Categorized | Election, Opinion

Hanover Board of Supervisors Races Overrun by Faux ‘Independents’

By the Numbers:

There are 7 seats on the Hanover Board of Supervisors

There are 7 Republicans running for the 7 seats.

There is 1 Democrat running

There are 6 Independents running.

Only 1 seat is uncontested.

Only 1 Democrat?

A word on “Independents”.

There are several reasons to run as an Independent instead of as a Republican or Democrat. Some are legitimate reasons, some are circumstantial, and some are downright deceitful.

The legitimate reason to run as an Independent is because you are truly independent of the ideology of either major party. This is easily the most noble of reasons to run as an Independent, but what it really means is that you are unable to take a strong and committed stand on any ideology. These candidates rarely win because voters are looking for someone to lead, not be indecisive.

There are no true Independents running in Hanover County.

The second reason to be an Independent is if you try and lose a Primary contest for your party, yet still believe you have a chance to win. Or worse, you are hoping to split the vote and cause your party to lose the seat. A sour grapes Independent. Hardly noble.

There are no Sour Grapes Independents running in Hanover.

The third reason to run as an Independent is to avoid the expense (and effort) of a primary contest. Not exactly ignoble, unless you are not honest with voters as to the true reason you are running as an Independent. Half of the Independents running for a seat fit into this category. Of these three, only one, Jeff Kyte, running in the Cold Harbor District was truthful. He said would never defeat incumbent Elton Wade for the Republican nomination. Which is true.

The other two “Independents” are actually, or have been, Republicans. Both became Independents to avoid a primary contest. South Anna incumbent John Gordon has been a Republican for years. Rather than face a primary challenge from Republican Wayne Hazzard who has raised over $32,000 to Gordon’s $6,000. Given the opportunity to explain his party change, Gordon used the usual platitudes of representing all of the citizens. I feel that is less than honest.

The third in this category is Debby Winans. She was a Republican and, in order to avoid a primary she likely couldn’t win, became an Independent, much the same as Gordon. And she echos the same platitudes about representing all of the citizens. That is an explanation that rings hollow. In 2008, the Democrat’s shining moment, Hanover voted for Republican Candidate McCain 66.5% and in 2009, Republican Bob McDonnell received 76% of the Hanover vote. Is Hanover Independent? Hardly. The lack of candor from Gordon and Winans is disappointing.

The final reason I will mention for running as an Independent is the most deceitful of all. That is the two Democrats who are pretending to be Independents because Democrats have no chance at all in Hanover, even in the best of years for Democrats – like 2008. Jim Ellis is running in the Chickahominy District as an Independent. This is not Ellis’ first run for this seat. In 2007, Ellis resigned as a Democrat to run for the same seat. After losing the election, he rejoined the Democrats, resigning again to run as an Independent this year. Is there any doubt after the election that he will rejoin his party? Ellis is a Progressive Democrat and has not been just a member of the Democratic Party, he has held ledership roles. Hanover voters should not be fooled.

The second in this category of Independent is Patti Jackson, running in the Henry District. While Jackson does not have the long and established Democratic leadership record of Ellis, she has voted as a Democrat in primaries and is an obvious Liberal.

The final Independent, Carol Cash, running in the Cold Harbor district has a background in education, which may make her more towards the liberal end of the scale, and her answers at a recent forum seem to confirm her leftward leanings. But there is little political activity available in her background.

Hanover is unlikely to elect a Democrat for Board of Supervisors in 2011. That is a given.


Honesty is important. If we can’t find honesty in a candidate’s choice of political party, can we expect something different if they are elected?



About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

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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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