A look at what prospective Democratic presidential candidates are up to:
- Former Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Ohio at the end of June for fundraising events in Cincinatti for Richard Cordray, the Democratic candidate in the Ohio governor’s race; and another event in Cleveland for Democratic senator Sherrod Brown.
- Biden also endorsed Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams in her campaign to become the first Democratic governor of Georgia in 15 years, and the first African American woman to ever be elected governor. Abrams has also been endorsed by other 2020 contenders Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris.
- Biden also endorsed Jena Griswold, the Democratic nominee running for Colorado Secretary of State.
- Governor Jay Inslee traveled to Iowa in his capacity as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, where he joined the Iowa Democratic ticket Fred Hubbell and Rita Hart at a campaign event. He recorded an interview with Iowa Public Television in which he praised Hubbell as “the perfect candidate.” He will also be the featured speaker at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Celebration in Des Moines on Saturday night. He will also be meeting with Democratic activists in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.
- Senator Jeff Merkley did not rule out a possible presidential run during an interview with The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser: “I’m exploring the possibility.”
- Senator Cory Booker was the headliner at the Blue Commonwealth Gala in Richmond, Virginia, an annual event organized by the Democratic Party of Virginia. In addition to Booker, all Virginia Democratic statewide elected officials and former governor Terry McAuliffe – another possible 2020 contender – spoke at the event.
- Senator Kamala Harris sent out a fundraising email on behalf of Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, according to Kansas City Star reporter Lindsay Wise. Harris also praised McCaskill during her keynote address before the St. Louis County NAACP, which both senators attended. McCaskill is considered one of the most endangered Democratic senators of the current election cycle.
Virginia House Delegate Rick Morris, who represents the 64th District, announced he will not be running for reelection this fall, according to the Tidewater News. The reason for his decision is to spend more time with his family. According to Richmond Times-Dispatch political columnist Jeff Schapiro, “Morris was ensnared in domestic abuse scandal and long resisted demands by fellow Republicans, including @SpeakerHowell, that he quit.”
The Democratic Party of Virginia plans to challenge 45 Republican incumbents in the House of Delegates this coming fall, 17 of which represent districts that voted for Hillary Clinton in the last presidential election – the third consecutive cycle the Commonwealth has gone to the Democratic candidate. According to Ballotpedia, Morris was first elected in 2011 after ousting incumbent Democrat Bill Barlow 55-44, and was reelected unopposed in 2013 and 2015.
Rex Alphin and Emily Brewer have entered the race for the Republican nomination. Three candidates – Rebecca Colaw, John Wandling, and Jerry Cantrell – are running for the Democratic nomination. Primary day in Virginia is scheduled for June 13.
Richmond School Board member Jeff Bourne is now the newest member of the Virginia House of Delegates, having defeated Libertarian candidate John Barclay and Independent candidate Regie Ford with a whopping 89 percent of the vote in the special election for the Commonwealth’s 71st House District.
The 71st District, which includes parts of Richmond and Henrico County, was previously represented by Democratic Delegate Jennifer McClellan, who vacated the seat after being elected to represent the 9th Senate District. This election gives Republicans a 66-34 majority in the House. Bourne and the other members of the House of Delegates are up for reelection in November of 2017.
Statement from Democratic Party of Virginia Chairwoman Susan Swecker:
“Congratulations to Delegate-Elect Jeff Bourne on his victory in Virginia’s 71st House District. Jeff brings a fresh vision and passion for public service and he’ll fight for Virginia families, education, and good-paying jobs. We look forward to seeing what lies ahead for Jeff in his new role in the House.”
Statement from DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post:
“Congratulations to Delegate-elect Bourne on his success tonight,” said Post. “An outstanding legislative candidate with a strong background in public service has won the second consecutive election since President Trump’s inauguration – a crucial contrast to an administration already rife with desperation and incompetence. DLCC is thrilled by Del.-elect Bourne’s victory. He reflects both Democratic and Virginia values, and his win is just one of many electoral victories to come for down-ballot Democrats as voters reject the Trump administration’s extreme and bigoted agenda.”
Susan Swecker, the chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, announced her candidacy for president of the Association of State Democratic Chairs, the position currently held by New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley. Here’s an excerpt from the letter she sent out to state party chairs and vice chairs to launch her campaign:
The message of my campaign and my goal if elected is simple: to help us grow and maintain strong Democratic Party infrastructures that are sustainable regardless of any one election cycle. Simply put, we have done that in Virginia and I want to partner with you to build better, stronger vibrant state parties across the country.
I firmly believe the way to rebuild the Democratic Party starts with us. As State Party Chairs and Vice Chairs we are on the ground – on the front lines – talking with voters, building programs, and we are the ones who know that we must not just turn out the base, but persuade voters. We, along with the organizations we have built in our states, are the ones who are the best hope Democrats have to rebuild from the bottom up.
While we lost the presidency on November 8th, we had many success stories. Working with our stakeholders we made decisions that brought victories at state and local levels. We also saw the striking difference when our united efforts directly led to higher performance than the top of the ticket. That isn’t a coincidence – it is a testament to hard work, coordination and teamwork on the ground by the people who know the lay of the land the best.
Virginia has been one of the Democratic Party’s biggest success stories over the past decade or so, for statewide and congressional races, and has turned blue for the past three consecutive presidential campaigns, after a string of uninterrupted Republican victories from 1968 to 2004.
The election for the position will take place at the Democrats’ meeting in Atlanta at the end of February, at which they will also be electing officers for leadership positions in the Democratic National Committee.