Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Conaway B. Haskins III, Delegate Don McEachin have got STYLE!

After attending a very successful fundraiser for Delegate Don McEachin last evening, I was happily surprised to see that Virginia's very own Conaway B. Haskins III of South of the James has an article published in Style Weekly. The article focuses on the future of Delegate Don McEachin, and I must say; 2007 is shaping up to look like a VERY interesting political year.
With the 2006 elections dead and gone, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the final tallies may well be a man found nowhere on the November ballot. While bloggers and media types are enthralled with the latest installment of “Mr. Webb Goes to Washington” or the gnashing of teeth among Virginia Republicans as they regroup, the 2007 elections loom. On that front, several story lines are developing, including the future of Richmond-area House of Delegates member A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico).

Amid the backdrop of Sen. Benjamin J. Lambert III’s defection to George Allen’s corner and the curious tale of African-American ministers who joined him, McEachin, by demonstrating a high degree of loyalty to his party’s candidate, actually may be in the best position to take advantage of the prevailing political winds.


Though it may seem unfamiliar to Virginia’s chattering classes, McEachin’s actions are in line with the emerging paradigm of younger African-American Democratic politicians being more aggressive and less tradition-bound than their predecessors. In Virginia, McEachin has ridden the same wave that brought bright stars like Barack Obama; Harold Ford Jr.; and Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty to the forefront in their respective arenas.

In the Democratic primary, McEachin energetically threw his support to Jim Webb, once concerns over Webb’s affirmative-action writings were relieved, sensing that Democrats had a unique opportunity. He says in an e-mail that he “believed it was very important that the Democratic Party put forth the strongest challenger to George Allen. Clearly, the public was and is disenchanted with the policies of the administration in Washington, and I believed this was an opportunity to make a change, for Democrats to strongly challenge George Allen and the Bush Administration.”


McEachin basically set aside his own campaign activities, fundraising included, to help elect Webb to the Senate. With Gov. Kaine headlining a December fundraiser to help with McEachin’s 2007 General Assembly race, the gentleman from Henrico seems entitled to reap some rewards for his loyal service. As a rising voice inside his party, one who gave so that Democrats might get, it would be fitting for McEachin to get more than a little help from his friends no matter what General Assembly chamber he seeks membership in. Having been declared a “winner” by The Washington Post and having recently been given space to share his post-election thoughts by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, if he can successfully cash in some of his newfound political capital, McEachin may emerge as Virginia’s next African-American power player of note. Lord knows he has earned it.
I strongly encourage all readers to go check out the article in its entirety. Delegate Don McEachin is an outstanding person and I for one cannot wait to help him in any way that I possibly can, in any race he decides to run.

Congrats, Conaway! Great work, as always!


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