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New Chair Markell Outlines DGA Offensive For 2010

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell is just 11 months into his first term, but takes a high-profile leadership post in the Democratic Party today as the new chairman of the Democratic Governors Association for 2010. A formal announcement is to be made shortly at the organization's Holiday Meeting here in Washington.

Markell had already been serving as the DGA's finance chairman. As incoming chair, replacing Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, he now cements his status as a rising figure in the national Democratic Party and is charged with the difficult task of heading up the party's efforts to hold its majority of governorship in 2010. It's a quick rise, too -- consider that just over a year ago, Markell was not even the choice of many establishment Democrats in Delaware as he ran for the office. Retiring Gov. Ruth Ann Minner (D) was among those backing the then-lieutenant governor, John Carney, in the September gubernatorial primary. Markell, then state Treasurer, won that race by under 2,000 votes before cruising to a general election win.

In an exclusive op-ed for Real Clear Politics, the new DGA chairman lays out the challenges his party specifically faces in 2010, particularly after two defeats this past November. But he also previews the offensive effort they'll be making against the Republicans.

Admittedly, history's headwind is working against us. Since 1978, the President's party has traditionally lost an average of five Governor's offices during the first mid-term election. And though Republicans may outspend us, the DGA is better prepared than at any point in our history to help our candidates. We helped recruit strong candidates around the country and are making early investments in key states.

In fact, we are starting some of those investments today, with a new effort to put our opponents on notice. The DGA will hold them accountable for any attempt they make to block our nation's return to greater prosperity. This new initiative, The GOP Accountability Project, will remind people in critical states that the same Republicans who are pledging progress now helped create the national recession which we have had to work so hard to reverse.