jr. (1950s?)
  • Garland Byrd (1952)
  • James B. “Jim” Pilcher (1950s)
  • Carl Barrett (1959)
  • Charles J. “Chuck” Driebe (1960s?)
  • A.W. Wood (1958)
  • Waymon Scott Wright (1968, first Black president)
  • Tim Bentley (1970s)
  • Herb McCall (1978)
  • Stephen B. Beaton (1985)
  • Steve Henson (1986)
  • Byron Looper (1988, 1989)
  • Wendy Davis (1993, 1994)
  • Chris Clark (1995)
  • Scott Butler (2000)
  • Stacey Godfrey (2002)
  • Billy Joyner (2004-2005)
  • Jason Cecil (2006-2007)
  • Jane Bradshaw (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)
  • Louis Elrod (2011, 2012)
  • Steve Golden (2013, 2014)
  • Corey T. Boone (2014, 2015)
  • Richard McDaniel (2015)
  • Sarah Z. Beeson (2015, 2016)
  • Luke Boggs (2017, 2018)
  • Rachel Paule (2019, 2020)
  • Rick Hart (2021)

Other Past Officers and Caucus Leaders

  • Executive Vice President
    • Jordan Johnson ????
    • Rahsheim Wright (2007)
    • Katie Milway (2009?)
    • Steve Golden (2011-2012)
    • Jen Rafanan (2013-2014)
    • Tim Hur (2014)
    • Luke Boggs (2015)
    • Michelle Sanchez Jones (2016, 2017)
    • Jaylan Scott (2019-2021)
  • Vice President of Membership
    • Aharon Junkins (2003)
    • Josh Abrams (2004)
    • Nicolette Allen (2007)
    • George Seaborough (2009)
    • Gary D. Harrell (2011)
    • Cari Cantrell (2012)
    • Brett Weber (2013)
    • Gabriel Michael Shippy (2017)
  • Vice President of Finance
    • Billy Joyner (2003)
    • Matt Edwards (2004)
    • Rob Lange (2005)
    • Daniel Fullerton (2009)
    • Fal Hindash (2011)
    • Eddy Galuszka (2012)
    • Al Turnell (2013)
    • John Jackson
  • VP of Programs
    • Adam Stevens (2003)
    • Tahir Duckett (2004)
    • Joel Mendelson (2013)
  • Secretary
    • Alan Bakowski (2004)
    • C. Benson Manica (2007)
    • Carter Bates (2009)
    • Jen Rafanan (2011, 2012)
    • Ansley Tuten (2013)
    • Harry Underwood (2020)
    • Emily Zaniecki (2021)
  • Treasurer
    • Jason Cecil (2004)
    • William Curry (2007)
    • Zak Koffler (2009)
    • Kelli Persons (2011)
    • John Koch (2012, 2013)
  • National Commiteeman
    • Kirk Miller (2003, 2004, 2005, 2013)
    • Billy Joyner (2007, 2008, 2009)
    • Leslie Small (2011)
    • TJ Copeland (2013)
    • Nicholas Juliano (2015)
    • Matthew Plott
    • Louis Elrod
    • Justin Holsomback
    • Eduardo “Eddie” Aviles (2020)
  • National Committeewomen
    • Al Williams
    • LaToia A. Jones (2003, 2004)
    • Brooke Hesse (2005)
    • Jane Bradshaw (2007)
    • Nikema Williams (2009?)
    • Ava Fredericks (2011-2014)
    • Sarah Lapp (2015)
    • Deja Frederick (2016)
    • Hannah Perkins (2020)
  • College Dems Presidents
    • Adam Stevens (2003)
    • Ashley Caligone (2004)
    • Griffin Wasdin (2007)
    • Steve Golden (2009)
    • Andy Smith (2012)
    • Brian Seo (2013)
  • High School Dems Presidents
    • Sam Schantz (2003, 2004)
    • Ryan Campbell (2009)
    • Xavier Swain (2011)
    • John Dills (2012)
    • Christian Hurd (2013)
    • Patrick Chappel (2017)
    • Sophie Lee (2020)
  • Women’s Caucus Chairs
    • Erin Bransford (2003)
    • Kate Schelbe (2004)
    • Melissa Thompson (2007)
    • Elena Weiss (2009)
    • Haley Shank (2011)
    • Charlotte Collins (2020)
  • LGBTQ Caucus (Stonewall Caucus Prior to 2020) Chairs
    • Jake Seames (2003)
    • Kyle Bailey (2004)
    • Edmund Thornton III (2009)
    • Tyler Alley (2011, 2012)
    • Harris Mason
    • Megan Payne (2020)
  • Minority Caucus Chairs
    • Talisha Boone (2003)
    • Tarianna Stewart (2004)
    • Luisa Cardona (2007)
    • Harold Washington (2009, 2011)
    • Joyce Sanchez (2012)
  • Black Caucus Chairs
    • Alaina Reaves (2020)
    • Ebony Carter (2021)
  • Latinx Caucus Chairs
    • Susi Duran (2020)
  • AAPI Caucus Chairs
    • Taher Hasanali (2020)

Past State Conventions

  • 2004 – Gainesville
  • 2005 – Savannah
  • 2009 – Athens
  • 2010 – Athens
    • 2010 Platform Convention – Tifton
  • 2011 – St. Simons Island
  • 2012 – Hiawasee
  • April 12-14, 2013 – Atlanta
    • Keynote Speaker – Rep. Hank Johnson
  • 2014 – Columbus
  • 2015 – Athens at UGA
  • 2016 – Augusta
  • 2017 – Statesboro at Georgia Southern
  • 2018 – Marietta
  • 2019 – Atlanta
    • YDA National Committee Meeting
  • 2020 – Virtual
  • 2021 – Virtual

Award Recipients

  • 2009
    • Georgia Young Democrat of the Year: Nikema Williams
  •  2011
    • MALE YOUNG DEMOCRAT OF THE YEAR: John Koch
    • FEMALE YOUNG DEMOCRAT OF THE YEAR: Cari Cantrell
    • PROGRAM OF THE YEAR: Kennesaw State Young Democrats, “American Dream: Discussion on Immigration”
    • NEW CHAPTER OF THE YEAR: Bartow County Young Democrats
    • CHAPTER OF THE YEAR: Cobb County Young Democrats
    • JACKASS OF THE YEAR: “The Honorable” Ashley Bell
  • 2014
    • Steve Henson Award: Nikema Williams
    • Lifetime Achievement Award: Kevin Westphal, Kirk Miller
  • 2015
    • YDG Lifetime Achievement Award: Daniel Fullerton
  • 2016
    • Outstanding Legislator Award: Scott Holcomb
    • Best New Chapter: Young Democrats of Hall County
  • 2017
    • Steve Henson Award: James Woodall
    • Best New Chapter: Cobb County Young Democrats
  • 2018
    • Man of the Year award: Justin Holsomback
  •  2019
    • BLEEDING BLUE AWARD: Kiana Renai Jackson
    • Steve Henson Award: Shannon McClellan Rogers
    • Woman of the Year: Jenny Beese
    • Chapter of the Year: Young Democrats of Atlanta