Democrats elected a big class of young governors. They might be the future of the party.

NEW ORLEANS — The future of the Democratic Party was formed over the weekend in a New Orleans hotel ballroom.

At least that’s what the donors, operatives and state executives who attended the Democratic Governors Association’s annual winter confab here think. The party last month successfully defended all but one of its incumbents and flipped three open seats, introducing or elevating a new group of chief executives onto the national stage.

This midterm class of Democrats is young and diverse, and some of its members are likely to be the next leaders of the party — or make a run at the White House sometime soon, even if it’s not in 2024.

“Is it the next generation of national leaders? Absolutely,” Tina Kotek, 56, the governor-elect of Oregon, said in an interview. “We see governors who run for president, we see governors who run federal departments, we see governors who are the thought leaders for the next generation. So this is going to pay dividends over the next two decades.”

Of the 18 Democrats elected or reelected to governorships this year, eleven are under the age of 60. Many are closer to 50. Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, 51,

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