Jones will lead Rock Island County Democrats

Derek Jones was elected as the new chief of the Rock Island County Democratic Central Committee Thursday night.

His selection comes after Sunday’s announcement by Doug House that he would be stepping down from the post he had held since 2012.

Jones, who received unanimous support from the party’s central committee at Thursday’s meeting, paid tribune to House, calling him an outstanding party leader and friend, as well as a mentor over the past several years.

Jones, a graduate of Western Illinois University, Black Hawk College and Rockridge High School, also thanked U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, and state Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, for early support in his bid to become chair.

“I am very honored, and excited, to assume this new responsibility,” said Jones, who started volunteering for the Rock Island County Democratic Party and its candidates back in 2004.

“This county has strong tradition of maintaining a strong party infrastructure capable of electoral success,” Jones said. “We worked hard to create a ‘Blue Wave in 2018’ and that will continue to be our goal moving ahead into 2019 and 2020.”

House called his tenure “a great ride.”

“We’ve enjoyed solid electoral success,” he said. “The major goals that I set out to accomplish, including building a stronger party infrastructure throughout Rock Island County, have been accomplished.

“I am confident that Derek Jones has the energy, enthusiasm and experience to help move our county toward greater success,” he said.

Jones was a district scheduler for former U.S. Rep. Phil Hare and an intern for the late U.S. Rep. Lane Evans. He said one of his first goals will be to assemble a core group of local Democratic Party leaders to launch a new effort to recruit and train qualified, new candidates who want to run for office.

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November 16, 2018 at 08:53PM

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