From 2001 to 2009, I was privileged to serve as the Vice Chair for Rules (2nd Vice Chair) of the Virginia Democratic Party, but when I took over that position, I had to fill some very big shoes. Ray Colley served in that position for over 20 years, from 1980 to through 2001, when he chose not to seek reelection. I probably met Ray at my first State Convention in 1980, and I enjoyed working with him and learning from him for the next two decades. Ray was very supportive of me when I decided to run in 2001. Ray was in charge of the Party Plan and party rules involving elections, conventions and the like. He was smart, well prepared, reasonable, and totally trustworthy. He worked extremely hard to make sure that we had fair, clear, and open rules and you can’t ask for anything more. Ray understood that rules are a means to facilitate party activities, not an end in themselves. For example, in the old days, we used to have fights at Central Committee meetings concerning resolutions – in particular between those folks who wanted them (e.g. the late George Rawlings) and those who didn’t (e.g. the late Angus Macauley). After a blow up at the 1996 State Convention, Ray drafted Party Plan section 4.17 which set up a fair process for considering resolutions which we still use.
Ray of course also served as Deputy Clerk of the US House of Representatives for many years, had many accomplishments beyond the Party, and had family and friends who loved him very much. (see below.) We think about him often.
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