Sánchez probing bid for state Democratic party chair

State Representative Jeffrey Sánchez of Jamaica Plain has been sounding out state Democratic committee members with an eye toward running for the party chairmanship that will open this fall.

Sánchez, whose House district includes Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, and Roslindale, and one Brookline precinct, said he has been calling activists while weighing how to balance family concerns.

“I’m looking at it and am talking to people, just to ask, where do they see the party, and that’s people that are within the party itself and within the community,” Sánchez said.

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The current chairman, John Walsh, said earlier this month that he planned to step down in the fall. Sánchez praised Walsh, who was Deval Patrick’s campaign manager in 2006 when Patrick won the governorship, for his attentiveness to grassroots organizing.

“John Walsh did a great job in uniting the party, and we saw the results of that in these past election cycles,” said Sánchez, House chair of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health. “He generated a great deal of buzz in communities that didn’t know the Democratic Party brand. And whoever the next chairman is, that person will have to build upon that in making sure the party is as united as ever, and that’s able to show people that the Democratic Party is the party of inclusion.”

Sánchez decided earlier this year not to run for mayor, after considering the race.

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