Scott made one of the most eloquent speeches I've ever heard. He basically hit every button for me. He recounted how his grandparents had been union organizers in Brooklyn during the Depression. His grandfather was an artist who came to Fairfax County as part of FDR's WPA federal works program. Once here, Scott's grandparents tried to join the local Democratic Party, which was then in the grip of the Harry Byrd machine, and they weren't welcome because they were liberal and Jewish.
The only organization that welcomed them back in the 1930s was the NAACP. In a time when "change agent" has become the buzz word, the elder Surovells were definitely agents of change and fighters for social justice, inclusiveness, and the core principles of the Democratic Party.
Here, from RK, is a summary of Scott's speech.
Scott talked about his grandparents moving to Virginia and fighting the Harry Byrd machine. He noted that Democratic Party politics is "in my blood." He highlighted his accomplishments as Mt. Vernon committee chair, and said that Dave Albo is "terrified of Mt. Vernon." He emphasized the importance of FCDC operating on "all cylinders," pointing out that if it doesn't, we end up with people like Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling in office. He said "this isn't a social club," it's a vehicle to elect Democrats. "We're gonna take this committee to the next level." "I've got a lot of energy, we're gonna do great things" and "you're gonna be proud."
As Leslie put it, on her blog, both Scott and his opponent, Steve Bunn, were class acts. The next day, Steve issued this statement:
We are Democrats because we believe in Democracy. We exercised our Democratic privileges last night with an electoral contest. All those elected now have the responsibility to pull our party together. We have a primary in 34 days, and another primary 119 days after that. The general election in November is just 300 days away. We have a lot of work to do to win in November, and we must to do it together to elect our Democrats for President, Senate and Congress.
Please tell those who could not be present last evening that we had an election and the Fairfax County Democratic Party won.
I urge you to support your new Chairman, Scott Surovell, to build a strong Democratic team through consensus and openness, civility and respect. Congratulations and great success for all of our Democrats this year.
In addition, Shannon Sullivan, the chair of the FCDC Labor Committe, who originally supported Steve Bunn, urged everybody to get behind the new chairman.
I think the FCDC is stronger because of the vigorous debate that went on, and I too look forward to working with Scott, who is as energetic and capable as he is eloquent. He's going to be a good leader.