By Liana Hardy | [email protected]
The Alexandria Republican City Committee elected Annetta Catchings as the party chair at a July 7 meeting, which many local GOP officers describe as “historic” for the party.
Catchings, the first Black woman to hold the chair position, and a former candidate for Alexandria mayor, will serve the remainder of the 2022-2024 term. Catchings will replace Former Chair Pete Benavage, who resigned due to an upcoming move out of the city.
Former Alexandria Vice Mayor Bill Cleveland and his wife, Ruth, nominated Catchings at the July 7 meeting, supported by “cheers” from the party members, according to a news release. Catchings’ win illustrates how the Alexandria Republican party is welcoming to all people, according to Cleveland.
“The election of Ms. Annetta Catchings as the Chair of the Alexandria Republican City Committee is historic for this former slave-trading city,” Cleveland said. “The fact that she has earned her place as the first woman of color to lead Alexandria Republicans shows that the party is open to all, and that the party of Lincoln strives to live up to our national ideals.”
In a speech following her election, Catchings said that her new leadership position in the Republican party would both inspire her conservative friends and family to vote and change long-standing assumptions about politics.
“Seeing me in this role destroys some of the narratives from the Democrats, and helps people think about politics in new ways,” Catchings said.
Catchings previously served as the first vice chair and acting vice chair of the ARCC. In her speech, Catchings said she planned to secure more wins for Alexandria Republicans and expand the party to a broader pool of voters.