See below for video of an event yesterday, in which Virginia Democratic women activists – led by former Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Susan Platt – made the case for why Virginia should elect its first female governor in 2021. As Platt says, this is a chance to “make real history…and elect the first African-American woman…for governor.” Platt notes that Democrats have two African-American women (State Sen. Jennifer McClellan, Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy) running, and that she and her group are “about to make some good trouble and demand [a woman as governor].” So, Platt has started HerExcellencyVA2021, because the governor has historically been referred to as “His Excellency.”
Of course, there’s already one man – Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax – running, with two others – former Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Del. Lee Carter – expected to jump in the race soon. The big question in my mind is how voters will split, with no “Ranked Choice Voting” in the Democratic gubernatorial primary and only the need for a plurality to win the nomination. For instance, will voters who want to elect the first woman as governor overwhelmingly side with either of the two female candidates (Carroll Foy or McClellan), will they split their votes, or will this not be a major consideration at all? At this point, I have no idea, but the conventional wisdom in Democratic political circles that you hear over and over again is that having two African-American women in the race makes it much harder for either of them to win the nomination, but that if one of them were to “drop down” to run for Lt. Governor, that could really change the picture.
What do you think? Take the poll, below, regarding your feelings about the idea of “Her Excellency” – the first female governor (and in this case the first African-American female governor) in Virginia history.
PS Female elected officials speaking at yesterday’s event were Sen. Jennifer Boysko (who said she strongly supports Sen. Jennifer McClellan) and Loudoun County Board Chair Phyllis Randall (who also has endorsed Sen. McClellan).