Democrats elect new state party chair

SEATTLE (AP) - Democrats have elected Jaxon Ravens as new state party chair.

Ravens replaces Dwight Pelz who announced last year he was stepping down. Pelz had been party chair since 2006, following years of work as community organizer and the Metropolitan King County Council, where he served nine years.

Ravens had been the executive director of the state party for the last 10 years. He beat out Dana Laurent, who had been endorsed by Gov. Jay Inslee.

On Saturday, 166 state committee members participated in the vote for a new chair.

In their statement, the Democrats said Ravens will guide the party to take back the state Senate and unseat Sen. Rodney Tom, a Democrat who defected to form a Republican-dominated coalition in the upper chamber.