Mark Trahan succeeds Donna Haschke as chair of Hays County Democratic Party

Mark Trahan was elected Wednesday night to replace Donna Haschke as Hays County Democratic Party Chair. Haschke resigned her position last Sunday, citing health issues and family concerns.

Trahan was elected by a vote of 30-3 (with one abstention) over the only other nominee, Trevor Newman. Trahan will fill the remainder of Haschke’s term until the next County Chair election in 2022.

Haschke, who said she may be facing heart surgery and will need to lessen her stress level, issued this statement:

“Because of recent personal reasons regarding health and family issues, I must resign my position as Chair of the Hays County Democratic Party.

I was elected twice and served for the last 3 years and 4 months, during which time our strong teamwork and volunteerism helped us reach our goal of turning Hays County blue in 2018 and keeping it blue this past 2020 election cycle. I am confident that we will continue to replicate our hard work to continue this trend. I will always advocate for and support the Party and our candidates as much as possible as we move forward into 2022 and beyond. Thanks to all for talent, time, and treasure that has strengthened our efforts!”

Trahan, a professor in the School of Social Work at Texas State University and Chair of Precinct 220 in Kyle, issued this statement:

“I am humbled and honored to have been nominated and elected to be the next Chair of the Hays County Democratic Party.  I want to thank the County Executive Committee for their faith in my leadership.  I want to thank Donna Haschke for her leadership over the past three years in building a strong county party that has delivered two election cycles of blue candidates at the local, state, and national level.  Donna has led our efforts to maintain relationships with our elected officials, Democratic clubs, and precinct chairs, establish party procedures, work with county election officials, and focus our attention on an election during a pandemic.  Thank you, Donna, for succeeding in a challenging job during a challenging time.

The Democratic party is an inclusive party of age, race, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, gender identity or expression, and mental/physical ability.  As your next chair of the Hays County Democratic Party, I will ensure inclusion as a core value of our procedures and processes.  Over the last several years, I have served as a precinct chair, as a co-sponsor of the College Democrats at Texas State, and spent countless hours working with local, state, and national candidates on their campaigns.  As a social worker by training and a faculty member at Texas State University with experience working in government and politics, I bring a focus on expansion of our purpose to elect Democrats while meeting the needs of our county party.  With years of experience listening to others as a professional social worker, I am ready to be available to address our community and county party needs while developing a strategic plan for our organization.

Hays County is well-positioned to become a model for blue expansion to other surrounding counties.  With increasing population and two previous blue cycles, we can be a key catalyst for tipping the state.  To do so, we must solidify our organizational structure, develop better communication channels, recruit for open precinct chair positions, reach out to communities and serve, and fund raise so that we may contribute to our local candidates.  I plan to lead these efforts with your help.  Over the next week, I will be reaching out to all precinct chairs, elected officials, and community stakeholders to discuss with you your experiences in the county party and seek your thoughts about our future.  The 2022 election is right around the corner, and we cannot afford to be held back by previous challenges or differences.

We will win.  But we must work for it.  Thank you for electing me as your chair.

Now, let us hit the ground running.”