Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bill Hastings Takes Democratic Primary in Matoaca

8:36PM June 12, 2007

As expected, Bill Hastings has won the primary nomination for the Democrats in the Matoaca District of Chesterfield. Hastings, who almost upset the current Supervisor of Matoaca, Renny Humphrey in the last election cycle took 12 of the 15 areas outright over Don Wilms.

Votes %
Bill Hastings 558 78.15

Don Wilms 156 21.84

Total Votes 714 (42,795 potential voters)

Wilms won in areas South Manchester, Birkdale and was even with Hastings in Spring Run. Hastings was up big in Ettrick, Deer Run, Matoaca, and Winfrees Store.

*** I am saddened however that the Matoaca District had a mere 1.68% turnout. It begs the question exactly what message other than apathy is being sent. Renny Humphrey has announced she will not be seeking re-election and the Democrats will be facing Mark Tubbs, the Republican Primary winner and two Independents in this Fall election. If Hastings has a chance in the Fall in such an open field, the Democrats and the CCDC will have to do much better.

This race will come down to two very important issues; Smart Growth and Schools. We can expect platforms from all the candidates in the coming weeks, but my feeling is that the Independents in this race have already gained some ground. Supporters have quitely attended community meetings over planning and development and are quick to make this the focal point of any discussion about Chesterfield.

It is my hope that everyone will get involved in the coming months and engage in the debate. The most important thing we all, Red, Blue or Green, can do is engage in the dialogue, otherwise you get exactly what you put into it...absolutely nothing...


Anonymous said...

Thats probably about as many Democrats live in this area anyway so not so surprising I guess. This seat is safely in Republican hands.

Bill Garnett said...

It is little surprise that yesterday’s voter turnout was so low. Still it is appalling. One wonders if democracy really works.

There was an estimated 70% percent turnout in the Iraqi elections – all under the threat of violence. Chesterfield County with a population of 300,000 had a turnout of about 10,000 or less than 6% of registered voters – where approximately two thirds are Republican for this Republican primary. And anyone can guess at how many of the votes where actually informed votes or just some random selections.

Does this show that the residents are sufficiently satisfied with the way things are that there is little motivation to make changes? Does it signify apathy?

Certainly there is no charismatic or exciting progressive movement in the county to either bring about change or dislodge the currently entrenched political establishment. If there is a movement otherwise, I just don’t see it.

David T. said...

It is hard to impress the significance of this election cycle on what appears to be a deaf audience. Two of the members, both Republican are not seeking re-election on a predominant Republican Board. The only seat not in play so far is Midlothian as the democrats have not announced a candidate to run against Don Sowder. Sowder if you recall replaced Democrat Ed Barber who held that district for quite some time as a moderate. Important to note Barber before being removed was opposed to Watkins Center and alot of the zonings that have since been approved.
Turnout was indeed in these primaries horrific, but thats how primaries go around here. People feel as though they will let the Party derermine who the best guy/gal is and then they will get behind them in the general.
I guess thats new "democracy". While I applaud J. Scott and his passion and have spoken with him a few times at the Planning and Supervisor meetings about the lack of true civic involvement I express the view that I feel its become a closed shop. Community meetings are called giving little notice, supervisors appear disinterested during citizen comment times, politcians spend more time with developers/planners than they do visiting schools, talking with families and identifying with the residents.
What the initial primary turnout shows them is they simply do not have to.
In terms of "motivation to make changes" as commented above, well change is coming regardless , people either will particpate in it or get run over by it. The Board will be quite different next term.
I think Bill hastings will defeat Mark Tubbs with the help from the Independent candidates who will pick off alot of the Republican slow-down growth voters and Ree hart and Dorothy Jaeckle is a dead heat at this point.
In looking at the numbers it would not take much for any "movement" to take hold. A small grassroots push will could move alot of these. Do not forget we have alot of voters upset over transportation and tax policy and with many General Assembly seats up during the general election in November they to could be in play.
Look at some of the GOP primaries statewide, 2 incumbants lost their Party nominations yesterday and three GOP moderates are not even seeking re-election. Democrats will move swiftly in the coming months. Look for them to support Katherine Waddell locally against the Republican candidate if they do not put someone on the ballot for the 68th House seat.
J.Scott its early yet don't lose hope for more involvement. There is two or three peices of work the Supervisors must decide in the coming weeks that could really move this thing into the Smart-Growth advocates corner. Semper Fi.

Bill Garnett said...

It is pathetic that the Chesterfield County Democratic Committee (CCDC) is unable to identify and groom candidates for office – especially for supervisor for Midlothian at this critical time. If one didn't know better one could imagine they are just a branch of the Republican Party based on their lack of creative and charismatic leadership, there inability to bring into the Party young blood, and their resistance to progressive ideas.

I agree that that in the current apathy a relatively small but energetic movement could make a difference. But where is it?

Gail said...

It was my understanding that Dan Gecker who narrowly lost to Don Sowder in Midlothian was planning to run again, but make in May I had heard there was a big "no comment" when it was asked of him. Can he still be a Democrat this time around or does he have to run as an Independent since there was no democrat primary in Midlothian.
Turnout in Midlo had to have been dismal, I counted 5 people at Bon Air Community Center. I was shocked there was no challenge to Sowder from either Republicans or Democrats.
Has he truly earned the right over the last five months to represent Midol for the next 4 years unopposed? I think not and I am a Republican!
I would just like to see things being taken on balance and they are not as it stands now.
How can we approve all of the land use with limited green space, more and more sub-divisons and not have the seats in our schools to educate the childeren of those we are bringing into our communities.
Take a drive west along Rt 711 from Hugeunot to Powhatan and you might as well call it a bedroom community of Bon Air. They have gone as far west as they can go, now they want to go as far west along Rt60 until they hit Rt288 and its no problem business as usual for the Board even when Dan Gecker and the Planning Commission inform them of its opposition.
We have a Board as it stands now with a real complex.

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