October 13, 2010
Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Dick Cranwell tells The Associated Press that he's stepping down in December.
The former House of Delegates Majority Leader says he is announcing his decision Wednesday.
He says he's making the move now to allow ample time for the state party's central committee to elect a new chairman at its December quarterly meeting.
Cranwell has headed the state party for five years. During that time, the Democrats elected a governor, two U.S. senators and a majority of the state's 11 U.S. House seats.
And in 2008, Virginia voted Democratic in a presidential race for the first time since 1964.
But last year, Republicans easily won races for governor and two other statewide offices.
Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) issued the following statement following Cranwell's announcement:
"Dick Cranwell has tirelessly served the Commonwealth of Virginia for nearly four decades. During my campaign for Senate, Dick was a staunch and valuable ally. We appreciate his leadership and wish him well."
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