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IS There a Libertarian in the House (97th District)?

This is my report from the Hanover mass meeting for the 97th District:

I am at the Hanover County 97th District mass meeting and they are right now electing the temporary chairman. Russ Wright is running against Fran Sadler, I am told that Wright is the choice of the Wyatt people and Sadler the Peace people. (I have already met the delegate and Senator McDougle, my supervisor Sean Davis as well as former Stafford County BOCS Chair Susan Stimpson. I have also met a candidate for the BOCS in Cold Harbor – Michael Herzberg. He says he’s a staunch conservative and I asked him to fight spending in local government.)

I am hearing that at the New Kent mass meeting the Peace forces overwhelmed the Wyatt contingent and then allowed all the delegates to advance BUT Wyatt people were relegated to alternates. Again, I am awaiting confirmation of this.

I have also heard the same could be in the works for Hanover.
Why am I not liveblogging on the air so to speak? Well, my laptop sprung a leak so to speak and I am trying to establish a connection on my auxiliary laptop – not the trusty one at home.

There is all sorts of ugliness going on. A Peace supporter confronted two voters and tried to say they were not residents of the district. The woman protested and finally she or another said: Just knock this off. Also, the temporary chairman voting was done in a way that I have never seen before. The GOP chair asked the people to vote yes for Fran and then no for her. But the better way is to vote Sadler then vote Wright. It started at 7:20 with the usual beginnings (prayer, Pledge, GOP Creed – too bad more Republicans don’t follow it!) and the election of the temporary chairman immediately followed. I did not sign up (remember I will find a LP or conservative to run as an independent and that seems more likely with each passing minute!) People are on edge.

In other news, Peace campaign consultant Boyd Marcus was on the John Fredericks Show this morning saying all the things that I agree with – no slating, all should vote, etc. Fredericks was shouting about how Wyatt has rigged the method and how it is now apparent the Wyatt forces will slate off the Peace delegates. But the Peace group in New Kent stopped it. All sounds good and I agree in principle BUT I am hearing as I said before that New Kent had a majority for Peace and at least some Wyatt delegates were relegated to alternate status. That is not how state conventions were done in the past: delegates were elected in pass up to each person having 1/5 delegate vote. I have been advised that the call limited the number of bodies that can be delegates. My alternative method is to start in chronological order for prefiling.

Now it appears that Sadler was voted down, three non-97th voters were deprived of their cards (must have been true) and Wright was finally voted in by unanimous consent as temporary chairman. This appears to have been a test vote and the Wyatt forces have won that vote.

Candidate speeches now: Wright (who I trust implicitly) let the delegate go first. Peace was conciliatory at first but he defended his Medicaid vote – the alternative is “unfettered Obamacare”. This will save raids from the general fund. Peace even has a bit of a sense of humor. “Give Peace a Chance”. I am glad to say that the delegate mentioned his mother and there was no booing or other expression of displeasure.

Wyatt now speaks: He started with many thanks. He says he was also attacked in the media, too. Now he takes a swing at Peace’s campaign: How they refused to seat as a delegate a close associate of a senator (I think Senator Norment is the senator for New Kent); alas this lady was not elected. Alas, Wyatt only had one issue: Peace’s vote on expansion. I had begged Wyatt to adopt other ideas but I have not heard too much. No vision for what the candidate is to do if elected.

It is now 8:24pm. Various committees are going to meet.

  • Credentials committee – short – noncontroversial.
  • Rules committee – rules were read to the mass meeting. I did not hear anything non-controversial in the reading BUT the Wyatt managers said vote YES and Peace NO. Not clear to me why. Maybe another test vote. Wyatt won that vote in the opinion of the chair.

Then Senator McDougle was invited to speak and he called for unity. He warned the mass meeting about the fear of socialism, even here in Virginia. Outsider billionaires will try to influence your vote. One in New York and two in California. We must stay together.

Wright said 793 delegates and 793 alternatives can be voted in – no more. There are more than 793 pre-filed delegate candidates. (Boy am I glad I did not pre-file!) Wright was asked: What is the method of selection? The nominations committee votes and then the convention votes. That was not received well by the mass meeting but the reception was civil and polite.
Finally after a long time, the Nominations Committee chair gave a report:
304 alternatives to be read first and only 97 (?) (actual number is 793) delegates. I have been told by none other than Delegate Peace that the widow of the Hanover firefighter (Brad Clark) was slated off as an alternate and not a delegate.

Russ Wright just called time on a questioner but after a huge round of boos the question was allowed to be repeated. The suggestion was made that the report be reduced to writing and attached to the minutes. That was not well-received at all. Then the motion – I think – to dispense with the names and to vote on the report. I think the noes have it – at first it was declared for the ayes. But finally the second time the noes was recognized. (One apparent voter was thrown out for too much shouting.) Apparently, the list of alternatives will be read because it is shorter. I suggested to the delegate that the delegates be determined in chronological order. I was also told by Peace that his wife’s parents were sent to the alternate list. It does not seem fair to the delegate. I recommended to the delegate’s chief of staff he file a minority report and take the fight to the convention but they did not.

The report was adopted and it looks like the Wyatt forces pulled out a come from behind win. Then the meeting was adjourned. I am SO glad I had no part of this.


I did not expect to say this: But I think Delegate Peace got hosed tonight. And I am at the very least disturbed about it. It’s underhanded and the process was not transparent. This did not enhance party unity. I suppose King William will decide it. And I would have voted for Wyatt if I had run as a delegate to the May 4 convention. I am disappointed with both sides to some extent. I am pretty sure I will seek a LP candidate in the 97th. And no more conventions for local offices.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

4 Responses to “IS There a Libertarian in the House (97th District)?”

  1. Mr. Nobody says:

    What’s to stop Peace from running as an Independent or Libertarian?


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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