The Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) re-elected Chair Susan Swecker for a four-year term with 80 percent of the vote on Saturday.
“I am incredibly grateful to Virginia Democrats for putting their faith in me to continue to lead the Party as we move forward. We have made so much progress as a Party and Commonwealth over the last seven years, and now is the time to protect and build upon that progress,” Swecker said in a press release.
Swecker has served as chair since 2015, and oversaw Democratic wins of all three statewide offices in 2017, took a majority in Virginia’s congressional delegation in 2019, and a takeover of House of Delegates and Senate majorities in 2019. She also oversaw former Governor Terry McAuliffe’s defeat to Glenn Youngkin along with the loss of the House majority in 2021.
Democratic consultant Ben Tribbett told The Virginia Star that Swecker didn’t have serious challengers in opponents Josh Stanfield and Jim McBride.
“The chair’s election was just a couple of protest candidates and they got the protest votes. Neither one of them was ever seriously contesting, actually,” Tribbett said.
He said Swecker and the other leaders elected Saturday were selected by Virginia’s top Democrats.
“When you have a governor, the governor leads the state party. When you don’t have a governor, your senators lead the state party. And I think that the slate of officers, including Susan, is very much a group of people who have the confidence of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, who, for purposes of what the Democratic Party of Virginia is right now, they are the Democratic Party of Virginia, and I think they really sort of pick these offices,” Tribbett said.
“This wasn’t an election where people were just sort of stepping forward, putting their names forward. It was an election where the slate that was really sort of selected by party leadership, obviously all easily won,” he said.
Now, the DPVA needs to hold off Republican challengers in congressional districts 2, 7, and 10 while preparing for major General Assembly battles for control of the House and Senate in 2023.
Earlier in March, the Republican Party of Virginia announced its support for Swecker.
“The Republican Party of Virginia is proud to announce its support for Susan Swecker for reelection as Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia,” an RPV press release said. “Under Ms. Swecker’s watch, Republicans scored historic victories over her party in last November’s elections. But, as Ms. Swecker says, ‘there is important work still to be done.’ She’s right – Democrats still have congressional seats to lose this fall and a state senate majority to lose next November.”
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