DNC Race Heating Up with 1 Week Until DPVA State Convention

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    With just over a week to go until the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) holds its annual State Convention at George Mason University in Fairfax, the race for the 2 male DNC delegate slots appears to be heating up (note: to my knowledge, there are only two women running for the two female slots, so they’re both guaranteed victory on June 2). Here’s the news:

    1. I’m hearing that two more male candidates for DNC have thrown their hats into the ring, joining Frank Leone, Ben Tribbett, Hampton Vice Mayor George Wallace, and Del. Lionell Spruill. The new candidates are former 1st CD Democratic Congressional nominee Shawn O’Donnell and Shaun Broy. It will be interesting to see how these additional candidates might affect the dynamics of this race.

    2. George Wallace sent out a mass email earlier today, claiming he is “the only candidate who has been (and is) a local elected official.” According to Del. Lionell Spruill, who I interviewed, that is simply not the case. To the contrary, Spruill says that George Wallace needs to not “mislead people” and should “get his facts straight and tell the truth,” as Spruill served for 7 years (from 1981 to 1988) on the Chesapeake Planning Commission (including as chair), and on the Chesapeake City Council for 5 years (from 1988 to 1993). Spruill also noted that Hampton is just a fraction of the size of Chesapeake, and that Wallace was “removed as City Manager [of Hampton].” Spruill, who clearly was not pleased with Wallace’s email, added that Wallace “hasn’t been seen or her heard from” outside of Hampton, has “done nothing for the Democrats statewide, hasn’t been on Central Committee, nothing.” So, I asked, why is he suddenly interested in running for DNC? According to Spruill, “he was put up to it by certain members in the [State] Senate…he’s just an instrument to get me off the DNC.” Wow.

    3. Finally, Ben Tribbett is not pleased with Frank Leone for the way he’s campaigning. Specifically, Ben (who I also interviewed) says (note: bolding added by me for emphasis):

    Frank Leone has campaigned as someone who is integral to the DPVA’s rules. Yet, when it doesn’t suit him our chief rule maker becomes our chief rule breaker. I am having to email delegates individually to stay within the rules- while Frank just dumps them into a spam account to get mass emails from the unity team. That’s not right.

    I think DPVA needs to consider serious, real sanctions against those candidates breaking its rules. I would suggest since this “Unity Team” is the group breaking the rules that DPVA consider banning slates from the ballot as a sanction for their rule breaking activity.

    In sum, it’s fun times, one big happy family, and all that in the Democratic Party of Virginia these days. 😉

    P.S. Also, Del. Spruill emphasized his strong support for labor over the years — 100% over 20 years, he says, even kicked off of the Labor and Commerce Committee by the Republicans for being “too pro labor.” He argues that he should get labor support for his DNC candidacy based on his record, and that he can win if people vote on that basis.