Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria) announced on Saturday that she is launching a PAC to help Democrats win control of the General Assembly in this year’s elections.
Herring appeared at a town hall at Virginia Union University in Richmond, where she discussed the importance of having more women of color run for office and admitted she’s considering a run for Virginia Attorney General in 2021.
The town hall was hosted by She the People, a national progressive group that wants to create and sustain energy around women of color who run for office. According to the Richmond-Times Dispatch, about 200 people attended the event, where Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy (D-Prince William) and state Sen. Jennifer L. McClellan (D-Richmond) were also present.
No African American woman has ever held statewide office and Herring, the chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said she is already encountering skeptics who are concerned about having multiple women of color running for statewide office.
Herring rejected that line of thinking outright and said they need to tell people to “stop and check themselves.”
Neither McClellan nor Carroll Foy discussed their much-rumored gubernatorial runs, but both spoke about the importance of having women of color in leadership roles.
Del. Marcia Price (D-Newport News) also attended the event and said that women of color “can’t afford to not run.” As part of the Democratic party’s efforts to elect more women of color, Price and other Virginia progressives formed the Rising Power PAC, which had its launch party on Saturday after the event.
Virginia Democrats are coming off a historic election in 2017, where they picked up 15 seats in the House of Delegates, reducing the Republicans’ majority to a two seat margin. This year, they hope to win control of not just the House, but also the state Senate, where Republicans also hold a two seat margin.
The various PACs are likely to play a key role in this year’s campaign cycle, and should they succeed, they could very well pave the path for three women of color to run for statewide office in 2021.