Ed. — Originally published in the Sunday, Feb. 28, print edition.
THE INDEPENDENT NEWS
The final week in February was a pretty big one for state Del. Kelly Fowler, D-21st District, who saw the bill she authored [HB2198], which requires representatives of local wards and districts to be elected only by people who live within said wards or districts, pass the State Senate and go on to Gov. Ralph Northam, who presumably will sign it into law.
Big deal in Virginia Beach.
And on the same day that bill passed the Senate, Fowler was named chairperson of the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee, which filled two top posts following recent resignations. The former chair, Holly Edwards, resigned due to a job opportunity.
Fowler defeated former state Del. Cheryl Turpin, who represented the 85th House District, to become chairperson of the committee.
Members of the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee voted on Monday, Feb. 22, during a business meeting – and voting – that was held via distance technology due to the ongoing pandemic. The results were announced on Wednesday, Feb. 24, though the committee declined to release the tally to Notebook. It was said to be close.
Fowler told Notebook that her plan is to lead the party through this year’s election cycle and into next January, when the party would hold its organization meeting and again select a chair.
“My goal is just to get us there, to try to be a uniter,” Fowler said.
She said the party needs unity as it heads into the state elections in November. Fowler said she will work with Turpin, and said she was running to be chair and not against her former colleague in the state legislature.
“We ran together in 2017,” Fowler said. “When you’re running for something, you’re not running against anybody.”
The party also selected Lindsey Nathaniel as its vice chairperson of operations. She ran unopposed.
“Local elections matter,” Nathaniel told Notebook. “State elections matter. We’re making such progress with the change. We have to keep it going.”
State Del. Glenn Davis’ campaign to become the Republican nominee for Virginia lieutenant governor has announced a number of endorsements by local Virginia Beach officials, including Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer. Davis represents the 84th House District, which includes parts of Virginia Beach, and he is a former member of the City Council here.
In an interview, Dyer said he knows Davis, his former colleague on the council, as someone who can cross the aisle.
“If we’re going to come together, we’re going to need someone who knows how to build bridges like Glenn,” Dyer told Notebook.
Others holding either nonpartisan local offices or partisan constitutional offices in Virginia Beach have endorsed Davis. Former Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms also has endorsed Davis. Chesapeake Mayor Rick West has, too.
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