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Staff

  • Rob Hipskind // Coordinated Campaign Director

    rhipskind@vtdemocrats.org

    Prior to joining the VDP in 2016, Rob organized with groups fighting for a range of issues including Housing Rights, Reproductive Justice, and the Fight for $15. After graduating from Kalamazoo College with a BA in Political Science and Philosophy with honors in 2011, his work in electoral politics began working on a statewide ballot initiative to protect collective bargaining rights for public sector workers.

    Since then he has worked on campaigns ranging from the county level to the federal to bring data-driven best practices to all levels of Democratic electoral politics. Rob served as the VDP's Data Director from April 2016 through February 2018, when he became the VDP's Coordinated Campaign Director.

  • Brandon Batham // Political Director

    bbatham@vtdemocrats.org

    Brandon re-joined the Vermont Democratic Party staff team in May 2017 after serving briefly as a general consultant for the Vermont State Senate Democratic Caucus, and previous service on the senior staff teams for the VDP's 2014 and 2016 Coordinated Campaigns. In Vermont, he also helped to run the 2014 campaign for Senate Majority Leader Becca Balint, and served for two years as President of Vermont Theatre Company, a non-profit community theater organization based out of Brattleboro.

    A native of Southern California, Brandon initially moved to Vermont to attend Marlboro College, where he studied American Studies and Politics. He has more than a decade of political experience in California and Vermont, working on presidential, congressional, statewide, legislative, and muncipal campaigns for progressive Democratic candidates and causes.

    In addition to serving on staff, Brandon is the Chair of the Barre City Democratic Committee. He also sits on the Barre City Council and Aldrich Public Library Board of Trustees.

  • Maggie Lenz // Finance Director

    mlenz@vtdemocrats.org

    Maggie re-joined the Vermont Democratic Party in July 2018 as the Finance Director. She attended college in Denver for journalism, while working as an event planner and promoter. She volunteered on various Colorado Democratic congressional races, and spent the winter of 2004 working on Howard Dean’s Presidential race in New Hampshire. She owned and managed a restaurant in Maine before selling the business in 2008 and moving back to her childhood home-state of Vermont. She worked as a Field Organizer for the Vermont Democratic Party in 2016, and then as a Government Affairs Specialist in Montpelier from 2016-2018. In her free time she writes and performs stand-up comedy and overdoses on political podcasts. She lives in Montpelier with her cat Vladimir.

  • Grace Blackburn // Organizing Director

    gblackburn@vtdemocrats.org

    Grace re-joined the Vermont Democratic Party’s as the Organizing Director in June 2018. Grace began her career working on campaigns in 2016 as a Field Organizer on the VDP’s Coordinated Campaign. In 2017 she worked as the Field Director on a House of Delegates Race in Virginia and spent a short time working on a Congressional Race in Virginia in 2018. Grace graduated in 2016 from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelors of Science in Sociology and Political Science. Grace is originally from Richmond, VA, but currently lives in Montpelier with her dog Lucy.

  • Jim Dandeneau // House Campaign Director

    jdandeneau@vtdemocrats.org

    Jim joined the VDP as House Campaign Director in January 2017 after a stint as Political Director to the Vermont Coordinated Campaign, and Field Director for Sue Minter’s gubernatorial campaign. Jim graduated from St. John’s University with a B.A. in Government and Politics, and in 2016 was awarded a Master’s Degree in Labor Studies from the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies at the City University of New York. He has nearly 15 years of political experience, working on campaigns in New York for offices from County Legislator to Congress, and between campaigns helped land large grants for the New York City Department of Education and to raise the profile of a large nonprofit after-school provider as Communications Director. He lives in Underhill with his wife and two dogs.