The Virginia House Democratic Caucus today announced its 2017 staff, the largest in at least a decade.
“Virginia House Democrats have unprecedented opportunities this fall, and we intend to take advantage of them,” said House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano. “We are running candidates in 88 districts, and, to support this surge, we have assembled the largest staff in modern caucus history. This hardworking team brings a wealth of talent and experience to the table, both at the leadership level and on the ground. As of this week, we have fifteen field organizers talking to people in their communities about our candidates, with plans to hire at least five more. We’re energized, organized and are poised to make significant gains in 2017.”
“The House Democratic Caucus is committed to recruiting diverse candidates,” said Caucus Chair Charniele Herring. “More than half of our nominees in Republican-held districts are women, about a quarter are people of color, and five are openly-LGBTQ. They include veterans, teachers, small business owners, health care professionals, a farmer, and at least one stay-at-home mom. The vast majority of our candidates have never run for office before, and we are ecstatic to have the staff in place to support them as they work to resist the devastating policies of Donald Trump from being implemented by Republicans in the House of Delegates. Our twenty field organizers will also help share our positive Democratic message throughout their communities: we are the party of hardworking people fighting for hardworking people, and every hardworking person deserves access to good health care, a good education, and a good job.”
In addition to the twenty field organizers the House Democratic Caucus is placing on the ground throughout Virginia, the 2017 Caucus staff are:
Trent Armitage has returned as the executive director of the House Democratic Caucus. Trent previously served as the deputy executive director in 2013 and as the executive director in 2015 when the caucus flipped three Republican-held seats. During the 2016 cycle, he served as a political desk for House Majority PAC where he helped coordinate over $23 million in spending across 22 congressional races. Trent is a graduate of Longwood University in Farmville.
Trevor Southerland, who has served as the Caucus’s finance director since 2014, has been promoted to deputy executive director. Prior to coming to Virginia, he was the finance director for the Michigan Senate Democrats, a principal partner in Southeastern Campaign Group, and the annual fund director of the Democratic Party of Georgia. He has worked for a number of other campaigns and organizations, including the Georgia AFL-CIO and the Georgia Association of Educators. Trevor was recently elected to the Democratic Party of Virginia’s State Central Committee. A graduate of Kennesaw State University in north Georgia, Trevor resides in Hanover County with his wife and son.
Katie Baker will serve as communications director. She has worked for campaigns and political organizations in seven states and the District of Columbia, and most recently returned to Virginia after serving as communications director for the Maine Democratic Party during the 2016 cycle. An Ohio native, Katie jointly serves as communications director for the Democratic Party of Virginia. She is a graduate of Amherst College and William & Mary Law School.
Jessica David joins the House Democratic Caucus as the field director. She has been working in field professionally since 2012. Jessica has organized for candidates in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia. She most recently worked as field director for Steve Santarsiero’s congressional run in the Philadelphia suburbs. A Rhode Island native, Jess graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in political science.
Anne Gimbel joins the House Democratic Caucus as the political director. She has been working on campaigns since 2008 and has worked for candidates in Virginia, Colorado, Maine, Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida, and Pennsylvania. She comes to Virginia after serving as a senior account executive at the mail firm Gumbinner & Davies. She is a graduate of Trinity College in Connecticut.
Olivia Jennings joins us as the press and research assistant. She is a native of South Boston, Virginia and has worked for both the House Democratic Caucus and the Democratic Party of Virginia as a press intern. Olivia is a recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Psychology and Media Studies.
Kiana Ham joins us as the finance assistant. Kiana is a native of York County, Virginia, and she has previously served as a finance intern for the Democratic Party of Virginia. She is a recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Criminal Justice.