President, Open Primaries
John is the President of Open Primaries. He is an activist and strategist with more than 25 years of experience working in independent, alternative and reform politics. He is one of the country’s most visible and vocal advocates for primary reform. Opdycke began his career as a fundraiser and researcher for the D.C. based Rainbow Lobby, which advocated for electoral reform in the United States and the democracy movement in the Congo (Zaire). In 1992, he joined Dr. Lenora Fulani's independent campaign for president as a regional fundraising director, and in 1994 assisted Dr. Fulani in her campaign against Mario Cuomo in the Democratic Party gubernatorial primary. That same year, he participated in the founding of the New York State Independence Party, a founding affiliate of the National Reform Party. In 1998, became the Director of Development of Independentvoting.org, and between 1999 and 2014, developed a 50-state fundraising base and expanded Independentvoting.org's fundraising from $50,000 to $1 million annually.
He has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, and NBC and his written commentary on the subject of independent politics and electoral reform has appeared in USA Today, Newsweek, The Hill, and dozens of local publications. Opdycke is a member of the CastilloTheater, the home for postmodern political theater in New York City. He was a member of Castillo’s improvisational troupe The Proverbial Loons for four years and will be directing a series of new improvisational shows in 2018. Opdycke grew up in Evanston, Illinois and attended the University of Michigan. He lives in New York City.
Katherine M. Gehl, a business leader and former CEO with experience in government, began, in the last decade, to participate actively in politics—first in traditional partisan politics.
Truly nonpartisan reform is difficult. Our members have passed major reforms like Colorado’s more open primary, Maine’s statewide ranked choice voting initiative, and California’s top-two nonpartisan primary system.
Being a NANR member gives you access to this trusted network of experienced partners, advisors, vendors, and other resources to make sure you have all the tools to advance nonpartisan reform.