Busby takes reins of county Democratic Party

Mark Walker
Jan. 17, 2013

Francine Busby has taken over the reins of the San Diego County Democratic Party, elected its chairwoman Tuesday evening.

The Cardiff-by-the-Sea resident replaces Jess Durfee, who stepped down after leading local Democrats for more than a decade.

Busby has been a party leader since running unsuccessfully for Congress in 2004 against Republican incumbent Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

She ran for Congress again in 2006 against Republican Brian Bilbray after Cunningham resigned from office, admitted he had accepted bribes from defense contractors and evaded taxes and went to jail.

She has served as the party's North County vice chairwoman and in a variety of other posts ranging from fundraising to strategic planning and candidate training.

Busby also heads Run Women Run, a group that mentors and supports female candidates who support abortion rights.

"I'm honored to follow in Jess Durfee's footsteps," she said. "I hope to build on our success to bring positive and progressive change that will benefit all San Diegans."

Durfee was named chair emeritus and remains on the executive board and San Diego's lone member of the Democratic National Committee.

He told U-T San Diego last month that he plans to do volunteer work with the party in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

"In the past decade, San Diego has transformed from a Republican stronghold into a diverse and dynamic region that increasingly votes Democratic," he said. "I'm proud of the work we've done and confident that Francine will lead our party to achieve even more in the years ahead."

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