Douglass Declares Victory, Williams Does Not Concede
All the caucus votes are in and John Douglass has won enough delegates to secure the Democratic nomination to challenge Robert Hurt in the 5th congressional district this fall, but Douglass' opponent Peyton Williams is not conceding.
Members of the party faithfully caucused Monday night at the Albemarle County Office Building in Charlottesville. Voters gathered in three groups: Douglass supporters, Williams supporters, and an uncommitted group.
Early on, it was clear who was the favorite. Douglass supporters gathered on the right, far out numbering Williams supports on the left.
"I think he gets it. He has the confidence and experience with which to take leadership," said Douglass supporter David Shreve.
Monday night, Douglass won 27 delegates to Williams' seven. That is in addition to his 13 to 7 win at the Charlottesville caucus Saturday. "We're substantially over the top," Douglass said.
He won the vast majority of the 225 delegates needed to win the nomination. Now, he encourages Williams supporters to rally behind his candidacy.
"They're great Democrats. They love the party as much as we do, and we're hoping that they'll be thinking as we are that a united party is easier to beat Hurt," said Douglass.
Uniting the party started at a post-caucus celebration at Escafe in Charlottesville. Williams gave a speech, but did not concede.
"They've done a tremendous amount of hard work and I told them I appreciate all their hard work," Williams said about the Douglass campaign. "And as someone once said to me, better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all."
Now Williams says he's taking his delegates to the convention May 19 in Lovingston. Douglass had hoped Williams would concede so his campaign could get a head start on general election fundraising. Williams says he'll talk to Douglass in the coming days about what to do next.