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DMO Blue Star Rising Candidate Van Johnson Wins Savannah Mayoral Race

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Democratic Municipal Officials Board Member and Blue Star Rising candidate Alderman Van Johnson II wins runoff election for Mayor of Savannah.

Savannah, GA, December 4, 2019 –

Democrats won an important victory last night as they took back the City of Savannah, Georgia after a 2015 Republican takeover of the mayor’s office. Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) Board Member and Blue Star Rising candidate Alderman Van Johnson II won his runoff election for Mayor of Savannah against incumbent Eddie DeLoach. The victory was a landslide 62-38% in favor of Johnson, bringing control of the mayor’s office and city council back to Democrats in a clear statement of values by the people of Savannah.

Johnson, DMO’s National Treasurer and Savannah Alderman elected in 2003, gained Blue Star Rising recognition in May of 2019. This endorsement came after a unanimous vote of the DMO Board of Directors, and gave Johnson the support of the DMO organization along with resources from national level consultants, political organizations, and DMO partners. Last night’s victory was particularly poignant as DMO instituted the Blue Star Candidate program to help Democratic candidates win a mayor’s office or gain the majority of a city council after former Savannah Mayor Edna Branch Jackson lost to DeLoach in 2015.

Along with resources normally out of reach for mayoral candidates, the DMO Blue Star Rising program conferred national recognition from the wider Democratic network. Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Tom Perez hosted a November fundraiser for Johnson alongside the Democratic Party of Georgia (DPG), and the DNC ran a text campaign to help get out the vote. The DPG likewise instituted an election support program consisting of phone contacts, texting, and paid canvassers to get out the vote.

Johnson’s candidacy also garnered state and national endorsements. Democratic candidate for president Cory Booker announced his endorsement for Johnson and used his resources to drive get out the vote efforts in the race. Three 2020 Georgia Senate candidates lent support to the campaign. Candidate for US Senate Sarah Amico canvassed with Johnson on Election Day, and Senate candidates Teresa Tomlinson and Ted Terry, both having served as Georgia mayors themselves, contributed to fundraising efforts. Former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams employed her team Fair Fight to offer significant assistance to the race, including a video endorsement and a series of successful campaign events on Monday.

Democratic Municipal Officials plans to expand on the successes of the Blue Star Candidate program and continue partnering with the Democratic Party and allies to elect more Democrats to local office in 2020 and beyond.

DMO is the DNC Association for municipal elected officials who personally identify as members of the Democratic Party, including those who hold a non-partisan office. The organization holds three seats on the DNC, and advocates for the thousands of local elected Democrats across the United States.


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