LaDavia Drane is D.C.’s director of Federal Regional Affairs.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton knows that she will need strong Black support to win the White House in 2016. So she has hired a former Congressional Black Caucus executive director to help her do that.
Clinton has hired LaDavia Drane, who works for D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) as the director of federal-regional affairs, as her campaign’s director of African-American Outreach. Drane, who will formally join the campaign at the end of this month, is excited about the opportunity.
“I cannot talk about what my role in the campaign will be because I am not working with it yet,” Drane said to two dozen professional Black women at the LEAP Luncheon Series on June 3. “But I love working on campaigns and I live and thrive on them. It was hard for me to sit on the sidelines for the first African-American president and it would have been hard for me to sit on the sidelines for possibly the first female president.”
Drane served as the executive director of the CBC from 2013-2015 under the tutelage of her political mentor, U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who served as chairman of the organization during that time. She had worked with Fudge in various staff capacities before becoming the administrative leader of the CBC.
Drane holds a bachelor’s degree from Miami University and a law degree from Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, and has worked in the legal field before joining the Obama campaign in 2008.
Fudge said that she knows her protégé will make a difference for the Clinton campaign. “LaDavia was instrumental to the work and successes of the CBC during her time with us, and her hire guarantees that Hillary Clinton’s campaign is committed to working to earn every vote in our community,” Fudge said. “Whether it is criminal justice, education or healthcare, LaDavia understands the issues and how they impact our community.”
While her duties have not been defined at this point, it is clear that Drane will supervise the Black vote turning out for Clinton next year. The Black vote has played a crucial role in the election of presidents, starting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) winning Illinois in 1940 to win that year’s election over Republican Wendell Willkie; President Harry S. Truman’s (D) upset victory over Republican New York Gov. Thomas Dewey in 1948; Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy’s win over Republican Richard M. Nixon in 1960; and Democrat Jimmy Carter’s victory over President Gerald Ford (R) in 1976.
In 1992, Democrat Bill Clinton defeated Republican President George H.W. Bush with the support of Blacks in states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and even Georgia, in which Bill Clinton won only by 0.59 percent or about 9,000 votes.
Paul Brathwaite has served as executive director of the CBC and presently works as a principal for The Podesta Group, a lobbying and public affairs firm in the District. Brathwaite said that “LaDavia will do a fantastic job as Secretary Clinton’s African-American outreach director.
“However, LaDavia will need the organizational infrastructure and funding for her operation to be successful,” he said. “It’s just can’t be her. LaDavia needs African-American outreach regional directors, African-American outreach state directors, and in some cases, African-American outreach city directors.”
Brathwaite said that Drane will need to have people who understand their cities and states well and the Clinton campaign needs to provide her the resources to work with in order to be successful. “In order for Hillary Clinton to win in 2016, she will need the turnout among Blacks that Obama had in 2008 and 2012,” he said.
Bowser knows that Drane is up to the challenge. “I am very excited for her,” the mayor said. “It is an awesome opportunity. LaDavia Drane is a consummate professional and she will do a great job for the Clinton campaign.”