Mayor Dwight Jones remains the leading candidate to become the next chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia, this despite calls from the LGBT wing of the party that his bid is unacceptable because of his stance on gay marriage.
Jones maintains a personally opposition to gay marriage, but has yet to be clear about his position of the legality of same sex couples marrying and more specifically the state's constitutional ban on the practice.
Today on NBC12 First at 4, Del. Patrick Hope, one of the first to state publicly that he could not support Jones as Chair called for the Mayor to make abundantly clear where he stands.
"He has not said where his views are when it comes to full marriage equality," Hope said. "On this question of full marriage equality he has not answered the question and I wish the Mayor would state where he stands."
But while Hope and other members of the left wing of the party (including many grass roots activists) have expressed concern Jones has not lost the support of the people that matter the most. Governor Terry McAuliffe who asked Jones to serve has not changed course. Tuesday afternoon Attorney General Mark Herring, who is leading the charge to repeal the marriage ban in Virginia, told the Times-Dispatch's Marcus Schmidt that he supports Jones as the party's next Chairman.
It appears that as much as the party has changed as it relates to gay-rights issues, gay marriage has not become a litmus test for statewide office holders as democrats like Hope believe it should be.
"This is the chair. This is the face of the democratic party," Hope said. "We should have someone in that position that unites us, not divides us."
The party will meet on March 15th to make the final call on Jones as chairman.
You can see our full interview with Del. Hope below: