LITTLE ROCK — Will Bond is stepping down as chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas, the party announced Wednesday.
Gov. Mike Beebe thanked Bond for his two and a half years of service as chairman and said he supports North Little Rock businessman and political operative Vincent Insalaco to succeed him.
"I cannot thank Will Bond enough for his countless hours of service to our state and believe Vincent Insalaco will demonstrate strong leadership as chair of the DPA just as his predecessors have done," Beebe said in a news release issued by the party. "The progress our state has made can only continue by electing responsible leaders, and Vincent Insalaco will work to elect strong leaders who will continue an agenda focused on jobs and education."
Bond, a lawyer and former state representative, was elected party chairman in February 2011. Arkansas Democrats suffered significant losses during his tenure, with the 2012 elections ushering in the first GOP majority in the state Legislature since Reconstruction as well as Republican control of all four of the state’s U.S. House seats.
"After two and a half years serving as chair in a volunteer capacity, it is time for new leadership and time for me to consider other opportunities to serve Arkansas," Bond said. "I am excited to join with Gov. Beebe in supporting Vincent Insalaco as the next chair of the Democratic Party of Arkansas."
Insalaco has decades of experience working on Democratic campaigns at the local, state and national levels. He was president of the Young Democrats of Arkansas in the early 1980s and received the Ed Fry Democrat of the Year award this year.
"I have always believed in the principles of the Democratic Party of Arkansas like fighting for hard-working Arkansas families," Insalaco said. "I’ve worked to elect Arkansas Democrats — like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Mike Beebe, Mark Pryor, and Mike Ross — who have always put women, children, and seniors first. Working together, we will elect more Arkansas Democrats in 2014 who will continue the progress made by these great leaders. I look forward to help carry this message with all of our county committees from the coffee shops to Facebook."
The party’s next state committee meeting will be Sept. 14 at the Holiday Inn & Convention Center in Springdale.