Hanover County Democratic Committee

Moving Hanover Forward

 2018 Wins and losses:

medicaid expansion?

Next meeting: Saturday, April 14 

Senator McClellan


Don't miss the next meeting of the Hanvoer Democratic Committee on Saturday, April 14 at 10 a.m. at Ashland Coffee & Tea. Virginia State Sen. Jennifer McClellan will discuss what happened in the 2018 Virginia General Assembly--the balance sheet of our wins and our losses. How close are we to Medicaid Expansion!

In addition, the HDC's Candidates' Corner will shine the spotlight on Vangie Williams who is running for the Democratic nomination for the First Congressional Seat. In March, our candidate presenter was John Suddarth, and in May, it will be Edwin Santana. This is a great chance to get an up close and personal view of the three Democratic candidates in time for the June 12 primary.

Apply Now for Dopp-Ostergren Scholarship

The Hanover Democratic Committee is accepting applications for the 2018 Melissa J. Dopp/Bobby Ostergren scholarship for graduating high school students. The one page application must be submitted by April 30 to P.O. Box 22, Ashland, Va 23005. This year, we hope to award four $500 scholarships to graduating High School seniors from Atlee, Patrick Henry, Hanover, and Lee-Davis  High Schools who have assisted the Hanover Democratic Committee, participated in Democratic campaigns, supported Democratic candidates or have participated in or started a Young Democrats club in his/her school. This is not a needs based or academic scholarship, but rather a scholarship designed to recognize students with the highest level of participation and involvement in Democratic campaigns and activities. Click here for the scholarship form.  For more information, contact Lyn Hodnett, 804-382-4532, lynh169125@comcast.net.  

See you Saturday, April 14 at 10 a.m. As always, the coffee is on us.

Blue Wave Bash

Don't miss the 9th Annual Blue Wave Bash!
Wednesday, April 25 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Montpelier Center for Arts & Education, 17205 Mountain Road, Montpelier.

Keynote Speaker--Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax
Master of Ceremonies--Sen. Jennifer McClellan

Sit-down Buffet Dinner/Cash Bar

Click Here to get your ticket on line  wave 1   

OR reply to the invitation which will be coming to you in the mail
OR buy your ticket at the next HDC meeting, Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m.

Be Part of the Blue Wave!

The Honorable Justin Fairfax, Virginia's dynamic Lieutenant Governor, will be the keynote speaker at the 9th Annual Blue Wave Bash on Wednesday, April 25 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Montpelier Center for Arts and Education. Sen. Jennifer McClellan will be our Master of Ceremonies.

You may have noticed we have changed the name of our popular annual fundraiser. When we launched this event nine years ago, we called it the Blue Moon Bash because once in a Blue Moon a Democrat gets elected in Hanover. Well after the Democratic landslide last November, we have changed our tune. We are now calling this popular event the Blue Wave Bash.  We're hoping for another Blue Wave in 2018...in fact, we are hoping for a Tsunami in 2018!

Please join us for a sit down buffet dinner and cash bar at the Montpelier Center for Arts and Education, 17205 Mountain Road, Montpelier. We changed locations because we needed more elbow room to accommodate the growing popularity of the event. We wanted to assure that everyone has a comfortable seat to enjoy the delicious buffet dinner provided by Jake's Place.

Proceeds from the Blue Wave Bash will go to support local, state and national Democratic candidates. Be part of the Blue Wave. Join us on Wednesday, April 25. Click here to buy your ticket.   Blue Wave 10

Coffee is brewing!

Wednesday, April 18, 10 a.m.

Coffee Meeting

At the home of

Caroline Cooke 

9008 Mount Eagle Road

Ashland, 23005









All Democratic Women are Welcome! 

Please join women from all over Hanover at our April Women's Coffee Caucus gathering on Wednesday morning, April 18, at the home of Caroline Cooke at  9008 Mount Eagle Road, Ashland, 23005. Caroline will welcome us at 10 am

Come for great fellowship and spirited conversation with a wealth of like minded women in this relaxed setting.   There's much to talk about and take action on as we work to advance our Democratic ideals.

For those who don't know, we are 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 may better work together.  We have no formal memberships or dues.

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


Men's Forum


At the home of

Nelson Vaughan

209 College Avenue

Thursday, April 19 at 7pm

 Mens Forum


The next monthly gathering of the Hanover Democratic Men's Forum will be held on THURSDAY APRIL 19 at 7:00 pm in the heart of the College District in Ashland at the home of Nelson Vaughan, 209 College Avenue, Ashland.  These Democratic Men's forums provide an opportunity for Hanover Democratic men to meet, socialize, talk politics and hear interesting speakers.  The host and Chair of these Democratic Men's Forums, Nelson Vaughan, says come hungry as he will be serving heavy hors d'oevres. The next monthly gathering of the Hanover Democratic Men's Forum will be held on THURSDAY APRIL 19 at 7:00 pm in the heart of the College District in Ashland at the home of Nelson Vaughan, 209 College Avenue, Ashland.  These Democratic Men's forums provide an opportunity for Hanover Democratic men to meet, socialize, talk politics and hear interesting speakers.  The host and Chair of these Democratic Men's Forums, Nelson Vaughan, says come hungry as he will be serving heavy hors d'oevres. 

This month's speaker will be Mayor Jim Foley, Mayor of the Town of Ashland who will be retiring from Town Council after the election this May.  Come and hear Mayor Foley talk about his time in office and what the future holds for Ashland and Hanover County. 

The purpose of these monthly Men's Forums is to socialize, envigorate, educate and elect Democrats and is a great opportunity to get to know like-minded Democratic men in a way that you just can't in other venues in this predominantly Republican county.  The monthly Saturday morning committee meetings are great but you don't have the opportunity to talk and to get to know one another on a more social level.  It also gives those who can't attend the Saturday morning meetings a chance to get involved.  So please join us on Thursday April 19 at 7:00 pm.  Don't miss this opportunity to socialize and mobilize. 

RSVP to Nelson Vaughan at vnvaughan@aol.com or call cell phone and text messages 201.826.7093; home 804.496.6217.
If you are a woman and receive this, please send to your favorite Democratic male relative, neighbor or friend.


My Two Cents

from the Candidate's Corner

(This month's Two Cents features John Suddarth, one of three Democrats vying for the Democratic nomination to run for the first Congressional District seat. The May newsletter will feature Vangie Williams and the June newsletter will feature Edwin Santana.)

Single Payer-A Must! 

By John Suddarth

I knew running for Congress would be hard work.  I knew I would have to ask friends, family and strangers for money to support my campaign—something no one likes to do.  What I did not know is how much active assistance I’d get from so many people.  You inspire me to work even harder for our progressive agenda.

As a candidate, I’m meeting many passionate, empathetic, progressive Americans in our district, deeply concerned about the direction of our country who have been waiting on the sidelines, eager to get involved but not knowing how.  Groups like Indivisible, CircleUp, Together Hanover, as well as traditional organizations like the Hanover Democratic Committee, are vehicles for such involvement and action and membership rolls are swelling. Their involvement is critical to electing progressive candidates like me in tough traditionally Red districts like Virginia’s First and sending us to Washington to get this country moving again.  

I hear again and again from families who cannot afford health insurance, who do not qualify for unexpanded Medicaid and cannot afford insurance on the ACA exchanges.  This is because the GOP has sabotaged the Affordable Care Act, hoping it would fail.  They shortened the enrollment period.  They hedged on cost-sharing with health insurers so rates shot up 35 to 81%. Aetna and United Health left the state.  The GOP did this not just out of the inability to understand how health markets really work but out of pure spite for anything advanced by President Obama and the Democratic Party and disregard for the well-being of less affluent Americans.  In some of our rural counties, there is a choice of only one insurer.  Providers without an insured patient base on moving out of the area and clinics are closing down.  Well, those of us trying to ride the Blue Wave into congress intend to do something about that.

I am a strong advocate for fundamental reform to our healthcare system, a change that would lead to universal access to affordable healthcare and unsurpassed global competitiveness. It would create a truly dynamic American economy while cutting our healthcare costs in half, saving us $1.5 trillion a year, half of that in savings to the federal government.   

We do not have to reinvent the wheel. Single-Payer is the preferred healthcare system throughout the industrial world.  Almost every industrialized democracy save America insures all of its citizens; these citizens have better healthcare outcomes at half the cost.  Citizens in democracy after democracy have universal access.   Their companies don’t have to provide health insurance to employees, so they hire workers more freely.  Their workers don’t have a $15,000 insurance burden on their backs as do Americans, so they don’t have to be as productive as we do to have a job.  Today companies choose to create new jobs in countries with lower healthcare costs.  Let’s fix our healthcare system, reduce our costs, and bring jobs home to the world’s most productive workers.

Single-payer healthcare would also liberate our citizens from working in jobs just for health insurance and enable them to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.  Assured universal access and insurance would remove the anxiety so many of us face when ill or injured.  In today’s expensive American healthcare system, some parents don’t even let their children play sports because they can’t afford the emergency room.  Those with pre-existing conditions, half of us, fear what the GOP will do next to the Affordable Care Act that prevents discrimination against us. Senior citizens don’t take recommended dosages of prescriptions because they can’t afford to pay twice as much for medicine as do Danes or Singaporeans.  And everyone fears losing insurance or an illness resulting in financial failure and bankruptcy.  We have 600 thousand bankruptcies in this country every year due to our dysfunctional healthcare system.  Good, hardworking Americans losing everything because the system serves the health insurers and pharmaceuticals and not the public.  Let’s rid ourselves of this needless anxiety. This is wrong, it is immoral, and it has to be fixed. 

Single-payer would also eliminate the cumbersome administrative burdens providers bear. Every doctor’s office in America is protected by a staff behind a front desk that screen would-be patients for valid health insurance prior to being seen by an actual provider.  Our current for-profit system has reduced access to healthcare to a pay system like a fast food drive-thru where you don’t get your French fries at the second window until after you hand over your money at the first. 

In addition to my experience running multinational companies and seeing how our healthcare system hurts the American worker and our economic competitiveness, I have studied this issue closely.  I have received guidance from the Physicians For a National Healthcare Program.  I’ve had in depth discussions with a family practitioner who received his medical training in Canada.  Canada has single payer healthcare and physicians enjoy levels of income and lifestyles commensurate with those of physicians here. They have the added joy of not having to turn away patients.  And the experiences of Canadian patients were as good or better than those experienced by Americans, except for the lack of out of pocket expenses, anxiety about coverage, and threat of financial ruin.  My vision is to do better than Canada and include prescription drugs in our single payer plan.

The GOP talks about healthcare being provided by private insurance companies.  Well, the free market has had hundreds of years to provide universal healthcare at a reasonable cost and has failed miserably on both counts.  Most Americans believe healthcare is a basic human right, just like access to clean air and water. Why are we not assured what each of us will need at different points in our life?  Because some politicians care many times more about the well-being of businesses than they do about yours.

The GOP position is fundamentally flawed.  It is based upon the idea that healthcare should be rationed based on what a patient can afford to pay, not on what the patient actually needs to get better.  It is clear to anyone paying attention that our free market health insurance companies won’t cover everyone, won’t control costs, won’t allow a true free market and competition, won’t keep wasteful administrative costs down, and won’t limit government control.  

Most importantly, our current system creates a moral hazard.  Insurance companies profit by denying care and skim off hundreds of billions of dollars every year for non-valued adding administrative costs and executive incentives!

Physicians are fed-up and frustrated with insurance companies, who make it hard for most to do their jobs. And many would be agreeable to a single payer that assures payment while they pursue the noble dream that motivated them through eight or more years of tough schooling: to heal.

SPS will: eliminate all that wasted effort in begging for-profits to approve recommended care; it will eliminate restrictive networks that serve primarily the interest of the insurance company, not the patient, certainly not the provider; huge billing costs will be eliminated as will uncompensated care.  Most importantly, it’ll assure you of access to healthcare and eliminate all that related anxiety you currently have.  The manner in which physicians are compensated would NOT change.  But physicians would be free to treat citizens and legal residents with confidence of payment and without the current expensive and cumbersome administrative burden. 

If single-payer would do all of these things, why don’t we do it?  Unfortunately vested interests have fought for decades to protect the franchise that pharmaceutical companies and health insurance companies enjoy in this country alone.  They’ve cornered the market through lobbying and donations to politicians at all levels. They’ve set themselves up to the point they can charge Americans twice what other citizens in democracies pay.  And they create fear and anxiety by mischaracterizing the quality and accessibility of care in other countries.  Canadians and Europeans laugh and shake their heads when they hear our politicians criticize their healthcare systems.   

And no, single payer is not socialized medicine.  Healthcare would still be performed by private providers.  The only difference would be that everyone is covered and the costs would be a lot less.  Providers could see any patient and not be cul-de-sac-ed into insurance networks which stifle competition. 

It will be difficult to move to single payer quickly, not just because of vested interests but because the healthcare system is massive with countless moving parts. People are naturally afraid of the unknown and anxious about change in something as crucial to life as healthcare.  But true fiscal conservatives should applaud and support this system: 

• Single payer is both cheaper and more effective and everyone is covered

• Everyone pays in and everyone benefits

• Our economy is made more competitive and our workers more productive

• Free market competition at the provider level is increased

• It inspires and enables entrepreneurial endeavors

• The government and insurance companies will no longer stand patients and doctors 

Making this transition will require that you put aside all that misinformation you’ve been given over the years about true healthcare reform and objectively look at the opportunity to profoundly improve every American life.  Moving forward requires:

—buy in from you, the people; 

—buy in from the politicians; 

—and buy in from the healthcare providers, physicians, nurse, technicians, and administrators.

We must reform our healthcare system now before the wheels finally come off. Already 3 million Americans have lost health insurance under Trump.  Now the GOP leadership in the House is talking about eliminating the employer mandate.  If the GOP eliminates the employer mandate after it has undermined the exchanges and refused to expand Medicaid, where will you get your insurance?

Over time we can sharply reduce our healthcare costs to the OECD average while producing better outcomes.  This will result in a more vibrant economy, more competitive American companies, better wages, and a happier, less anxious, and healthier population.

It’s time for us to stand together and support progressive Democrats who will create a single-payer system.  I ask for your support so I can stand strong with like-minded politicians who want to fix our healthcare system, fix our economy, and make America a place where everyone has outstanding healthcare and an opportunity for great-paying jobs. Please go to my website, www.suddarthforcongress.com and volunteer and contribute. This is the first year we’ve had an opportunity to turn the First Blue and it may be the only year.  Act now!