Colmon Elridge III
40, CEO, Kentucky Democratic Party
Colmon has been involved in politics and government for almost 20 years, making him one of the youngest, most experienced, political and government leaders in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. At age 26, Colmon became the first African American to serve as the Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Steve Beshear. In this role, Colmon oversaw the staff and operations of the office of Governor, while also carrying a policy portfolio including the implementation of the Affordable Cate Act in Kentucky and launching a program that enrolled more than 60,000 children in the Kentucky Childrens Health Insurance Program. At that time Colmon also served as the Executive Vice President of the Young Democrats of America. In this role, Colmon raised over five million dollars in aiding the resurgence of the Americas largest and oldest youth political organization. Since these accomplishments Colmon has also run the nations premier think tank for Interstate Compacts, a constitutional mechanism that allows and urges states to work collaboratively to meet the growing challenges of our nation. Colmon led the successful passage of the interstate medic licensure compact, the physical therapy interstate compact, and the revamping of the nurse interstate compact, which allows for license reciprocity across state lines. Colmon, always carrying about education, left that role to work with Kentucky public schools as the Government relations director for the Kentucky’s schools. Since leaving that role, Colmon has become the Senior Director of Strategy for KnowledgeWorks, a national education nonprofit. In November of 2020, Colmon became the first African American and youngest chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party. We m serving as the historic first person of color to lead any major political party in Kentucky, Colmon has continuously worked to expand the political and governing opportunities for people of color and those in marginalized communities.