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!