Happy New Year from the VADEMS

Democratic Party of VA
4 min readJan 3, 2021

We Are The Blue Commonwealth.

Ending 2020 on a high note

On December 14, electors from the electoral college met across the country to certify Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s historic win. In Virginia, our Chairwoman Susan Swecker served as president of the Virginia electors, who cast all 13 of our electoral votes for Biden and Harris.

And you might recognize the names of the other 12 electors:
EJ Scott — Temporary Presiding Officer
Margo Horner — Secretary of the Electors
Matt Rowe
Barbara Klear
The Honorable Clint Jenkins
Kim Dieber
Cyliene Montgomery
Leah Pence
Robert Martin
Cragg Hines
Karen Combs
Suchada Langley

2021 is here

In Virginia there’s no “off-season” for campaigns and elections, and this year’s House of Delegates and statewide elections are already well underway. While Virginia might not have been front and center during the 2020 presidential election, 2021 is going to be completely different. Our governor’s race is seen as a leading indicator of how the new president’s party is faring, and soon everyone will be tuning into Virginia politics. We have some big challenges ahead this coming year, but if the last four years are any indication, Virginia Democrats are more than up to the task.

For decades, Virginians voted against the newly elected president’s party in the governor’s race. We broke that pattern in 2013, but with Joe Biden in the White House, Republicans are going to do everything they can to break our trifecta and set a tone for future elections.

That means all of the work that’s been done the last few years could be undone: the work that tore down the voter suppression laws we had in place, implemented common sense gun safety measures, made our Commonwealth open and welcoming to immigrants, the LGBTQ community, and more.

If you’re interested in getting involved in the elections next year visit vademocrats.org to find out how to join a local party, get information on voting, to stay up to date on any job openings that the DPVA or Coordinated Campaign has, and to see all the events that will be going on next year!

What made us successful in 2020

If we want to keep our record of electing Democrats up and down the ballot this year, we’ll have to build on our successes from last year.

In 2020 we came closer to flipping the 1st &5th CDs than we have in a decade, and we want to thank Qasim Rashid & Dr. Cameron Webb for running amazing campaigns. They represent the future of our party and we know that they aren’t going anywhere.

We built a voter protection program that helped ensure that every vote in Virginia was counted — a special shoutout to Jessica Killeen and Ja’Scotta Jefferson, our Voter Protection Director and Voter Protection Coordinator, for all the work they’ve done to protect Virginian’s votes.

In the middle of the pandemic, we transitioned from having our State Convention in-person to entirely virtual. Throughout the process, our Political Director Shyam Raman, and Deputy Political Director Khalid Naji worked to make sure the transition was seamless. The work they did in organizing Virginia’s virtual convention helped prove to Democrats around the nation that a virtual convention was possible for the DNC and allowed the DPVA to capitalize on our experience to ensure the best possible experience for the Virginia Delegation to the National Convention.

It’s also pertinent to mention the position the DPVA is in financially as well. The entire team here at the party stepped up to fill the void left by our Finance team moving on from the team in the spring. Shyam ran the tech side of all of our virtual events, our Digital Director Nick Scott planned and built for our events, our Finance consultant Jeff Painter stepped up in a big way to bring in larger donors, and our Chairwoman Susan Swecker pulled out her contact book to get us some huge special guests to help separate our events from everything else out there. Our Executive Director, Andrew Whitley, and Chief Operations Officer, Elise Vess kept a close eye on our budget to steer the ship to a successful 2020.

As national Democrats looked to see what we could improve upon for future elections, Chairwoman Swecker wrote about the need for Democrats to reach out to rural voters:

And finally, our office staff have successfully unionized with UFCW Local 400.

The contract we have in place is one to certainly one to be proud of, and will help ensure DPVA remains a strong organization for years to come!

Get involved this year

The 2021 elections won’t just be important for Virginia, they’ll set the tone for the national Democratic party for the next three years. Now is the time to get involved! Head to our website: https://vademocrats.org/ to find out how to join your local party, register to vote, and more. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates.



Democratic Party of VA

Official Medium account of the Democratic Party of Virginia.