Home 2023 Elections Audio: On WAMU’s The Politics Hour, Del. Kathy Tran Asked Whether She...

Audio: On WAMU’s The Politics Hour, Del. Kathy Tran Asked Whether She Voted to Oust VA House Dem Leader Eileen Filler-Corn, Also Whether She’ll Move or Not

Meanwhile, journalist Tom Sherwood mangles Filler-Corn's name multiple times, also has a "moment of stunned silence" with Del. Tran.


Earlier this afternoon, Del. Kathy Tran (D-HD42) was on The Politics Hour with Kojo Nnamdi and Tom Sherwood to discuss Virginia politics. The following short exchange was highly revealing, both about the average knowledge level of many journalists, and also about Del. Tran’s political future, given that she was “drawn in” by the redistricting “Special Masters” with former Speaker and recently ousted VA House Democratic Leader Eileen Filler-Corn (for more information on the new district, HD18, which is deep-“blue” and located in the Springfield area of Fairfax County, see here).

Anyway, see below for a transcript and audio from “The Politics Hour” show, during which Tom Sherwood repeatedly mangled Eileen Filler-Corn’s name, at what point calling her “Miss” and then saying, “whatever it is.”  Yikes. I mean, seriously, if you’re going to be a journalist pretending to cover Virginia politics, maybe spend just a few minutes brushing up on Virginia politics, so you actually have a clue what you’re talking about? Maybe learn how to pronounce the names of some of the most prominent people in Virginia politics, especially when those people have been big names (that a journalist should know!) in Virginia politics for many, many years? I know, what a concept, right?!?

As for Del. Tran’s response, she clearly didn’t want to say whether or not she voted to oust Eileen Filler-Corn as VA House Democratic Leader, but from everything I’ve heard, Del. Tran was very much a vote in favor of doing so. Also, asked whether or not she’d be moving or whether she’d be running in a primary against Del. Filler-Corn in the newly drawn HD18, Del. Tran responded, “I am not moving and I am prepared to run this year if elections are going to be this year for the seat, and we’ll be prepared to run next year if elections are next year.”

With that, here’s the transcript, followed by the audio:

Tom Sherwood: “Um, the redistricting did an amazing thing in the state of Virginia, of the 100 seats or so, about have 40 of them have incumbents running against each other, and if I read it correctly, you’re in the same district as former House Speaker Filler-Corn. Is that correct?”

Del. Tran: “Mmmhmm, that is correct.”

Tom Sherwood: “Let me just, have you talked to her? Is she going to? What’s going to happen, are you guys going to run against each other, what’s going to happen there?”

Del. Tran: “Well, I have said to anybody who’s asked me that I am not moving and I am prepared to run this year if elections are going to be this year for the seat, and we’ll be prepared to run next year if elections are next year.”

Tom Sherwood: “And also, the big news in the Virginia Democratic Party of Virginia is that the delegates for the House removed, uh, Miss, uh…”

Kojo Nnamdi: “Eileen Filler-Corn.”

Tom Sherwood: “I never say her name correctly. Eileen Filler-Corn, Filler-Corn, whatever it is. They removed her as Speaker or the leader of the party. Did you vote to remove her?”

Del. Tran: “I, you know, I support making sure that we have leadership in our caucus that is open to diverse perspectives, whether that’s differences on policy or differences geographically. We are, you know, want to make sure we’re taking into account the concerns throughout the Commonwealth, and that leadership that has a bold vision for us to move forward and to also win back the majority.”

Tom Sherwood: “OK, I don’t know what that means. Does that mean you voted yes or no? It was a secret vote, I think, was it a…”

Del. Tran: “It was a secret vote.”

Tom Sherwood: “And you don’t want to say whether you voted to remove Eileen Filler-Corn? OK.” [silence for several seconds]

Kojo Nnamdi: “There is a stunned silence on both sides of the microphone. [crosstalk, awkward laughter] …When you talk about diversity, the person who who led the move to remove Eileen Filler-Corn was Delegate Don Scott Jr. and he’s from Portsmouth. Is that what you mean when you say you’re looking for diversity in the leadership? You don’t want all the leadership to be from, well, Northern Virginia?”

Del. Tran: “I think it’s important for our leadership to represent and to take into account the needs of folks throughout the Commonwealth, and that’s…you know, an individual leader could come from northern Virginia or from a different part of the state, but the importance is that they’re listening to voices throughout Virginia and listening to voices within the caucus throughout Virginia and that’s something that I considered.”

Tom Sherwood: “And I did ask you, have you spoken directly to um…about the…”

Kojo Nnamdi: “Eileen Filler-Corn.”

Del. Tran: “I have.”

Tom Sherwood: “And what did she tell you?”

Kathy Tran: “I think she she told me she wasn’t at that point planning on moving either.”

Kojo Nnamdi: “Interesting.”



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