Late last night, Ben “Not Larry Sabato” Tribbett tweeted the following potentially YUGE news:
This morning, I’ve been trying to confirm this and get more details. So far, what I’ve found out from multiple sources is that Leader Toscano WILL be resigning as Leader, “but not immediately” – after the 2019 session is what I’m told by sources within the House Democratic caucus. [UPDATE 8:42 am: I’m also told that there’s some disagreement on the exact timing…] I’m also told that Toscano plans to keep his House seat.
As for who should replace Toscano, in my mind it should be someone who has all the skills needed to do this job well: 1) strong floor leadership/speaking ability; 2) top-notch fundraising ability; 3) political strategy “chops” – as exemplified by the need for House Dems to win back the majority in next November’s elections; 4) ability to manage a large, diverse caucus and keep it (relatively) unified. I’d also want someone who is a strong progressive and environmentalist. And, of course, the new leadership team should “look like Virginia” in all ways.
Finding all of that in one person is easier said than done, of course, and also note that whoever takes this job will have to have the time and energy to do it well. So…got me, but it’s a crucial job, particularly given that Virginia House Democrats are thiiiiiis close to regaining the majority, which would mean that one of these folks could very well be the next Speaker of the House come January 2020. So yeah, the stakes are very high. Fortunately, there are numerous folks within the Virginia House Democratic Caucus with “chops” of various sorts, so I’m not particularly worried about future prospects. Still, David Toscano has been an excellent leader in many ways, and this is a tireless, thankless job that takes you away from work and family, which probably explains why not too many people want the job!