See below for Virginia House Democratic Caucus Executive Director Trevor Southerland‘s note about his decision to move on, after a highly successful six years as Deputy Executive Director, Finance Director and Executive Director. During that time (2014-present), Virginia House Democrats:
- Went from just 32 seats in 2014 and 34 seats in 2016-2017 to 49 seats (really should have been 50 or 51) in 2018-2019, after picking up 15 seats in November 2017. [Note: at that time, Trent Armitage was Executive Director and Trevor Southerland was Deputy Executive Director]
- Went from 49 seats in 2018-2019 to 55 seats in 2020, after picking up another six seats in November 2019…as Southerland says, “flipping six Republican-held seats to win the first Democratic majority in 20 years and first Democratic trifecta in 26 years.”
- Also, as Southerland writes: “Raised & managed $10M+ of caucus & coordinated funds, worked with national partners (incl. DLCC, EMILY’s List, Everytown, LCV, NDRC, Future Now Fund and more) to direct an additional $6M+ in spending and millions more of candidate spending.”
Now, obviously, a *lot* of that was due to the massive anti-Trump backlash here in Virginia (and across the country) starting in early 2017, so one could say that Southerland was lucky. Of course, that reminds me of the cynical expression in politics, that “when you win everyone thinks you’re a genius, when you lose you’re an idiot.” Except that, from everything I hear, Southerland was someone who – to use another cliche – “made his own luck,” in the sense that he worked hard and smart to put the right pieces in place to fully capitalize any “wave” that might occur. Which, in the end, is really all you can do in that position, and in life generally.
Reaction to Southerland’s announcement includes:
- Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Susan Swecker: “And you grew your family with the birth of your sweet baby boy! But I digress; wishing you the very best and thanks for all you did to grow those numbers and take back the House!”
- Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn: “Thank you, Trevor for all that you did for all of us, the Caucus and the Commonwealth as a whole over the years. You have so much to be proud of and so many successes to point to which truly made a difference in the lives of Virginians. You will be missed. We look forward to following you and your future endeavors. Thank you, Trevor and best of luck!”
- House Majority Leader Charniele Herring: “Thanks for all you have done for the caucus & the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
- House Majority Whip Alfonso Lopez: “You are a Rock Star Trevor – the Caucus will always owe you an immense debt of gratitude!! Thank you for everything my friend.”
- Del. Marcus Simon: “‘We ran what I believe was the best state legislative campaign in history’ – I challenge anyone who disagrees to provide evidence to the contrary. Kudos to you, my friend.”
- Del. Paul Krizek: “You are the definition of successful my friend. You could probably get even me elected to higher office if you ran my campaign!”
- Speaker Filler-Corn’s Communications Director Jake Rubinstein: “Trevor, I will miss your positive energy, humor and partnership. But mostly will just miss your twitter wars with @cToddGilbert and @GarrenShipley.”
- House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert: “Your trolling was often brilliant and at other times just knee-jerk mediocrity. We’ll always have twitter so stop by and give me what for now and again just for old times sake. Regardless, best of luck in your new endeavor!”
I’ll just add thanks on a job well done and best wishes. And, obviously, Southerland’s departure means they’ve got big shoes to fill at the VA House Democratic Caucus!