February 26, 2017 at 11:32 am EST | by Chris Johnson
Gay Wisconsin activist Jason Rae chosen as DNC secretary

Jason Rae, gay news, Washington Blade

Jason Rae was elected secretary of the Democratic National Committee. (Photo courtesy Twitter)

In addition to electing a new chair, the Democratic National Committee on Saturday elected as secretary a gay Democrat who years ago had the distinction of being youngest person ever elected to organization.

Jason Rae was elected in a four-way race for the position of secretary, which includes serving as the DNC’s official record-keeper as well as keeper of the party’s relationships with members.

Among Rae’s duties are maintaining official records, coordinating correspondence and communicating with DNC members on business to be considered at meetings. As part of these tasks, Rae is charged with working with the National Archives to preserve records and official documents.

Additionally, Rae will have an official role with at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, publishing the Official Convention Proceedings and serving as secretary for the convention itself.

In 2004, Rae at age 17 was the youngest person ever elected to the Democratic National Committee, beating out a state legislator and the president of the state’s firefighters’ union were among the losing candidates for the position. He came out as gay to fellow DNC members in 2007.

Four years after his election, Rae at age 21 was the youngest superdelegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and heavily courted by the Clinton and Obama campaigns. Ultimately, Rae decided on Obama on the basis that young voters would turning out for him and would support him in the general election.

Rae was also a superdelegate at the Democratic National Convention last year and pledged support to Clinton over Bernie Sanders.

Rae has served in various roles in support of the LGBT community. Among them is executive director of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin when in 2014 he held a wedding expo — months before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality — so that vendors and couples can get a head start on planning for same-sex weddings.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Rae has also served as board chair for Fair Wisconsin, a state LGBT equality group in Wisconsin; chair of the Milwaukee County Human Rights Commission; and vice chair of the Marquette University Gender & Sexuality Resource Center Advisory Board.

Among those congratulating Rae on his election as secretary was the only out lesbian in Congress U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), who expressed support for her fellow Wisconsite via campaign Twitter account.

Other candidates in the four-way race for secretary were Ana Cuprill, chair of the Wyoming Democratic Party; Roberta Lange, chair of the Nevada Democratic Party; and former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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