Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker announced today he will step down after seven years once state party leaders select a replacement.

First elected in 2004, Parker notified the party’s central committee of his decision early Monday morning.

Parker says he led the party through a number of key victories after pundits declared Democrats all but dead, including President Barack Obama’s 2008 victory, which was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Indiana since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

“We proved them wrong,” says Parker. “We rallied back to control of the Indiana House and our Congressional delegation in 2006, and we’ll never forget 2008: the first Democratic presidential victory in Indiana in 44 years.”

While supporters credit Parker for reviving the party after the election of Republican Governor Mitch Daniels, political observers note the announcement comes as Indiana Democrats head into an uphill gubernatorial race and after suffering serious losses a year ago.

In 2010, Republican Dan Coats won the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Democrat Evan Bayh, who retired. And critics also note that GOP candidates won two House seats and control of the state House during the end of Parker’s tenure.

The party’s State Central Committee will pick a successor at a December 17 meeting.