faces of the WDP

The Wyoming Democratic Party is represented by two groups; elected party leadership, and executive staff members who perform the day-to-day functions of the party. If we can be of service, please email us directly!

party leadership

joe barbuto

Party Chairman
joe @ wyodems.org

A fifth generation Wyoming native, Joe has long been active in Democratic politics in the Equality State. Before he was old enough to register to vote, Joe was knocking on doors for local Democratic candidates in his hometown of Rock Springs, a union and Democratic stronghold. In 2002, he received his first statewide campaign experience working as an intern for Ron Akin, the Democratic candidate for Wyoming’s at-large congressional district.
Throughout college, he continued to volunteer for numerous campaigns and progressive causes .In 2008, with support from family and friends, Joe made the decision to seek election to Wyoming House District 48. That November he was elected as the youngest member of the state legislature. During his legislative tenure, he was chosen by his colleagues to serve as House Minority Caucus Chairman and was twice named “Legislator of the Year” by the Wyoming Highway Patrol Association.
After leaving the legislature, Joe was elected to serve as Chairman of the Sweetwater County Democratic Party in 2015, and in 2016 was hired as the Operations Director of Greene for Congress. Joe lives in Rock Springs, Wyoming with his wife, Erin, their two rescue dogs, Chapter and Molly, and Henry the Yellow Cat. When he’s not immersed in politics, you can find him fishing, enjoying public lands, or playing jazz piano.

ERIN O'DOHERTY

Vice Chair
erin @ wyodems.org

Erin O'Doherty came home to Wyoming more than 27 years ago to work as a wildlife ecologist. She is a lifelong activist who cares deeply about providing a healthy, prosperous future for all people for generations to come. Since retiring from her science career she has been applying her database skills to help non-profit organizations and electoral politics.

TRUETT THOMPSON

Secretary

Truett is a third generation Wyoming native. He grew up in Cheyenne and graduated high school in Pine Bluffs. In 2005 he was accepted into the Wyoming Joint Apprenticeship Training for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 415.
In 2009, he graduated at the top of his class and was nominated and elected as Recording Secretary of the Local. He retained thatposition until 2015 when he was elected Vice President. In 2011, he married his amazing wife Rachel, who is a speech therapist in the school district.

Truett got his start in politics when he was a third year apprentice when he went to his first AFL-CIO state convention. He has been to the capitol and lobbied to keep license laws within the electrical industry for Wyoming, as well as to keep project labor agreements (PLAs) for publicly funded construction jobs available for use.Truett looks forward to working with the WDP and helping working people in the state.

CASKEY RUSSELL

Treasurer

Chris “Caskey” Russell was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. He received his BA and MA in English from Western Washington University, and his PhD from the University of Oregon.A few of the many jobs he’s held include roofer, concrete worker, construction worker, janitor, forest firefighter, musician, and professor.

Caskey is an enrolled member of the Tlingit Indian Tribe ofAlaska, and teaches courses in American Indian Studies at the University of Wyoming, where he is currently an Associate Professor in English and Director of American Indian Studies. He ismarried with two sons.

Caskey's hobbies include playing and coaching soccer, playing guitar and singing with his band Moral Panic, and hiking/fishing/camping in the wonderful Wyoming outdoors. He’s lived in Laramie since 2004.

JESSICA SELL CHAMBERS

National Committeewoman
jessica @ wyodems.org

Jessica Sell Chambers, B.A. International Studies; M.A. Education, is a reporter for Planet Jackson Hole, an education consultant, and associate of Jackson Hole United, a social justice advocacy non-profit providing a forum and tools for open dialogue affecting the community. Jessica is married to Reed, a fifth-grade teacher, and they are parents of her 17-year-old brother, Luke, and two-year-old son, McCrae - who can be seen driving toy dump trucks through Dem executive committee meetings or snoozing in a backpack while she participates.

Jessica was raised on picket lines by a local Teamster and a nurse and understands the value of taking care of working people, the backbone of our state and country. As a newly elected committeewoman to the DNC, she is working hard to get Wyoming the attention it deserves.

Her favorite quote: "A rising tide lifts all boats; when everyone has enough, all of us are more secure, prosperous, and healthy."

lucas fralick

National Committeeman
lucas @ wyodems.org

Lucas Fralick is a member of the Young Democrats of Wyoming caucus and has previously served as the Wyoming Democratic Party's Parliamentarian. Look for his full bio soon!

support democrats across the state!

executive staff

dean ferguson

Executive Director

Dean was raised on a small horse ranch in northern Idaho. His love for public lands, where everyone can hunt, fish, or just roam, drew him to Democratic politics. Simply, Republicans will sell those lands if given half a chance. Dean has worked blue collar jobs as a cowboy, gold prospecting, tree thinning, and harvest truck driving, and some indoor jobs as well: teaching, retail sales, and journalism. His political experience includes managing a U.S. Senate campaign, Communication Director for a U.S. Representative, Communication Director for the Idaho Democratic Party, and Interim Executive Director for Idaho Democratic Party. Dean has a B.S. in Education from the University of Idaho and an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
Dean was drawn to the Wyoming Democratic Party because it is in the West, which he loves, and because the challenges facing Wyoming mirror his Idaho experience. In short: Wyoming Democrats can win and will win--we simply need to be strategic, realistic, financially supportive, and we need to show our neighbors that Wyoming Democrats fight for true freedom.
dean @ wyodems.org

kendra cross

Finance Director

Kendra Cross is a fifth generation Wyomingite coming from businesswomen, farmers, coal-miners, and plumbers. She grew up in Rock Springs, WY, traveled to study anthropology and political science for her undergrad; and business administration and organizational development during graduate school. Kendra has been elected into leadership positions for Sublette County Democratic Party and received the 2017 WDP Partybuilder of the Year Award. She considers herself a community organizer and an activist at heart, with a list of organizations she has established or served on.
kendra @ wyodems.org

erin o'doherty

Data Director

Manages the voter database and provides county parties, candidates, and candidate committees with access and support. She provides database training and analyses as requested.
erin @ wyodems.org

nina hebert

Digital Director

A Louisiana native, Nina grew up hunting, fishing, and boating throughout Louisiana's public lands, and learned early that there's some lines we don't cross--picket lines, that is. Nina's grandfather headed a fire fighter union, and watching him organize workers inspired in her a lifetime commitment to never cross a picket line, or do business with a company whose workers were striking. Nina received her B.A. in Communication Studies and Political Science from LSU in 2006, and is studying towards a M.A. in Political Communication from Johns Hopkins University. She moved to Wyoming in 2010, and lives in Cheyenne with her husband and three children.
nina @ wyodems.org

sarah hunt

Field Director

Sarah is a Wyoming native from a family of plumbers, oil field workers, and small business owners. She became interested in politics at a young age while sitting around and talking with family and friends about the issues surrounding life in a small town in Sublette County, Wyoming. Sarah has a love of travel and culture that led her to a BA in Intercultural Studies and an MA in Intercultural and International Communications for Conflict Zone. Her life has led her all over the world, from living in Cairo to serving a term with Peace Corps Romania, but she keeps coming back to Wyoming.
sarah @ wyodems.org

dr. Dana Lee Pertermann

Field Organizer-Sweetwater

Dana Pertermann is an archaeologist specializing in the history of the West, and a lifelong Democrat. She has a PhD in Anthropology, and wants Wyoming to be a place that works for everyone, especially for her two young children and her husband of 16 years, who was born in Germany. Dana cares dearly about people, and is interested in everyone’s story. She’s also a huge nerd, and will talk your ear off about Doctor Who you let her!

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a note from our executive director

True freedom.

True freedom is a value that everyone in Wyoming shares.

We believe true freedom exists when everyone has a fair shot at success. True freedom exists with a free public education. True freedom exists beyond the crippling burden of student loans. True freedom exists when we have affordable, quality healthcare. True freedom exists when you can’t get fired or evicted simply because of who you are. True freedom exists in a livable wage.
And for me, true freedom means that No Trespassing signs will never block my path onto public lands that I hunt, fish, and hike.

The Wyoming Democratic Party is the only organization in the world with the singular mission of electing Wyoming Democratic candidates who fight to make sure everyone enjoys true freedom. That’s mission that I am honored to be part of.
Thanks for taking time to visit our website and learn a more about us. We welcome you.

Yours truly,