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Kaine Sets Special Election; Herring Announces

Tim Craig

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) has called a special election for Jan. 13 to replace Brian J. Moran as the delegate in the Alexandria-based 46th District.

"The residents of the 46th District deserve to have their voice heard in the General Assembly when it convenes in January," Governor Kaine said.

Prior to the election, the local political parties will likely hold caucuses next week to determine their nominees. Former Alexandria Mayor Kerry J. Donley and party leader Charniele Herring are widely viewed as two early front-runners for the Democratic nomination.

Herring, a community leader and Democratic activist who was active in President-elect Barack Obama's campaign, announced her candidacy late Friday night. If elected, Herring would be only the second African-American since at least the 1980s to represent Northern Virginia in the General Assembly, according to one political observer.

In an article this summer in the Alexandria Times, Herring recounted how her family was homeless when she was 16. Herring used that experience to become a advocate for social justice.

The Democratic nominee will be heavily favored to retain Moran's seat in the special election, but a credible GOP candidate could emerge because of an expected low turnout. In a special election to fill an Alexandria City Council seat in 2007, Republican Bill Cleveland received 48 percent of the vote in a two-way race.

By Tim Craig  |  December 12, 2008; 6:00 PM ET
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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I've been following this particular race for several months now - when I found out that Brian Moran would be running for Governor. I was curious to see who would put their name forward for consideration - to replace Brian Moran in the General Assembly.

I can say - after speaking with many people in Virginia's 46th District - Charniele Herring would be the ideal person for the job.

She has long been an advocate of our public schools and for the push to fund a universal pre-K program in Virginia.

She has been a huge voice for small business owners and has maximized her position as President of the Alexandria West End Business Association to increase exposure and support for business owners in the west end of Alexandria.

She has been consistent in her support for Alexandria's domestic violence programs and affordable housing options - and has testified many times on behalf of the necessary funding to keep these programs going.

She has stayed on top of the transportation and the environmental issues affecting the 46th District and has continously served on committees and boards where she could make a real difference in these areas.

And more than anything else, she's a fresh voice with new and innovative ideas. She brings a positive outlook to the challenges of the district - and she's a master at reaching across party lines to reach a compromise that will best serve the people in the district.

Charniele Herring deserves strong consideration by all voters in Virginia's 46th District. She's truly a voice for the future and I'm looking forward to casting my vote for her in the Democratic caucus on Tuesday, December 16th.

Posted by: StageMom | December 14, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I've known Charniele Herring for about 8 years through our work on behalf of women, children and families in Virginia. I can say without reservation that Charniele is a woman of tremendous integrity and deep commitment to improving life for all Virginians.

This election is an opportunity to have a fresh voice in Richmond who will represent constituencies that are now underrepresented, including women and families. Yes, we have excellent women and women-friendly Virginia delegates and senators, but Charniele personally knows what it is to struggle in a way most of us do not. As Tim Craig mentions, Charniele was homeless for a time as a teenager, and she has never forgotten what that is like. She's now an attorney - so she is a role model for all who struggle.

The Virginia National Organization for Women (NOW) PAC has wholeheartedly endorsed Charniele in the 46tth district delegate race. We can say without reservation that she is a tireless champion for the core principles of Virginia and National NOW, which are ending violence, poverty and racism and promoting Constitutional equality and human rights.

Posted by: vanowpresident | December 14, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

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