Home 2014 Races Sue Langley for FCDC Chair

Sue Langley for FCDC Chair


I just received the following letter (for the rest, see the “flip”) from Sue Langley, who is running for Fairfax County Democratic Committee Chair. The election is this Tuesday evening at 7:30 pm at Falls Church High School (7521 Jaguar Trail), and it could be a close one, so if you’re eligible, please make sure you vote. For my part, I’m supporting Sue for a variety of positive reasons. Here are just a few.

1. Sue is a superstar when it comes to precinct operations, arguably the most important function of any Democratic committee, as it directly relates to winning elections. As FCDC Vice Chair for Precinct Operations from 2006 to 2011, Sue institutionalized precinct captain training, held joint precinct operations and election protection training (a huge step forward on that front in Fairfax County). Sue was also a driving force in the creation of the FCDC Election Law and Voter Protection Committee in 2008-09. Among other things, she prepared a comprehensive Precinct Captain manual, developed video training sessions for canvassing, held regular phone conference calls with precinct captains to coordinate GOTV, and instituted an annual precinct operations workshop. Feeling exhausted just reading this list of accomplishments? Yeah, me too. But not Sue, apparently, who is like a Democratic Energizer Bunny…she just keeps going and going to elect Democrats!

2. Sue has been an amazingly effective grassroots organizer for years, including during the Jim Webb for Senate campaign, which is when I really got to know (and admire) her work. This year, she organized numerous precincts in Hunter Mill and Providence Districts. Every one of those precinct outperformed the turnout numbers for the county as a whole and for the respective districts. Sue’s precincts also had lower drop-off rates for the Fairfax County Sheriff’s race, because she was out there with Stacey Kincaid’s literature along with other dedicated, hard-working volunteers. Impressive.


3. Sue coordinated the countywide canvassing for Jim Webb in 2006. It was so successful that, due to the lack of a really well-funded coordinated campaign, she was asked to help coordinate canvassing in parts of Prince William County as well. Remember, Webb beat George Allen by just over 9,000 votes (out of nearly 2.4 million cast), and he did it in large part by racking up a huge margin (65,000 votes) in Fairfax County. We have a number of key people to thank for that, and Sue Langley is most certainly one of them.

4. Sue is superb at motivating volunteers, building consensus and bringing people together. Volunteers always come back to her. That is why she has been able to build a formidable team in Vienna that has helped turn Republican areas into reliably blue areas.

The bottom line is that Sue Langley will make a superb chair of FCDC. Why does that matter? Because, as we saw this past year, even when Democrats are sweeping the statewide offices in a gubernatorial year, we still need a lot of help at the local level. Thus, in 2013, we picked up a net of just ONE House of Delegates seat, despite optimism that we could pick up 6, 10, or even more (note that several of those unrealized pickup opportunities were in Fairfax County). What I’d like to see for 2015 is an FCDC that’s firing on all cylinders, cooking with gas, pedal to the metal, and every other saying you can think for “kicking butt and winning elections.” I believe that with Sue Langley as chair of FCDC, we have our best shot at doing just that. Go Sue!

  • totallynext

    Sue has over six years of being a key member of the fcdc executive steering committee.  With that experience across multiple chairs, she brings unique understanding of what works and doesn’t work in managing the committee.

    She is not seeking the position of chair to further her political resume, but to further the influence and success of fairfax county democrats.

  • Tom

    I think you said it will be “close”, but I haven’t seen anything about who is running against Sue. Any info. on the competition ?

  • AnonymousIsAWoman

    explaining exactly why Sue would be terrific as Chair.  You hit every major reason why I am supporting Sue.  Well done, Lowell!

  • Marc Greidinger

    Lowell, you seem to have made a careful study of Sue’s campaign literature (which is abundant — now I believe at 3 glossy mailers) and website (which has more bells and whistles than an old steam engine). But your endorsement is weak on the facts.

    Sue’s forte was always precinct ops and work on individual campaigns. Her strength has been showing up and getting others to do so. She was criticized in her leadership of FCDC precinct ops for having a directive rather than inclusive management style.

    Sue ran for but then resigned from the position of Regional Vice-Chair in 2012 because she did not get her way on a funding decision made by FCDC’s Steering Committee. She seems not to have believed that her prerogatives were respected. Sue led several others to resign at the same time, thinking wrongly this would cause a leadership crisis. Her remaining supporters on the Steering Committee have frequently been bent on creating chaos for chaos’s sake at meetings I have attended.

    Sue was not a big mover in the creation of Election Law and Protection (ELP). The credit for conceiving that belongs to Jack Young, Jay Myerson, and Fred Mittleman. Fred’s memorial service just took place and it would be appropriate to give credit where it is really due. These individuals’ work has been sustained by the ELP leadership — including Stephen Spitz, Seth Stark, Kristen Cabral and John Farrell.

    Early on, Sue’s supporters attacked the work of the Election Law and Protection Committee as a potential vulnerability of Cesar del Aguila, the current FCDC Chair running for reelection. They have been doing this opportunistically with whatever issue or grievance they can find that they think might mobilize dissatisfaction.

    The litigation that Cesar initiated and the Committee unanimously approved is paying off substantially and has already saved thousands of votes. So Sue now claims that her real dissatisfaction was not with the litigation but with the process ELP and Cesar used for initiating the litigation. We do not hear this kind of criticism leveled at Delegate Herring for initiating the voter purge litigation on behalf of DPVA.

    Sue also apparently takes issue with ELP’s quite sensible and rather essential initiative to ensure that all Voter Protection poll watchers receive training — or at least watch a training video to prepare them for an increasingly difficult role — a position that has been supported by the Virginia state democratic party and ELP for years. Sue’s website exploits quotations from people who are no longer on the ELP committee — or who oppose its Chairs and its programs — to suggest that she supported programs that from all appearances she vigorously opposed through her surrogates.    

    Having achieved excellent results in FCDC’s litigation, election protection, raising money, building membership, and electing democrats, Cesar has a great record to run on. It is revealing that those who sought to impeach Cesar for his fine work in these areas are now attempting to take credit for his achievements.