AS 2018 DRAWS TO A CLOSE,
We want to begin by saying thank you! Thank you to the many, many Rappahannock County Democrats who stepped up over the weeks and months to turn out support for Leslie Cockburn for Congress and Tim Kaine for Senate. Because of your determination, hard work, and boundless enthusiasm, our field operations and approach to outreach have forever been transformed, with radical improvements and growth in all aspects of organizing.
Together, we made significant strides over past elections. Our achievements included:
- Organizing and hosting a successful caucus on April 14, with over 180 participants
- Attendance at the 5th District convention in Farmville on May 5 by the Rappahannock delegation, with several other Rappahannock Democrats in attendance
- Regular monthly meetings with a host of speakers, including Tristan Shields, April Moore, and Leslie Cockburn, and regular updates from campaign representatives
- Largest turnout in recent history (or as far back as we remember!) at the Amissville Fireman’s Parade on June 28, with many energetic walkers and sign-carriers in blue RCDC polo shirts accompanying our “float”
- Four postcard parties coordinated by Cathy Zimmerman at her home and the Headmaster’s Pub, with more than 1000 postcards mailed to Rappahannock voters
- 200+ yard signs and several dozen highway signs distributed by Ross O’Donoghue and Hank Gorfein
- Terrific turnout at the first Candidates’ Forum at the Theatre in Little Washington on August 8, with a crowd overwhelmingly supportive of Leslie Cockburn. Many Madison and Fauquier Dems also attended
- Multiple fund-raising parties and campaign events, including a birthday reception for Leslie Cockburn on September 8 at Little Eldon Farm that raised more than $15,000; a lunch for Tim Kaine on September 14 at the Headmaster’s Pub; and a Rally in the Valley on September 29 at Mountainview Farm, featuring music from Smiggy and Friends and the Cockburn campaign band, After Jack
- Many letters appearing week after week in the Rappahannock News in support of Democratic candidates and policies, coordinated by Eve Brooks
- A vast increase in our get-out-the-vote efforts. We started knocking on doors in July. More than 1,000 homes visited by canvassers, with many new canvassers joining the action.
- Massive data entry efforts to update voter records, based on our extensive canvassing, using the miniVAN app, overseen by Bob Burney
- Set up of a campaign office at Clark Surveying in Huntly to coordinate with the Cockburn and Kaine campaigns. At the height of GOTV weekend, over 200 volunteers came through the office from as far away as Maryland and DC
- Diligent phone banking efforts using the Vote Builder app
- A robust social media effort. We added scores of new followers on Facebook over the past several months, built up our MailChimp list, and updated and improved our website, www.RappDems.org.
- Full-day staffing at all the six polling stations in Rappahannock County, with signs, sample ballots, and literature.
Did we move the needle? Decidedly, yes. With 1,837 votes for Leslie Cockburn in Rappahannock County, we increased our voter turnout 20 percent from the 2014 mid-term election. The point spread between Leslie and her opponent was the smallest in decades. Leslie outperformed Democratic Senate incumbent Tim Kaine in Rappahannock and the 5th District over his Republican opponent, Corey Stewart, an outspoken Trump supporter and white nationalist. We solidified our Democratic hold in key areas: Flint Hill, Sperryville and the absentee votes.
This is just the beginning. We’ve established a strong foundation for future Get Out the Vote efforts. We’ve developed strong working relationships with neighboring Democratic committees, and with increasingly effective Indivisible and resistance groups, including our own Rapp Resist, and those in Fauquier, Madison, Culpeper and Greene counties. We have big plans not only to continue increasing Democratic turnout, but also to win over independent voters and even conservative hearts and minds!
In 2019, Rappahannock will be involved in two races for State Legislature: the 18th District of the House of Delegates to unseat Republican Michael Webert, and the 26th Senate District to unseat Mark Obenshain.
- In the 18th, two candidates have announced: Laura Galante of Marshall VA, and Tristan Shields of Rixeyville. In January or February the district committee will vote on whether to hold a caucus or a primary to pick a nominee. You can find out more about both candidates at:
https://galantefordelegate.com and https://tristanshields.com/
- In the 26th, April Moore is stepping up as the Democratic challenger. She ran against Obenshain in 2015, so she will be a seasoned opponent.
We’re looking forward to working with you to flip the House of Delegates and the Senate! This is a crucial effort. With control of the House, we’ll be in a position, after the 2020 Census, to re-draw gerrymandered districts like the 5th in 2021.
Have a wonderful holiday, enjoy your family and friends, and let’s get together again on January 12 for the first RCDC meeting of 2019!
Mary-Sherman Willis, Chair
Ross O’Donoghue, Vice Chair
Bob Burney, Secretary
Bruce Sloane, Treasurer
I’m running for Virginia Delegate in District 18 in 2019.
Here’s why: we can WIN.
Sunday evening I played rock n’ roll to a Democratic crowd of hundreds who knocked thousands of doors throughout Virginia’s 18th this campaign season. I felt the passion, energy and determination to make the blue wave a mid-term reality.
When I asked “Are you ready to keep it going in 2019?” the roar of the crowd was overwhelming. More energy and money has been spent in District 18 to get out the Democratic vote in the last two years than ever before. We must keep the momentum going.
The incredible transition from being afraid to talk to my neighbors about politics in 2016 to now seeing Democrat signs sprouting up all over the back roads of rural District 18 is just stunning. WE CAN WIN in DISTRICT 18 if we keep this going.
I am asking once again for your support so together we can win the 18th and flip the House of Delegates blue. I’m not accepting money from corporate PACs. I want and need grassroots support. No amount is too big or too small. Please join my campaign today.
I want to talk with every person who wants to speak with me and their friends and their friends’ friends. That means meet and greets, rallies, coffee meetups, karaoke parties, ice cream socials, high tea, low tea, middle tea (I’m not fluent in tea), whatever you think will help get out the vote, I’ll be there. So call/text at 540-216-2095 or email and let’s get started. — Tristan
Come have lunch with Leslie on Thursday 11/1, noon to 1:30. Dems Office, 1047 Zachary Taylor Hwy, Huntly, VA. Lunch will be served.
It’s quick and easy–and even more effective as door-knocking for getting your friends and family to the polls!
All it takes is your laptop or cellphone, and a couple of minutes.
Text 555-888, then enter COCKBURN
Link to https://tinyurl.com/yc6fgz9f
Enter your name and phone number, and the names of three people you’ll encourage to vote–a friend, a family member, a work colleague.
Then press SUBMIT. You’re done! You’ll get a reminder a just before Election Day.
A dispatch from Jed Duvall–
It was a beautiful day for a drive around the Blue Ridge neighborhood and Tim Kaine did so this past Tuesday, starting with breakfast in Culpeper.
Maybe a hundred people eating and listening. But the Senator limited himself to a few sips of coffee. That’s because soon it was time to leave for the Headmaster’s Pub in Sperryville, where Democrats – perhaps ninety in number – had assembled in the game room to hear him speak.
Kaine of course talked up the campaign of Leslie Cockburn — who was campaigning too, but in Danville and Farmville — and pointed out that he, the Senator, is proud to join each and every one of the seven candidates for the Congress in campaigning, and in have their names on signs. He pointed out that Republicans do not, for the most part, have both names on campaign signs, and often keep distance from one another.
The Senator touched on many national issues, naturally, but won a large burst of applause when he said the words “immigration reform.” To Kaine, the issue is not building a wall but what to do about the millions of people who came to the U.S. on visas and have simply “overstayed.” He also estimated that the issue does not mean much to President Trump, who treats it as what he called “in case of fire, break glass” – in other words, an issue useful to fall back on.
This was a campaign talk, and the Senator emphasized the final two words of the Pledge of Allegiance, “for all.” The Democrats, he claimed, are the party “For All.” As he put it, “we Democrats do the heavy lifting” even on issues, such as health care, “which benefits everyone, even those who don’t support us, and still they won’t say ‘thank you’.”
The crowd heard about the hopes for a blue wave on November 6th, but Kaine said, “we also need a blue wave of compassion and a blue wave of decency” in America.
On the many difficult issues that will face the new Congress next year, the Senator was positive. He sees the President as concerned not with principle, nor with party but only with one “p” word: popularity. His own popularity with little or no care for anything else, the Senator feels.
After an hour and three quarters of speech and audience questions, it was still a lovely day for a drive, and the Senator’s car was waiting. On to Page county, then Shenandoah and – still more stops – two events in Fairfax tonight.