San Diego County Democratic Party

Executive Board

At the beginning of each two-year term of the Central Committee, members run for and are elected to leadership positions on the Executive Board. These officers, who meet monthly, have specific areas of responsibility and also oversee the County Party's strategic planning process.

Francine Busby
Francine Busby, Chair (Email)

Francine has distinguished herself as a strong advocate for women and girls, public education and equal opportunity for all Americans. She is the former Executive Director of Run Women Run, a non-profit organization dedicated to electing pro-choice women. Francine has also served as the President of the Cardiff School District and previously ran for Congress. Since 2004, she has been in the forefront of the dynamic growth of the San Diego County Democratic Party as a candidate, mentor, volunteer, North Area Vice-Chair, and fundraiser.

Jessica Hayes
Jessica Hayes, Vice Chair, South Area (Email)

Eric Hereford J. Eric Hereford, Vice Chair, East Area (Email)

J. Eric Hereford has been active with the San Diego County Democratic Party for 25 years, serving on its Executive Board previously as Political Director and now as Vice Chair. He has also served as Vice Chair and Secretary of the California Democratic Party’s African-American Caucus, chaired Assembly District Committees (77th and 79th), and held leadership roles with the La Mesa-Foothills and Martin Luther King Democratic Clubs. Eric has worked for the California State Assembly for more than 20 years and presently serves as a Senior Consultant to the Assembly Speaker’s office. A Vietnam-era veteran, he served as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Esther Sanchez
Esther Sanchez, Vice Chair, North Area (Email)

Howard Wayne
Howard Wayne, Vice Chair, Central Area (Email)

Sunny Escovedo Sunny Escovedo, Controller (Email)

Ashley Harrington Ashley Harrington, Secretary (Email)

Ashley Harrington is a graduate of the University of San Diego, where she studied political science and theology. As an active Young Democrat, she is proud to have volunteered on the successful campaign to elect Scott Peters to Congress. She works at Jewish Family Service of San Diego with volunteers and the Emerging Leaders. Ashley is passionate about social justice and currently advocates for the developmentally disabled in San Diego.

gordon John Gordon, Director of Administration (Email)

John has been active in Democratic Party politics for 42 years as volunteer, observer, contributor, and analyst, working to build the Democratic Party brand from an organizational standpoint. He served as Secretary of the Executive Board from 2009-2012. John is a consultant who focuses on financial management and other general management topics.

Ruth Rollins Ruth Rollins, Director of Clubs (Email)

In Missoula, MT Ruth campaigned for Max Baucus running for the State House. He won and now serves as a U.S. Senator. Ruth served as the State Chair of the Realtors PAC. She was also State Committee Women, Missoula Dem. Women’s Club Pres., Delegate to the state presidential nominating convention. She came to San Diego in 1984, became a stock broker and married a Republican. After his death, she joined the PLDC and was elected Sec. and then President, 2009/2012. She currentlt serves as a CDP Convention Delegate, and serves on the Central Committee as an alternate.

Stephen Whitburn Stephen Whitburn, Director of Communications (Email)

Stephen Whitburn is General Manager of San Diego Pride, which stages one of the nation's largest events promoting equality. He previously spent 10 years as public affairs manager for the American Red Cross after working 18 years in radio news. Stephen is past president of the San Diego Democratic Club and served as vice chair of both the City of San Diego Medical Marijuana Task Force and the North Park Planning Committee. He is vice president of the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties and serves as a director of the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation.

Kimberly Simms Kimberly Simms, Director of Fundraising (Email)

Kimberly is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson School of Law and owns a law practice that focuses on medical marijuana, criminal defense and personal injury law. As a passionate advocate for the LGBT community, Kimberly is committed to achieving full recognition of LGBT civil rights through legal work, education and public policy. She is an active member of the San Diego Young Democrats and is excited to have recently joined this year's class of leaders at the Young Professionals Council.

Kami Olsson Kami Olsson, Director of Grassroots Organizing(Email)

Kami has been part of the Grassroots Organizing (GO) Team since 2007 serving as a Precinct Leader, La Jolla Community Coordinator, and Countywide Coordinator. A UCSD Alumna and local business owner, she brings 20 years of industry experience as a software engineer, leadership and software trainer, and project manager to the Party. In addition to the GO Team, she is our database administrator and provides website and technical support to the Party.

RJ Hernandez R.J. Hernandez, Director of Outreach <(Email)

RJ Hernandez has distinguished himself as a successful small businessman, mentor/educator, community leader, and former Town Council member for Rancho Peñasquitos. As the Democratic candidate for the 77th Assembly District in 2012, he received the best showing of any Democrat in recent history in those “safe Republican” communities. JR has been active in the Democratic Party in a variety of ways, including voter registration drives and fighting for the collective bargaining rights of University of California Teaching Assistants.

Jess Durfee Jesse Durfee, Past Chair, Chair Emeritus (Email)

Jess served as County Party Chair for four terms and, was bestowed with the title of Chair Emeritus. In 2008 Jess was the first San Diegan in recent memory to be elected to the Democratic National Committee and was relected to the same in 2012. He has been active in Democratic politics for 24 years and had a 15-year career as a high school teacher and administrator. During his time as a teacher, Jess was a negotiator and president for his local union and served at the state and national levels as a political action leader.


  1. @CA_Dem Republican Carl DeMaio earns #CA52 the dubious distinction of being first CA House race with #KochMoney this cycle:
  2. @MickeyKasparian Proud to be elected as a delegate to the @sandiegodems Central Committee 79th District. @ChairJessDurfee @FrancineBusbySD
  3. @willrk787 I'm honored to announce I have been elected to represent the 78 Assembly District on the San Diego County...
  4. @sandiegodems Congrats to Ed Harris, our newest City Councilmember in D2!
  5. @GretchenNewsom Tell SD City Council & Mayor to support a plastic bag ban: via @SurfriderSD
  6. @CD4MyrtleCole Great being in the presence of @sandiegodems. @toniatkins @AsmShirleyWeber @ToddGloria @AlvarezSD #changemakers
  7. @ToddGloria Awesome turnout at tonight's @sandiegodems Roosevelt Dinner! Congratulations @FrancineBusbySD on a great event. #DEM
  8. @AlvarezSD Thank you @sandiegodems @toniatkins for the wonderful acknowledgement! #rooseveltdinner
  9. @sandiegodems Come to @SusanGuinnSD's kickoff party April 2nd at URBN Pizza!
  10. @sandiegodems GOP candidate for Gov Neel Kashkari reveals jobs plan: corporate tax cuts, fracking, eroding workers rights. New face, old/failed ideas.
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