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BREAKING: VA House Dems Nominate Don Scott for Speaker; Elect Charniele Herring for Majority Leader, Kathy Tran for Caucus Chair



UPDATE 12:40 pm – See below for a press release from the Virginia House Democratic Caucus.

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This morning, four days after winning a narrow (51-49) majority, Virginia House Democrats met in Richmond to nominate Del. Don Scott (unopposed) for Speaker (note: he’ll be voted on by the full House of Delegates on January 10). This is an historic moment, because in all of Virginia’s history, an African-American has never held the position of Speaker of the House. Also, Don Scott’s just an impressive guy, who has gone from serving time in prison in the 1990s to becoming Senior Vice Presidenat at KRA Corporation, a workforce development company; to being admitted to the Bar in 2015 and opening his own law firm; to being elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2019, then being elected Virginia House Democratic Leader 2021; and now…Speaker. Wow!

In other news this (busy) Saturday morning: Virginia House Dems also voted for a new Majority Leader, choosing Del. Charniele Herring; and for a new Democratic Caucus Chair, electing Del. Kathy Tran. Congratulations to the first African-American Speaker in Virginia history, as well as to new Majority Leader Herring and new Democratic Caucus Chair Tran!

By the way, VA Senate Democrats will meet next to select their new leadership, including a vote for Senate Majority Leader (to replace longtime Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw, who is retiring) between Sen. Mamie Locke and Sen. Scott Surovell.

And on the Republican side, the House GOP has a battle for Minority Leader between the current Speaker, Todd Gilbert, and the current Majority Leader, Del. Terry Kilgore. As for the Senate GOP, apparently it’s between (hard-right/extreme) Sen. Mark Obenshain and (also very conservative but *maybe* not as extreme as Obenshain) Sen. Ryan McDougle for their new Minority Leader. Stay tuned…

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DON SCOTT FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN TO BE NAMED SPEAKER-DESIGNEE FOR VA HOUSE OF DELEGATES

Virginia House Democrats Elect Caucus Leadership, Charniele Herring Named Majority Leader and Kathy Tran named Caucus Chair

Richmond, VA – After winning the Majority in the House of Delegates Tuesday, the House Democratic Delegates and Delegates-elect met on Saturday to elect caucus leadership.

Making history, Delegate Don Scott became the first African-American to be nominated by their caucus for Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates in the 400+ year history of the Legislature. Speaker-designee Scott’s personal story – one of resilience, second chances, and historic firsts – reflects that of many Virginians and people across the nation.

“I cannot express enough how humbled I am to be named the next Speaker of the House by my colleagues. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as the House Democratic Leader and I look forward to bringing that passion to the Speaker’s office. Virginia voters sent a resounding message on Tuesday that they wanted a Commonwealth that moved forward and that is exactly what I intend to do as your next Speaker,” said Speaker-designee Scott.

The full House of Delegates will officially vote to confirm a new Speaker on the first day of the 2024 Legislative Session. The House Democratic Caucus voted to elect Speaker-designee Scott unanimously by acclamation.

Delegate Charniele Herring will be returning to the Legislature as Majority Leader. Leader-elect Herring made history as the first Black woman to serve as Majority Leader in the 2020-2021 Legislative session. She also previously served as Caucus Chair.

“I am incredibly proud of my colleagues, both new and returning. I am looking forward to serving as Majority Leader in the House of Delegates. Today the real work begins and I am looking forward to hitting the ground running with these history-makers,” said Leader-elect Herring.

The House Caucus voted to Delegate Kathy Tran to serve as the new Caucus Chair. Chair Tran will be the first member of the AAPI community to serve in the role.

“I am profoundly thankful to my colleagues who have entrusted me with this role and look forward to a unified session to represent the Commonwealth. I first came to the House as part of the Blue Wave of 2017 where voters repudiated MAGA extremism for the first time, I cannot wait to return in this role now that voters have rejected that extremism yet again,” said Chair-elect Tran.

House Democratic Caucus Executive Director Amy Friedman said, “this leadership team represents the Commonwealth of Virginia. As a born-and-raised Virginian, nothing has made me prouder than to work alongside these incredible Legislators to take back the majority. I look forward to seeing them work to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Virginians.”

 

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