Va. Democrats elect state’s first African American party chair

Posted at 6:22 PM, Dec 09, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-09 21:58:31-05

WILLIAMSBURG, VA – Saturday the Democratic Party of Virginia unanimously elected Delegate Charniele Herring to be the next state party chair.

Herring, a House of Delegates member from Alexandria, will become the state’s first African American chairwoman. She was elected to the General Assembly in January 2009, in a special election to fill a vacated spot in the 46th House District.

The current party chair, Brian Moran, defeated Peter Rousselot of Arlington, and was elected chair on Dec. 4, 2010. Moran, along with Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, endorsed Herring as his successor.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to hand over the reins of State Party Chair to Delegate Herring,” said Brian Moran. “Delegate Herring is a strong advocate for Democrats across the Commonwealth and will work tirelessly to continue the progress we made in 2012 and bring us to victory in 2013.”

Voter registration and turnout efforts will be critical in the upcoming gubernatorial race, and Herring said that political data gathered about Virginia voters during Obama’s reelection campaign will be helpful.

If history holds true, the Democrats must get voters engaged. Turnout in 2013 will not resemble the high levels that have twice locked the state’s electoral votes for Pres. Barack Obama.

Since 1977, Virginia has consistently voted for the gubernatorial candidate of the party opposite to the party holding the White House. 

And it was only recently that the GOP has taken back the governor’s seat after eight years of Democrats.

“I am humbled by the strength and diversity of Virginia Democrats,” said newly elected Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Delegate Charniele Herring. “I look forward to fighting every day to ensure we continue to elect Democrats here in this great Commonwealth.”