Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran will soon step down as party chair. The party released the news this morning.
Connected liberal blogger, Ben Tribbett is claiming that among those who will announce their candidacy will be Del. Charniele Herring. Herring is a rising democratic star who made a name for herself during the last the legislative session.
UPDATE: Herring announced on twitter this afternoon that she is indeed running for DPVA chair.
Herring, ironically, was elected to her seat in the House of Delegates after Moran stepped down to run for governor in 2009.
Herring was a prominent voice against republican efforts to pass "personhood" legislation and a law that requires women seeking an abortion to undergo a mandatory ultrasound. Herring's vocal opposition to the legislation garnered her national TV appearances and made her a statewide political name.
Herring is said to be considering an eventual run for statewide office, which if she were successful, this position would be a launching pad toward that goal.
According to Tribbett, Herring's candidacy has been endorsed by Terry McAuliffe the former DNC Chairman and current candidate for governor.
McAuliffe's campaign did not respond to our requests for comment.
While democrats have had great success in Virginia during presidential election years, their effort in statewide elections have been disappointing. Not only did democrats lose all three statewide posts in 2009, they also lost seats in both the House and the Senate in '09 and 2011.
If Herring were to announce her candidacy, her election to the post is not given. It is ultimately up to the DPVA voting members to decide. However, if Herring is truly McAuliffe's nominee and he is able to clear any potential opposition, it could indicate how just how much control McAuliffe has taken over the party and how clear his path to the nomination may be.
However, despite Herring's ambition Sen. Mark Warner, who played a major role in the selection of Moran in 2012 would still have a say. Warner is also considering a run for governor and there is nothing to indicate that this news has any bearing on his intentions.
Senator-Elect Tim Kaine may also want a say in who becomes the next party chair. Unlike current Senator Jim Webb, Kaine is active in party politics and it is reasonable to think he'd like to have some input.
Moran's tenure as party chairman has had its highs and lows. He was out of the political spotlight after a failed bid for the democratic nomination for governor in 2009. He took over as chairman in December of 2010 after democrats lost three congressional seats. From the start Moran was dogged by questions about his work as a spokesman for the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities and right before this election, his nephew Patrick Moran was caught on tape appearing to give someone advice on how to commit election fraud.
In terms of winning elections, Moran has had one bad year and one good one. In 2011 they lost control of the Virginia Senate and gave up seats in the House of Delegates. However it is hard to argue with the outcome of 2012. Moran was part of the team that delivered Virginia for Barack Obama and sent Tim Kaine to the Senate.
Moran is a young man (53) and is still considered ambitious. This may not be the last we hear of him.