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Local Democrats jubilant over Clinton win

Joey Matthews | 3/4/2016, 6:02 a.m.
Two groups of Democratic supporters gathered Tuesday night at separate viewing parties two blocks apart at restaurants in Shockoe Bottom. ...
Several Virginia Democratic Party leaders spoke at Tuesday’s presidential primary celebration at a Shockoe Bottom restaurant. Among them, from left, state Sen. A. Donald McEachin of Henrico County, Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney, First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, Party Chair Susan Swecker and Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam. Sandra Sellars/Richmond Free Press

Leah Walker, an Oregon Hill resident who works for the state Department of Education, echoed those sentiments.

“Hillary Clinton’s victories mean we will have a viable candidate as our party’s nominee,” she said. “Now, I’m looking forward to the general election and supporting her as the nominee.”

She said the hate-filled rhetoric of Donald Trump and other Republican candidates fails to address the needs of everyday Americans.

“To me, the Republican primary candidates have a platform that is divisive to the country,” Ms. Walker said. “It’s important we elect a president whose plans for our country are to take us forward, not backward,” she stressed.

“Some of the rhetoric of the Republicans is terrifying. It’s important that people pay attention and choose a candidate who is fit to lead our country in the 21st century.”

Lawrence Anderson, a consultant who lives in Scott’s Addition, emphasized that Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Sanders best not forget the importance of the African-American vote that helped pave the way to President Obama’s big wins in 2008 and 2012.

“I would say the African-American vote is essential to any Democratic candidates,” Mr. Anderson said. “You saw that in 2008 and 2012. You saw in history what happens when that vote it taken for granted.”

Asked if African-American voters would support Mrs. Clinton in large numbers if she is the eventual nominee, he said, “It depends on who the Republican candidate is.”

“If it’s somebody like Trump, I don’t know of a bigger motivator for black and brown people. In that case, it may be a greater turnout than in 2008 and 2012.”

“Virginia Democrats recognized tonight that Hillary Clinton is the fighter we need to ensure economic prosperity for all, access to affordable and quality health care, criminal justice reform and college affordability,” Delegate Jennifer L. McClellan said in an email to the Free Press about the Super Tuesday results.

“African-Americans played a critical role in her victory tonight, and will do so again in November,” she added.

Asked if she would play a role in Mrs. Clinton’s Virginia campaign going forward, Delegate McClellan said, “I am honored to serve on her Virginia Leadership Council and will do all I can to ensure her election as our next president.”