Cranwell to seek a second term as state Democratic Party chair
Democratic Party of Virginia chairman Richard Cranwell plans to run for re-election to the party post this summer. “I made this decision because we are at a critical time in Virginia’s history,” Cranwell wrote in a letter Wednesday to the DPVA’s State Central Committee. “My decision is a reflection of stability within the party and confidence in our message and values rooted in the middle class.”
Cranwell, a former state legislator, was elected to a four-year term as party chair in 2005. He had briefly considered making a run at the party’s lieutenant-governor nomination before deciding against going in that direction.
Cranwell has served as the head of the party at the height of its resurgence. Democrats have won two U.S. Senate elections (2006 and 2008), held the governor’s mansion in 2005 and taken control of the State Senate (2007).
Cranwell seems to have the support of top party brass.
“I was very excited to hear that Chairman Cranwell plans to stay on as chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia for a second term,” said Gov. Tim Kaine, who is himself the new chair of the Democratic National Committee. “Dick is a good friend and has provided tremendous leadership for the Commonwealth as a leader in Virginia’s General Assembly and as chairman of the Democratic Party since my campaign in 2005,” Kaine said.
“I appreciate Dick’s willingness to continue his service as our party chair,” said U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, a former governor and former DPVA chair. “Dick always speaks with a strong, clear voice, and he’s been especially effective at strengthening the party’s successful efforts to build at the local level. I look forward to continuing to work with him,” Warner said.
“The Democratic Party of Virginia has achieved extraordinary gains under the leadership of Chairman Cranwell. We recaptured the Virginia Senate, added to our numbers in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, and put Virginia in the Democratic column in a presidential election for the first time since 1964. I am very pleased that Chairman Cranwell will continue to serve the party as chairman, and I look forward to continued gains in the years ahead,” said U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, who upset former senator and governor George Allen in a tight Senate race in 2006.
– Story by Chris Graham