Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Heigh Ho Heigh ho, it’s off to vote we go
It will soon be time to vote again. In Virginia, we have the opportunity to go to the polls at least once every year.
On Tuesday, June 13, primaries for both republicans and democrats will be held to select candidates for governor; lieutenant governor, attorney general, and, in the 56th General Assembly District, which includes about the eastern third of Goochland, delegate. Voting will occur at your usual precinct. While no party registration is needed to participate in the primary, you may only cast a ballot for one party.
The 56th District is comprised of Louisa County and parts of Goochland, Henrico, and Spotsylvania Counties. Each Delegate represents approximately 83,000 people.
Unlike other years, delegate choices abound on both sides of the aisle. This will be a nice change from 2011, when Peter Farrell was essentially anointed into the 56th District delegate seat by a handful of men in a closed room a few hours after the earthquake that cracked the Washington Monument. The democrats did not field a candidate that year, so the republican nominee won the election. Farrell, who announced he would not seek reelection earlier this year, never faced an opponent at the polls.
Once again, the Goochland Democrats, Republicans, and Tea Party are joining forces to stage a 56th District candidate forum. It will be held on Saturday, June 3 at the Goochland High School from 1 to 4 p.m. Voters can see, hear, compare all candidates for this office, and choose a candidate. There may be an opportunity for questions from the audience.
A similar forum, held last January before the special election to fill the 22nd District State Senate seat when the incumbent Tom Garrett moved up the road to the United States Congress, provided a great community service to voters.
The democrats are: Lizzie M. Drucker-Basch, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.lizzieforvirginia.com; and Melissa M. Dart email@example.com.
The republicans are: Matt C. Pinsker, firstname.lastname@example.org, pinsker4delegate.com; Graven W. Craig, email@example.com, http://gravencraig.com; George S. Goodwin, firstname.lastname@example.org; Surya P. Dhakar, email@example.com, http://dhakarfordelegate.com; John J. McGuire III, firstname.lastname@example.org; and J. F. "Jay" Prendergast, email@example.com, jay4delegate56.org.
As noted above, some of the candidates have websites, in addition to email addresses, and all are on Facebook.
Note that only two of the candidates, Louisa County Republicans Graven Craig and George Goodwin, are not Henrico residents. There are no contenders from Goochland. Supervisor Ken Peterson, District 5, declined to throw his hat in the ring.
The 56th District is a curious animal whose boundaries were likely drawn to concentrate republican voters. Combining parts of Short Pump with more rural areas that have different challenges, seems counterproductive.
Farrell, and his predecessor Bill Janis, used vague political rhetoric to tap dance around those attitudinal differences, contending that everyone in the 56th wants good government, great schools, and so forth.
Goochland County has traditionally had a good working relationship with its General Assembly delegation, which now includes 65th District Delegate Lee Ware, and 22nd District Senator Mark Peake, who succeeded Garrett in January.
Please try to attend the forum, or at least do some online research and make up your own mind about which person will serve Goochland best in Richmond.
Kudos to the political groups for making this forum possible.