Charniele Herring, the state delegate whose district includes West End Alexandria, announced Wednesday she is running for chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia following the resignation of Chairman Brian Moran.
Herring has served in the House of Delegates since 2009 and is currently minority whip. She told Patch on Wednesday she is not yet aware of any other candidates running for the position.
“I’m running because I really want to build on the party’s success, and I think one of my strong suits is organization, and I think the party’s done such a good job,” she said. “And we had such a good turnout in the last election, and the goal is to capture those voters and keep them involved.”
Herring said she believes, if elected, she would be the first black chair of the state party. If elected, she plans to stay on as a delegate and minority whip but would likely relinquish her chairmanship of the Legislative Reproductive Health Caucus.
In an open letter to supporters Wednesday, Herring wrote she has “a vision that the Democratic Party can build upon the success of the 2012 election, channel our grassroots strength and achieve victory in 2013 and beyond.”
Next year's gubernatorial race will be critical for Democrats, who lost four years ago despite a strong showing for President Barack Obama in 2008.
“I am also seeking election to this position so that I can make sure that we are focusing on what is happening in Richmond,” Herring wrote. “As the House Minority Whip, when I am in session I am fighting first hand for the Virginia in which we want to live. I am proud to work as part of a leadership team that brings Democrats together, and I look forward to adding an element to our party that will better connect our grassroots supporters to the issues we are facing in Richmond every winter."
Herring said in the letter she had the support of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and former Democratic National Committee Chairman and 2013 gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.
Moran, whose brother Jim Moran represents this area in Congress, released the following statement Wednesday:
"Being the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia over these past two years has been one of the great honors of my life. I am proud to have led a party that played a substantial role in the statewide effort to reelect President Barack Obama and send Tim Kaine to the United States Senate, and laid the foundation to continue our momentum and elect our candidates in 2013 and beyond.”
Herring is currently serving her third term in the state House. She serves on the Courts of Justice Committee and the Science and Technology Committee.
Herring has lived in Northern Virginia for nearly three decades, including 22 years in West End Alexandria. She is a past president of the West End Business Association, serves on the board of directors for the Hopkins House and is a member of the Greater Washington Board of Trade Policy and Outreach Committee.
Herring earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from George Mason University and a juris doctorate from the Catholic University Columbus School of Law.