Hanover County Democratic Committee

Action Center



The Hanover County Democratic Committee is committed to reaching out to the community, building a broad-based political committee, and raising money to nominate and run candidates for federal, state, and local office. Located in Virginia, electing Democrats is the key to making our country the best it can be for all citizens.


Please feel free to contact the following executive committee members with questions or concerns:

Chair- Dan McGraw

Past Chair - Toni Radler

Past Chair - Gordon Silver

Vice Chairs

Political Strategy- Morgan Goodman

Technology - Steve Johnson

Outreach- Ashley Hall

Fundraising- John Suddarth

Treasurer - Sandy Fellerman

Corresponding Secretary - Mary Ann Pugh

Recording Secretary - Joette Mitchell

District Chairs


Chair - Don Barth; Co-Chair- Cathy Lee


Chair - Betsy Farley; Co-Char- 


Chair - June Bohrer; Co-Chair - Jennifer Byrnes

Cold Harbor

Chair - Louise Smith Evans; Co-Chair- Wendy Brooks


Chair - Jeni CarrCo-Chair - Coleen Berry


Chair - Rita DowlingCo-Chair - Joette Mitchell

South Anna

Chair - Mary KnightCo-Chair -

Committee Chairs

Voter Registration - Vacant

Black Caucus - Sandra Howard

Women's Coffee - Diane Neergaard

Men's Forum - Nelson Vaughan

Immigration - Woodi Sprinkel

Take Action Now - Jen Chambers, Christiane Riederer von Paar, Mary Anne Pugh

Social Media -  Mary Anne Pugh

Facebook - Mary Anne Pugh

Sgt. at Arms - Allen Neergaard

Special Projects - Lyn Hodnett

Central Committee Representatives

Rita Dowling

Howard Ostergren

Gordon Silver

Trevor Southerland

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.

Call to Caucus for VA House Delegate 97th District

The Hanover Democratic Committee is calling a caucus for the Democratic candidate for the 97th VA House of Delegate election.  Access the call to caucus and application for participation here.  People who wish to be considered as candidates must print this form (click here), fill out the form and follow the directions.

Our December Hanover Democratic Women's Coffee will be a festive end-of-the-year get together at the home of Jen Chambers Wednesday evening, December 11. Jen will welcome us to her home at 901 South Center Street in Ashland at 7 pm.

Please join like-minded women from all over Hanover for a time of refreshments and warm fellowship with each other.

Our 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.

We need your support

by Dan McGraw, HDC Chair

Please help us in any way you can. Without you, we have nothing. I have listened with great amazement from people like Gordon Silver and Toni Radler about the growth of the Hanover Democratic Committee. Although no youngster myself, I am a baby by comparison in terms of committee membership. I began attending meetings in 2015, when the committee was already significant in size. I watched it grow from 170 to over 300+. During that time, I heard about the times when there were just a handful of members.

And those members have kept this committee moving in the right direction. That is why we need your help. We must continue to expound upon the legacy of so many people who have given strength to Hanover Democrats like you and me. We need phone bankers, canvassers, logistics coordinators, social media specialists, financial donors, and people who can spread the message that “We are proud Democrats and we need more enthusiasts and activists and citizens yearning for a better America.”

Therefore, we need to get more Democrats elected in local, state, and national positions. We need you to do that with us. I was asked to share my vision as the newly elected chair to the Hanover Democratic Committee. My view is strength in numbers. More Democrats in PTA leadership positions, day-care volunteers, non-profits and local clubs, etc. The more involved you are in the community, the stronger our community will be.  I am proud of you.  As the message began, “Please help us in any way you can.” We are stronger in numbers and powerful beyond measure.

Invite your friends to join us. Tell your family to take a peek. Keep yourself involved. Let me know what I can do to encourage you and keep the light going. Taking on the role of the chair is an incredible task. I have already started to see the overwhelming number of hats Toni and those before her have had to wear. I am humbled by the feat, and I am up for the task. In 2019, we flipped the House and Senate. With your support, we have the opportunity to get even more Democrats elected.

I look forward to serving you.

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.


RIP Mo Moretz

We are sad to share the announcement of Mo Moretz' passing.  He was a kind gentleman, smiling friend, and dedicated Democrat.  Over the years, he has served in many capacities, including chair of the Henry District.  You can access his obituary here.  His family says:

Instead of flowers, if you'd like to make a gift to an organization he cared about, the Bethlehem Presbyterian Church Building Fund (2446 Old Church Road, Mechanicsville, VA 23111), the Marshall-Moretz Christmas Dinner Fund at First Presbyterian Church (P.O. Box 165, Richmond, KY 40476), or the Telford YMCA (https://give-to-the-telford-ymca.webnode.com/) would all be worthwhile choices. Any organization that matters to you would also be suitable.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 22 at 2:00 p.m. at Bethlehem Presbyterian Church, 2446 Old Church Road, Mechanicsville, Virginia, with a reception to follow at the church.

Action 1:

Call out Barr:

Trump and Attorney General William Barr’s interventions last week to reduce the sentencing recommendations in the Roger Stone case have undercut the longstanding independence of the Justice Department. Taken with Barr’s misstatements about the Special Prosecutor’s report and other shenanigans, we can no longer trust that the Justice Department under Barr will support the rule of law over Trumpism. Trump wants leniency for his friends, like Stone and Michael Flynn, and investigations of his political rivals and Barr complies. The Justice Department used to be insulated from political pressures, but despite Barr’s meaningless complaints about Trump, Barr has allowed the Department to become a tool for Trump’s agenda.

Calling Congressman Rob Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) sometimes feels futile, but it is important that he knows that the current lack of trust in the Justice Department is a grave threat to our democracy. Insist that he support a House investigation of Barr.

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


Our next Hanover Democratic Women's Coffee will be a festive joint November/December Coffee with Senator Jennifer McClellan as our special guest.

Jen Chambers will be our hostess for this end-of-the-year special get together on Wednesday evening, December 11 at her home at 901 South Center Street in Ashland. Jen will welcome us at 7 pm.

Please join like-minded women from all over Hanover as we celebrate each other and all of our Hanover Democratic candidates in this year's elections as we enjoy refreshments in a casual and welcoming setting.

Our 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.


Unhappy with Trump’s destructive agenda? TAKE ACTION NOW!

This new resource from the Hanover Democratic Committee is designed to help citizens take strategic acts that will protect our Democracy.  Watch for weekly action items here on the HDC webpage, in your inbox and on Facebook. 

Monthly meeitng of the HDC committee