In memoriam: Maria Leavey

This is the eve of the "big visit" from HRC, but another woman is the subject of this post.

Unlike the very-much-in-the-spotlight Senator Clinton, Maria Leavey was a behind the scenes dynamo according to all who worked with her.  She worked out of her home in Washington, D.C., on what friends describe as a "bulky old computer."  She died, at the age of 52, on the last day of 2006.  (Here’s the Washington Post obituary.) A memorial service was held at the Democratic National Committee’s offices in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday of this week. Leavey worked for Iowa Senator Tom Harkin for about a decade.  This is the statement he released earlier this month:

“Last week, the progressive community and the Harkin family suffered a great loss.  Maria Leavey was like no other.  She was a dedicated activist and a passionate progressive in the best sense.  She had a wonderful, positive spirit and she cared deeply about fairness and justice.  I will truly miss her. My thoughts and prayers are with Maria’s family and many friends.” 

I met Leavey by phone when she worked for Iowa Senator Tom Harkin.  Sarah Leonard, a work colleague of Leavey’s when the two were working for Harkin and then when both worked for Howard Dean, calls Maria a "treasure."  I emailed Leonard this past week to ask about Leavey. "She knew every news director in Iowa by name," Leonard replied, a reference to Leavey’s vast list of contacts in Iowa radio stations.  "She spoke to them on a daily basis during her busy cycles."

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.