Hanover County Democratic Committee

Moving Hanover Forward

The 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Will be the Most Significant in More Than a Century

I am not one for the dramatic, but the 2020 presidential election decision will be the most consequential in several generations. Accordingly, the predecessor decision involving the selection of a Democratic party candidate to challenge President Trump will be similarly momentous. As one Democratic candidate recently stated, “we can’t screw this up.”

The circumstances driving this significance involve the fear that our country could experience another four years of a president that has caused grave damage to the office of the presidency, abused his power for his own self-interest, denigrated long-standing government institutions, strained relationships with allies, fostered ethnic and racial divisions, and promulgated Russian initiated conspiracy theories about election meddling. A second term for President Trump could bring our country to the breaking point. Given that the president was acquitted in the impeachment trial, the 2020 election is the only mechanism remaining to end this executive office travesty.

This means that the Democratic party choice for our presidential candidate is all that much more important. The good news is that when the primary process started, we had a large number of highly qualified Democratic candidates with noticeable variances in background, experience and policy proposals. The bad news is that this large selection of candidates made it more difficult for many primary voters to focus in on a preferred choice. This perceived indecision was cited as the reason for two late entrants into the race in December. The important message here is that we Democrats need to take the time to educate ourselves regarding what each candidate offers. This presidential primary race might be the most significant any of us will ever experience and it deserves our heightened attention.

The televised debates are a useful tool to assist in our decision-making process but they only provide a small window, a snapshot, into each candidate’s suitability, strengths and weaknesses. To effectively screen the candidates more time is necessary to review speeches, voting records, editorials, and policy proposals. We owe it to each other to put in the research time, pick the best candidate, and rally to support that candidate in 2020. The stakes are enormous. History will look back at this critical time and pass judgment regarding our decision.
The media has often simplified the Democratic party’s choices as two paths: revolution or gradual improvement. I believe the choices are more subtle.

Polls indicate that the main goal of Democratic primary voters is to defeat Trump although most Democrats also want significant action on healthcare, education, climate change, and infrastructure. Senators Warren and Sanders have spoken out for big structural changes while former President Obama recently articulated concerns that Democrats risk alienating voters if the 2020 primary choice is too far to the left.

After considerable study, my personal choice is Senator Amy Klobuchar. Her experience, intellect, integrity, mid-western roots, and moderate policy proposals indicate to me that she is best suited to take down Trump, unify the country and govern to a brighter future. Some of my Democratic friends whom I respect have different opinions. That’s democracy. But the election process only works if we support our basic civic duty with candidate research. Let’s roll up our sleeves and make posterity proud of our 2020 selection.

Tom Hicks is a resident of Montpelier, Va., a USNA graduate, former nuclear submarine officer, engineering consultant and a former Democratic Candidate for Congress in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District. Follow him on Twitter @tomhicksva1


Congressional Candidates Forum Highlights March Meeting

The March meeting of the Hanover Democratic Committee will be a special one indeed!

We will host a forum for the Democratic candidates for the 1st Congressional District. Note the time and place: still 10 a.m. the second Saturday of the month; that's 10 a.m., March 14. But we will be at Patrick Henry High School in Ashland, about four miles west of the Center of the Universe on Va. 54.

All four announced Democratic congressional candidates have committed to this forum and all voters and concerned citizens in Virginia’s First Congressional District are encouraged to attend. 

The four announced candidates are Phillip Cox, Qasim Rashid, Kevin Washington and Vangie Williams.  More information about the candidates is available at Ballotpedia. Please direct questions to John Suddarth, john@suddarth.net.


The next monthly gathering of the Hanover Democratic Committee (HDC) Men's Forum will be at 7 p.m. on TUESDAY (not Wednesday), February 25, at the home of Larry Diebold, 8326 Silkwood Ct., Mechanicsville.

Our topic “How the Legislature's Decisions Will Affect Hanover County” will be presented by Faye Prichard, our only Democratic representative on the Hanover County Board of Supervisors.

The purpose of our monthly HDC Men's Forums is to socialize, invigorate, educate and elect Democrats to office. The Men's Forum provides an opportunity for Hanover Democrats to meet, talk politics and hear interesting speakers in our predominately Republican, but slowly turning Democratic county. 

Please come to socialize, get educated and invigorated at 7 p.m. on TUESDAY, February 25. RSVP to Don Barth at donna.don@comcast.net, call his cellphone or text 856-889-5905, or call or leave a message at his landline 804-299-3160.

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MY TWO CENTS: Reliance on a Fair Process is not Enough to Protect the Vote

By Chance Lee

The General Assembly has already proved itself a godsend. In just a few short weeks, we’ve seen the passage of the ERA, action on no-excuse absentee voting, and, despite fierce opposition, major movement on commonsense gun reform. More difficult, though, will be the conversation to address partisan gerrymandering. Some of our leaders in Richmond are confident they can craft a fair and durable process while still allowing the legislature to draw district lines. However, a new rulebook will never be enough to uphold free elections if lawmakers retain their grip on mapmaking. And as I wait for the gun control dustup to settle, it occurs to me that the latest specter of right-wing discontent illustrates why a sole focus on process, instead of the people responsible, for its execution is misplaced.

The lone Democratic voice on the Hanover Board of Supervisors, Faye Prichard, spoke with us in December. She described how hundreds of people nearly gave the county fire marshal a coronary by flooding the boardroom to demand the adoption of a gun sanctuary resolution. The measure was a vapid temper tantrum directed against the General Assembly, and it passed 5-1 to the surprise of no one. That the resolution’s intent to “… accept no efforts to change or diminish [gun] rights …” was, on paper, unenforceable hardly mattered.

The lesson to take from Supervisor Prichard’s experience, along with this entire gun debacle, is that process by itself has little consequence. The new legislative majority was less than a month old before our Republican-controlled board decided to flout new proposed rules. More than 100 Virginia counties, cities, and towns similarly laughed off the Assembly’s electoral mandate. These resolutions have galvanized the ugly side of the right, and the powder keg that is the Capitol is a direct result of their contempt for norms.

Process won’t protect itself; that job rests solely with flesh and blood people. Unfortunately for most Virginians, localities across the Commonwealth aren’t interested in safeguarding the proposals of a duly elected majority, and if Facebook posts are any indicator, it’s a possibility our own Sheriff tacitly agrees. What recourse then does process alone have when those charged with the law are skeptical of it? We needn’t look further than the federal level to show us there is none. We’ve watched a venal presidential administration shrug off emoluments violations, break FEC rules, and skip through salacious scandal after scandal. With recent events in Congress, it’s clear any path to accountability ends in a brick wall unless the people in power choose otherwise. My hopes aren’t high knowing Washington’s senators.

Which brings me back to redistricting. A focus on the map-drawing alone mechanism, well-intentioned as it is, ignores the fundamental problem; lawmakers cannot be allowed a choice of voters. The temptation for dishonesty is ever-present. We need an entirely different body responsible for districting, ideally a professional, independent commission with as few political ties as possible. For now, we have a trustworthy Assembly and Governor’s office. The Attorney General, for instance, has enough integrity and simple acumen to recognize there is no legal basis for county gun sanctuaries, but we should understand that characters like Mark Herring are a temporary luxury at best. The next crop of state executives or class of legislators could very well be the sort of Republicans we can’t count on to preserve the processes Democrats put so much faith in. Any redistricting plan that fails to account for that possibility by resting power in the Assembly’s hands should be a non-starter.


Hanover Democratic Committee is Co-Hosting the Virginia Blue Celebration

The Hanover Democratic Committee is excited to offer our members a discount to the Virginia Blue Celebration:   a statewide event that is being held to celebrate all our candidates who were elected in the Blue Wave in November.  All volunteers, elected officials, and committee members are invited to attend. The regular price for the ticket is $50, but members of the HDC receive a $15 discount, making the cost $35!

When:  Wednesday, January 15, 2020     Time: 6pm - 9pm

Where:  Sun Trust Building, 919 E. Main St., Richmond 23219 (4th floor)

Use the promo code: HANOVERDEMS at checkout to receive $15 off each ticket! We are happy that we are able to make this event accessible to as many volunteers and activists as possible!

More information:  Facebook      Link to tickets: bit.ly/jan20va

If you have questions, contact Colleen Grady. 
(571)438-1142 | colleen@vademocrats.org

Coffee Meeting

Coffee is brewing!

At the house of

Terry Diebold

8326 Silkwood Court, Mechanicsville

Monday, February 24 at 7 p.m.

All Democratic Women are Welcome! 

Terry Diebold will be our hostess for our February Coffee. It’s an evening coffee this time. She will welcome us to her home at 7 p.m. Monday, February 24. Terry lives at 8326 Silkwood Court, Mechanicsville, 23116, just off Atlee Road near the Memorial Regional Hospital.

Please come for great conversation and refreshments in a relaxing setting with like-minded women from all over Hanover.

Coffee Caucus is a growing group of Democratic women of all ages who meet monthly, sometimes in the day and sometimes in the evening, at the homes of volunteer hostesses at different locations around the county. Our goal is to enable as many women as possible to get to know one another so that we can better work together. We have no formal memberships or dues.

New friends are always welcome

To RSVP, or for more information, please contact Diane Neergaard at daneergaard@comcast.net or 804-304-1951.