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Former mayoral candidate Annetta Catchings elected chair of Alexandria Republican Party

Annetta Catchings, chair of the Alexandria Republican City Committee (image courtesy Alexandria Republican City Committee)

One year after her race against incumbent Mayor Justin Wilson, Annetta Catchings has been elected chair of the Alexandria Republican City Committee (ARCC).

A release from ARCC noted that Catchings is the first black woman elected to the position in ARCC.

“It’s about winning,” Catchings said in the release. “Seeing me in this role destroys some of the narratives from the Democrats, and helps people think about politics in new ways.”

While some past Republicans have taken a more neutral tone on the Republican Party’s positions to try to curry favor in the heavily blue Alexandria — which hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1872 — Catchings’ Twitter page includes references to abortion as genocide and opposition to gun control.

“Democrats beware,” Terri Hauser, a current vice-chair with the ARCC and former chair, said in the release. “Annetta Catchings is injecting fresh energy and infectious optimism into the Alexandria GOP at a time when so many Alexandrians are frustrated with the direction of our city and country.”

Any ambitions to unseat Democrats in Alexandria city leadership face an uphill battle. Wilson won reelection with 67.66% of the vote in 2022 compared to 30.93% for Catchings (1.41% went to write-in votes). Darryl Nirenberg, the Republican candidate for City Council, won 8.69% of the vote. In 2020, Joe Biden won 80.28% of the vote in Alexandria compared to 17.63% for Donald Trump.

“The election of Ms. Annetta Catchings as the Chair of the Alexandria Republican City Committee is historic for this former slave-trading city,” former Vice Mayor Bill Cleveland said in the release. “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.”

The full press release is posted below the jump:

“It’s about winning,” said Annetta Catchings upon her election as Chair of the Alexandria Republican City Committee (ARCC), the formal Republican Party organization in the city of Alexandria. Catchings will fill the remainder of the 2022- 24 term, replacing Pete Benavage whose resignation was necessitated by a pending move outside of Alexandria.

Catchings’ election at the July 7 meeting is historic. She is the first black woman elected Chair of the local Republican party. Former Alexandria Vice Mayor Bill Cleveland and his wife, Ruth, had the honor of officially nominating Catchings for Chair. She was elected by acclamation with cheers from the members.

“The election of Ms. Annetta Catchings as the Chair of the Alexandria Republican City Committee is historic for this former slave-trading city,” observed Cleveland. “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.”

Following her election, Catchings spoke of her determination to steer Alexandria Republicans on a winning course, and the opportunities to reach a broader group of voters. Reflecting on her recent campaign for Mayor and position as a party officer (1st Vice Chair and Acting Chair), Catchings said that seeing her in leadership roles in the Republican party has convinced many friends and extended family, who are even more conservative than she is, to finally vote Republican. “Seeing me in this role destroys some of the narratives from the Democrats, and helps people think about politics in new ways.”

“Democrats beware! Annetta Catchings is injecting fresh energy and infectious optimism into the Alexandria GOP at a time when so many Alexandrians are frustrated with the direction of our city and country,” observed Terri Hauser, current ARCC 2nd Vice Chair, who served as ARCC Chairman in the 1990s.

ARCC (at www.AlexGOP.org and on Facebook as Alexandria GOP) is the local unit of the Republican Party of Virginia.

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