by Prince William County Democratic Committee Chair Harry Wiggins as he completes six years in this position on a high note.
The Prince William County Democratic Committee will reorganize tonight, and today will be my last day as Chair. Having served three, two-year terms, it’s time to pass the torch.
When I was first elected in January 2012, our Committee was at the lowest point that I could remember. The Republicans had 26 elected officials and we had only 7. But, things were changing. In 2015, Democrats took control of the School Board, winning 5 of 8 seats (previously it had been 1 Democrat and 7 Republicans). Then in April 2017, a special election was held for Clerk of the Circuit Court, won by Democrat, Jackie Smith, defeating House of Delegates Whip, Jackson Miller by an overwhelming margin. And finally, on November 7, 2017, the county went from 2 Democrats and 6 Republicans in the House of Delegates delegation to 7 Democrats and 1 Republican (Del. Hugo won by fewer than 100 votes over the superior candidate, Democrat Donte Tanner).
As it stands now, there are 13 elected Republicans and 20 elected Democrats in Prince William County. This didn’t happen by accident; we put forth a diverse group to run in the House races: 2 Latinas (PW County is 28% Latino); 3 African Americans (PW County is 22% African American); 4 of our 8 candidates were female. All ran on issues impacting their district, highlighted by Danica Roem’s focus on Route 28. The Democrats were running against 7 old white men and a Republican Asian American.
Of course, we can not give 100% of the credit to our great candidates and their teams. BOCS Chairman Corey Stewart, who now identifies with white supremacists and neo-Nazis, was a help, along with our President, Donald Trump, racist-in chief.
Over the past 6 years, there has been tremendous team work with the entire PWCDC, coming together to fight for a common cause: make PWC blue. Today, we’re getting close to that goal, with the next big step in 2019: control of the Board of County Supervisors. Once we accomplish that goal, we can turn to funding our schools that have been underfunded by the Republicans for 10 years, resulting in 200-plus trailers, second graders using outhouses as bathrooms, and the most overcrowded classrooms in Virginia.
It’s been a great run as Chair, and I want to give special thanks to the Magisterial Chairs: Mansimran Kahlon, Selonia Miles, Margaret Franklin, Richard Jessie, Jim O’Conner, Cynthia Chambliss, and Ernestine Jenkins. Last but not least, a special thanks to Al Brooks, Chair of the African American interest group, for being ever faithful by working the absentee voter effort tirelessly.