Statement by Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority:

“I have worked with Charniele Herring for years to champion feminist issues in the Feminist Majority’s home state of Virginia. The Feminist Majority and I are proud and excited to endorse Charniele Herring for Democratic Leader in the Virginia House of Delegates.

I can say unequivocally that no singular person has worked harder for Democratic victories in the Virginia state house than Charniele Herring. She is a brilliant strategist who gets things done for the people. The blue wave that unseated 15 Republican legislators in 2017 was thanks in overwhelming part to her leadership, fundraising, and recruitment of exciting feminist candidates. Thanks to that victory, Virginia moved to expand Medicaid to over 400,000 individuals who for years went without health insurance.

The work she has accomplished as Democratic Caucus Chair in a legislature that had a Republican super-majority is astounding and incomparable. She founded the Reproductive Health Caucus to organize advocacy efforts on behalf of access to healthcare, birth control, and abortion. When Republicans tried to pass a mandatory invasive transvaginal ultrasound law for women seeking abortions, Charniele led the efforts to push back with a massive media mobilization, protests in the streets, and amendments in the legislature.

If there is a tough task to take on, Charniele Herring is the first person to throw up her hand and work tirelessly to make it happen. Next year, Democrats have a chance at winning control of the Virginia state house for the first time in over 20 years. Virginia could very well be the 38th and final state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment once and for all. There is not a doubt in my mind that we are dependent on Charniele’s leadership for victory. She is the best and only real choice for the next Democratic Leader in the Virginia House of Delegates.”