RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A shakeup within the Virginia House Democratic caucus could be on the horizon after a state lawmaker called for a vote this week to remove and replace two party leaders.
Del. Don Scott (D-Portsmouth) is leading a push to remove former House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn as the Democratic leader in the Virginia House of Delegates and Del. Charniele L. Herring (D-Alexandria) as caucus chairwoman.
The effort comes after House Republicans won a majority in the 100-member chamber last November and wielded that power during the regular 2022 General Assembly session to reject several Democratic-backed proposals.
Scott seeks to replace Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) as caucus leader and has called for a vote on the leadership change during a meeting ahead of the legislature’s “veto session” on Wednesday.
In a letter sent to party leaders Sunday, Scott resigned as the caucus’ vice-chair for outreach and put forward three names to replace the party’s leaders. Rules stipulate that the vote be done through a secret ballot, according to the letter obtained by WFXR’s sister station, WRIC.
“I ask that these ballots be printed in preparation for the meeting on April 27, 2022,” Scott wrote.
If the caucus agrees to vote out Filler-Corn and Herring, Scott has nominated Del. Sally Hudson (D-Charlottesville) to be the new caucus chairwoman and Del. Dan Helmer (D-Fairfax) to replace him as vice-chair for outreach.
Filler-Corn is the first woman and first Jewish person to serve as speaker in the Virginia House and Herring is the first woman and African American to become majority leader in the chamber’s 400-year history.
“This is about how we articulate our vision on how we win and stay unified,” Scott said in a brief phone interview Monday. “Help us get back to victory and help people.” When asked if he felt confident that he is the right person to lead the caucus, Scott said he “feels confident” but that House Democrats would leave Richmond on Wednesday “united” despite the outcome.
Hudson, Herring and Filler-Corn did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
After Republicans took back the House and Gov. Glenn Youngkin led a Republican sweep of the statewide elections, House Democrats voted to keep Filler-Corn and Herring as the caucus’ leaders.
Del. Delores McQuinn (D-Richmond), the former chair of the House Transportation Committee, said in a statement Monday that Filler-Corn and Herring have led the caucus to “historic heights.”
“They reached out and put women in positions of power we never thought we would have seen in our Commonwealth,” McQuinn said in the statement.
“The legislation we have passed under their leadership has lifted up so many Virginians and now they are leading the way to uphold the Democratic values and principles we were all elected on. Now is not the time to take our best players off of the playing field.”