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It’s Amazing. Breathtaking. What I Saw Today at the American Legion Hall in Hanover: It’s a Convention in the 97th!

I was present for the revolution – for once!

I went to the 97th District GOP Committee meeting this morning and I was not sure if the auxiliary room at the Legion Hall in Mechanicsville would be packed with people. There was a prominent campaign veteran at the meeting: Boyd Marcus. About ten activists were watching – no one got to say anything.

The committee (the Hanover rep, Supervisor Scott Wyatt, who due to weighted voting based on GOP voting could out vote the two reps from King William and New Kent on his own, gave a proxy to another which I see as a sign that Wyatt is serious about running for delegate at the convention) opened the meeting with prayer (in Jesus’ name – yea!), the Pledge and a reading of the Republican Creed and then after no old business, the group went to the bit of new business – primary or convention?

The Hanover rep moved for a convention and it was seconded by another committee member. King William voted for a primary and New Kent voted for a convention. And just like that it was done: The 97th District GOP delegate nominee will be chosen at a convention. The winner of this convention will almost virtually be the next delegate for this area.

It was breathtaking and I must admit I have mixed feelings about it.

There is now, with the setting aside of the Incumbent Protection Act, a power shift to the leaders of the parties. Maybe too much power. Other states’ method of determining this process will now have to be studied. This will empower the bases of the party rather than the candidates. But the conventions do limit the ability of the other party to manipulate the results in an unethical manner. Maybe primaries with party registration allowing independents to vote in either primary. I don’t like like party registration. That weakens the unit committees.

Will this be repeated in other jurisdictions? Well, in the Frank Wagner state senate district (7), the GOP committee voted for a primary. I would expect not much change – unless there is discontent with the incumbent. I think this will be an exciting convention.

Here is how it will work: Hanover, New Kent and King William GOP areas of the 97th District will have mass meetings to elect delegates to the 97th district convention and at that convention, the nominee will be selected.

Wow. That is revolutionary. Exciting news. Let’s see what happens. Who will run? I believe two or three others (maybe more!) will run – the chance to be get that nomination – which has about a 90-95% of being the delegate – will draw out more hopefuls than presumed candidate Supervisor Scott Wyatt and of course the incumbent delegate Christopher Peace.

So, who should run? What issues will predominate? What issues SHOULD predominate? Has Wyatt got it in the bag? Will there be a Libertarian or Green candidate? Who will the Dem be? I encourage comments!

Correction: Hat tip to Bob Shannon – I had King William and New Kent mixed up. Dyslexia strikes again perhaps! My apology.

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)

9 Responses to “It’s Amazing. Breathtaking. What I Saw Today at the American Legion Hall in Hanover: It’s a Convention in the 97th!”

  1. Mark Daniel says:


    New Kent seconded,and voted for a Convention.
    For the first time in years, the nomination process is open , and an encouragement, for Candidates to step forward .
    As a believer in term limits, limited Government, fiscal Responsibility and. Accountability, we have taken a bold step

    Thank you,

    Mark Daniel

  2. C. Brittle says:

    Mr. Sanders

    The Republicans are holding a 2 delegate majority in the house. If a no name- no money candidate wins this nomination and goes up against a well funded Democrat in the general election in November, the Republicans could lose this safe Republican seat that Delegate Peace has successfully held for over a decade. You support the process and are intrigued but when the Democrats control the governor’s mansion, the House of Delegates and the State Senate after 2019 November elections, the havoc reigned down on our Commonwealth by Northam’s socialist agenda will prove these amateurs meddling in the 97th dead wrong.

    Any “assumption” that a Republican- any Republican- can win is nonsense. Case in Point: Congressman Dave Brat just lost a plus 12 Republican Congressional District to Democrat Abigail Spanberger. That was a “safe” Republican district. The country club republicans can’t win against the Democrat machine in blue Virginia.

    Voters in the 97th should ask themselves how the presumed Republican Delegate candidate Scott Wyatt, a first term Cold Harbor Supervisor elected in 2015, came to be elected to the Hanover County Board of Supervisors in the first place. Wyatt was sitting on the Hanover Republican Committee when long time Cold Harbor supervisor Elton Wade was forced to retire as a result of his “school crossing guard” double dipping salary scandal as a Hanover County supervisor and Wyatt ran for Wade’s seat and won.

    Wyatt’s emergence onto the scene of the Hanover County Republican Executive Committee as the Cold Harbor Magisterial District Chairman came about by the hands of none other than Dale Hargrove Alderman, current legislative aid to Republican Delegate from the 55th District Buddy Fowler.

    Mrs. Hargrove actually told people way back then that she was setting up Wyatt to run against Delegate Chris Peace in the future. Fast forward the future is here- voters in the 97th should ask why Buddy Fowler’s “aid” and fund raiser in chief is meddling in Peace’s district? And why are some Middle Resolution Pac board members meddling to defeat Peace as well? A little payback Nancy and Craig for Peace’s vote for medicaid expansion? What logic did they use to target Delegate Chris Peace alone when more than 20 other Republicans voted to expand Medicaid including House Speaker Kirk Cox? Chris Peace’s law office resides in the building of the Middle Resolution Pac founder’s office complex near Route 360 in Mechanicsville which makes for interesting political discussions around here.

    Peace’s political consultants Boyd Marcus and Mike Wade are going to crush this coup. This is blood sport for these old professionals. And when it is all said and done and Peace is victorious will they turn their sights on Fowler and Mrs. Hargrove-Alderman for retribution?

    Democrat Ms. Morgan Goodman is running for Delegate in the 55th. And REPUBLICANS in the 55th already have Morgan Goodman signs in their yards in the 55th real estate.

    • Well, C. Brittle, I guess we’ll find out. Thanks for coming by.


      PS: Oh I almost forgot to answer your gratuitous comment on Supervisor Wade. Wade was a person of integrity and it is shameful what some did for political advantage. (Even at this blog by others.) There is absolutely NO evidence that Wade used/abused his elected position to gain an advantage; it is well-known in HR circles that sometimes the pay of a person is skewed for legitimate reasons (and I taught a Master’s level HR course online at Trevecca Nazarene University several years ago), now I am sure the functionaries at HR in Hanover did not act perhaps in part because Wade was on the Board. But that is their fault. Wade had been a bus driver before he took the crossing guard spots and that can skew pay. Furthermore, that is not a easy or safe job with speeding cars, especially on Pole Green Road. And Wade was expected to be there is all kinds of weather. So I think the implication that Wade is a crook is unfounded. I have blogged on this before:

      I actually ASKED Wade for his side.

      Thanks again for coming by.


    • Willoughby says:

      You are so right C Brittle! This was a blatant take over at the mass meeting.
      First and foremost, Delegate Peace’s service to the 97th District has been above reproach. His reputation as a fine statesman have gone far beyond this district. He has served honorably and well. Delegate Peace was elected by the voters of the 97th District and the voters of the 97th should re-elect him – not just the chosen delegates from the Hanover Committee. Republican Party of Virginia Rules, Parliamentary Rules, and civility went out the window from those who orchestrated the meeting on Thursday night.

      The Medicaid Expansion is a Trump approved plan and was modeled after VP President Mike Pence’s conservative reform legislation while Governor of Indiana. Non-disabled adults will be required to work or be in school in order to be eligible for Medicaid. This plan protects Virginia taxpayers by requiring participating Hospitals to pay the state share of Medicaid expansion and the administrative expenses. Delegate Peace voted to require co-payments from Medicaid recipients. When Governor Northam had enough votes to pass straight Medicaid expansion, Delegate Peace fought for these and more sensible reforms.

      Delegate Peace’s longevity (13 years) is a definite plus in the General Assembly. Seniority equates to experience. Delegate Peace is on the Appropriations Committee and has been recognized countless times for his contributions in the General Assembly. His dedication to the district is immeasurable.

      Check out CHRISPEACE.COM. Hanover delegates vote for a proven legislator – Delegate Christoper Peace.

  3. Jerrod Vitale says:

    BJ Ostergren ran the Virginia Watchdog for years as a solo crusader. Check the link below, scroll down to 10-14-03 for first FOI released on Elton Wade’s salary (approx $21,000). His crossing guard salary went to $30,000 by 2013. How did that happen?

    BTW Bus drivers in Hanover were paid same as crossing guards- only paid for 4 hours.

    • Sandy Sanders

      Thanks first Jerrod for coming by and saying hello.

      $9000 over ten years is about $900 a year. That is hardly scandalous. That’s about 4% per year over time on the $21k salary. Still no evidence Wade was treated differently because he was a supervisor at his request. I think he WAS probably treated differently BUT no evidence it was more than a statistical anomaly.


  4. Sawyer says:

    Hey Elwood Sanders,

    Please tell me, what issues will predominate?
    Sawyer recently posted…How to Change a Table Saw BladeMy Profile


  1. […] I recall Hubbard wanted a primary at the first meeting but was outvoted by the other two representatives. Of course the Hanover vote […]

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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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