Our primary goal is to elect democrats to all levels of government from the smallest city councils and school boards up to national level Representatives, Senators and Democratic President. We are committed to do all that is possible to help elect Democrats to positions not only within our county but on the national level too.
In order to elect Democrats to office we must first identify and recruit them. Without identifying potential candidates we would not be able to run democrats in all the races. If you are interested or know of someone interested in running for public office please reach out to us. We try to provide support through a multitude of ways such as: volunteers, door knocking, access to space or general support. For lower level offices or people new to running for office we offer help directly with our Candidate Support Committee whose goal is to support candidates.
When possible we do our best to assist candidates with funding. This is critical in campaigns on the local level where a small amount of money can go a long way. Starting a campaign can be expensive and we are here to help when we can. This is another reason why donations are so important.
Above all else we strive to promote democratic values whenever possible. This is done through participating in events throughout the community such as marches, rallies, volunteering and providing support when possible.
Mary Nikas is current Chair of the Marion County Democrats. Mary previously served in various functions within the party, including Chair of the Membership Committee. Mary is a small business owner and believes in making our community more friendly for families through walking and biking paths and an interconnected park system. She has worked on several local campaigns from Salem City Council to School Board to State Representative and Senate District 10. She is also proud of her work on Andrea Salinas’ election to our new Congressional District 6 and volunteers as treasurer for local campaigns. Mary began working on local campaigns in 2015 as co-founder of “Bernie for Salem.” Her activism grew as she came to know and respect local Democratic candidates here in Marion County. Mary looks forward to working with local volunteers to elect Democrats who believe in Climate Action and Resiliency, Healthcare for all Oregonians, a woman’s right to bodily autonomy, compassion for our fellow community members, and in Democracy through respecting and protecting our election process.
Mary and her husband Sean moved here with their two young children in over 17 years ago. Both of her boys attended Salem-Keizer Public Schools from kindergarten through high school. Her youngest is currently attending Chemeketa. She is also a proud Army Mom.
Email Mary at: Chair@mariondemocrats.org
Sean Nikas is currently the first Vice-Chair of the Marion County Democrats and a proud Army Dad. Sean has previously served as the Chair of Congressional District Five and the Chair of the Small Business Caucus for the Democratic Party of Oregon and was your Elector to the Electoral College for President Biden. Sean is a local business owner and a long time Salem resident who has raised two children in Salem, both of whom graduated from South Salem High. Sean has volunteered on many local and national campaigns and helped with numerous campaign events, booths and fundraisers. Sean spends his free time hiking the Oregon Coast and playing Dungeons & Dragons with his whole family.
Email Sean at: SeanNikas@gmail.com
Gwen Carr, is currently 2nd vice chair of Marion County Democrats, she was one of the first 18-year-olds to vote. She worked as a waitress for 20 years. One of the best takeaways she received was the ability to get along with all people rich, poor, young and old. She knows about hard work and being able to get the job done. When, her daughter was in kindergarten, she became a volunteer Girl Scout leader/ co- leader, cookie chair, and registrar and continued for 18 years in two states. She enjoyed leading and mentoring the girls. Then, when her daughter went to college, so did she attending Harbor Community College where she fell in love with political science. After, 2016 she felt compelled to become a county delegate for the Utah Democratic Party. She moved to Keizer, Oregon in 2020. Before she got here, she contacted the Marion County Democrats and was also referred to a Keizer group of like-minded people. She was encouraged to become a Neighborhood Leader and PCP; the idea of becoming a voting member on policy quickly influenced her. Her biggest skill is that she knows how to make people feel welcomed and knows how to listen to people’s needs and concerns. She knows no strangers everyone is her friend. She hopes to help the Marion County Democratic Party to grow and become more inclusive to all people.
Email Gwen at: GwenCarr2002@gmail.com
Victoria “Annabelle” is currently secretary. Annabelle grew up in Marion county and is daughter of Mexican immigrants. She attended Colorado State University-Global Campus where she earned her bachelors in Human Resources Management. Annabelle’s career is in HR and recruitment which has given her the privilege of employing job seekers of all walks of life, from recent high school grads to second chance candidates. Parent of two children and with a spouse who works in the manufacturing industry, recent political climate has encouraged Annabelle to increase her involvement with Marion County Democratic Party and finds her role as secretary as a great stepping stone to ensure Marion County becomes a more welcoming place for all.
Email Annabelle at: email@example.com
Susan Schwab is our Treasurer and is a Licensed Tax Consultant with the Oregon Board of Tax practitioners and has been working in the income tax field since 1979. Susan has been a registered Democrat since 1969. A PCP from 1997-2003 she served as Treasurer for Marion County Democrats until she moved to California in 2003 where she worked for the San Luis Obispo Democratic Party until she retired as the SLOCDP Central Committee Treasurer in 2011 and moved back to Oregon where she once again was elected as a PCP and was elected Treasurer for Marion County Democratic Central Committee in 2012 until 2018. She is a member of the Fundraising committee. Susan is a Member of the American Council of the Blind of Oregon for over 40 years and has held a board position as Treasurer since 2012. She is also a Board member of the Rose Accordion Club.
Email Sue at: Treasurer@mariondemocrats.org