Stephen Handwerk, Facebook

Louisiana Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson announced today that, after a national search, they have chosen Stephen Handwerk of Lafayette to serve as Executive Director.  He was serving as their interim director.

Peterson says, "Stephen's worked hard during this transitional period since April and has grown into a key member of our Democratic Team. His dedication to Democratic principles and to building a strong grassroots organization bode well for the future of our State Party. Building a strong team is essential to building our Democratic ranks and conveying a strong, positive vision for the people of Louisiana," said Louisiana Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson.

Handwerk brings over 20 years experience in working on national, state and local levels, including as Co-Chair of the National Stonewall Democrats. He is also a member of the Lafayette Parish Democratic Executive Committee.

Handwerk says he is very excited about the job:

 "I am incredibly humbled and excited about the future," commented Handwerk. "The job of the state and local parties is to provide the right tools in order for our elected officials and party activists need to be successful. I see my job as largely providing ans sustaining those very tools. Under the leadership of Chair Peterson and our outstanding and diverse executive committee we will be making those investments and working very hard to support our members."

Today Peterson also made another announcement as Michelle Brister has now been promoted to Deputy Executive Director of the party.

Along with the selection of Handwerk, Chairwoman Peterson also announced the promotion of long-time LDP staffer Michelle Brister to Deputy Executive Director of the party.

"Stephen and Michelle work incredibly well together and along with the other team members will make the perfect team to move us forward. The staff along with the amazing group of elected elected leadership of our party presents us with an outstanding opportunity to move things forward," Chair Peterson said in closing.

In an interview with KPEL about moving from being the Interim Director to the Executive Director Handwerk says his direction will be about moving forward, "Look, the Louisiana Democratic Party um has been, you know an institution for a long time, but it's in dire need of upgrading, and with the new leadership of the party, Senator Karen Carter Peterson, now assuming the role as chair of our party, we have decided to invest strongly in the resources that our folks need to do our jobs.  The way I see it is I need to provide them with the toolbox of the right tools to be able to use to do their job, so that is what I am going to do as Executive Director of the party."