Who We Are

The Virginia House Democrats are devoted to creating a better future for Virginia families by guiding efforts to elect Democratic leaders of character, integrity, ability, and vision.

Vahousedems.org, the official website of the Virginia House Democrats, represents the authoritative Democratic voice in Virginia’s House of Delegates. The Virginia House Dems are committed to recruiting and electing leaders that will fight for education, jobs, and equality for all Virginians.

What We Do

As the leading organization supporting Democrats for the Virginia House, we’re focused on recruiting candidates for critical seats and supporting them through the entire election cycle. In 2017, we had field organizers in 16 districts across the Commonwealth.

We offer full-cycle guidance for campaigns. For example, we:

  • Recruit and train candidates
  • Train campaign staff
  • Connect campaigns with consultants
  • Assist with funding polling costs
  • Coordinate media needs like TV ads
  • Assist with campaign fundraising
  • Help candidates hone their strategies and find their voice
The House Democratic Caucus assists elected Democratic Delegates with research and public relations during the legislative session. We also raise money to recruit and fund candidates for the House and supervise their campaign. 

It is the leadership of our Caucus Leader and Caucus Chair, the unity of our delegates, and supporters like you that make the Virginia House Democratic Caucus successful.

Leaders

David Toscano

Leader

David Toscano represents the 57th District and has served as House Democratic Leader since 2011. David’s priorities are education, energy, and the environment. He fights for education funding, renewable energy, and multifaceted transportation programs. He opposes cuts to services for the poor and disabled.

The Virginia League of Conservation Voters has named David a “Legislative Hero” eleven years in a row for his work on environmental issues. David served on the Charlottesville City Council from 1990 to 2002 and as Mayor 1994-96. David is a resident of Charlottesville, where he lives with his wife, Nancy and their son, Matthew.

Charniele Herring

Caucus Chair

Charniele Herring has represented the 46th District since 2009, during which she’s fought to restore funding for homeless services, passed a bill to give small businesses competitive advantages, and worked to make the Commonwealth safer. Her environmental work was recognized by the Virginia League of Conservation Voters with the “Legislative Hero” award. The Virginia Education Association recognized her with the “Rookie of the Year” award in 2009 and with the “Solid as a Rock” award in 2013 and 2015. As chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia, she helped sweep statewide offices in 2013. She was elected Chair of the House Democratic Caucus in 2015.

Charniele’s lived in Northern Virginia for over 30 years, mostly in Alexandria, where she’s been a member of the Rotary, Chair of the West End Business Association, and Chair of the Alexandria Commission for Women. She currently serves on the Board of the Parent Teacher Leadership Institute of Alexandria and as a Trustee of Hopkins House, where she advocates for pre-k education.

Staff

The staff of the Virginia House Dems are dedicated local leaders with experience working on campaigns, as part of local organizations, or in elected office.

Trevor Southerland

Executive Director

Trevor Southerland has been with the House Democratic Caucus since 2014, serving as the Finance Director for the 2015 and 2017 cycles, as well as Acting Executive Director in 2016.

Before coming to Virginia, he was the Finance Director for the Michigan Senate Democrats, a partner in the Southeastern Campaign Group, and the Annual Fund Director of the Democratic Party of Georgia.

Trevor’s worked for a number of organizations including the Georgia AFL-CIO and the Georgia Association of Educators. He was recently elected to the Democratic Party of Virginia’s State Central Committee from the 1st Congressional District.

A graduate of Kennesaw State University, Trevor now resides in Hanover County with his wife and son.

Emily Beer

Member Services Coordinator

Emily Beer has worked as a graphic designer and political staffer for over a decade. Before joining the House Democratic Caucus, she was a legislative aide, the Operations Director for the Adam Cook for Congress campaign, and Deputy Director of the Office of Party Leaders at the Democratic National Committee.

Emily has provided graphic design consulting for local, state, and national campaigns and progressive organizations around the country, including the Obama Victory Fund, the National Action Network, and the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She currently lives in Richmond with her dachshund, Honey.

Kiana Ham

Operations & PAC Coordinator

Kiana is a native of York County, Virginia. She has previously served as the Finance Assistant for Virginia House Dems for the 2017 cycle. She is a recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Criminal Justice.

Kathryn Gilley

Communications Director

Prior to joining the House Democratic Caucus, Kathryn was the Communications Director on a Democratic gubernatorial primary campaign in Maryland. She previously spent several years at a public affairs firm in Baltimore, serving electoral, non-profit, and corporate clients in grassroots organizing, stakeholder outreach, and media relations.

A native of Chesterfield County, Virginia, Kathryn attended Washington College on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. In her free time, she can be found hanging out with her horse, Gloria, in Powhatan.

We’re hiring!

To find out more contact [info@vahousedems.org]