The forum will be moderated by Leslie Cockburn, former Democratic 5th District candidate.
RD Huffstetler grew up in North Carolina and served as a sergeant in the U. S. Marine Corp in both Iraq and Afghanistan. With a Harvard MBA, he went to work in Silicon Valley. He now lives in Charlottesville with his wife, an OB-GYN, and daughter. Looks forward to “solving the challenges of the future” and pledges to improve the economy of “every community” in the 5th District.
John Lesinski of Rappahannock County. A Marine Corps colonel and one-time president of the county school board, he served as a member of the county Board of Supervisors. Successful in commercial real estate, John lives with his wife Heidi in Washington, VA. He promises better access to health care and broadband in the many rural communities of the 5th District.
Claire Russo is a veteran of the U. S. Marine Corps who served in Iraq, and later as a civilian employee of the U. S. Army in Afghanistan. “I was trained,” says Claire, “to run toward the fight” and she plans to put that same determination to work for her constituents especially when it comes to affordable health care. Claire lives in Earlysville with her husband and their three children.
Cameron Webb, a UVA grad with degrees in law and medicine, Dr Webb is Director of Health Policy and Equity at UVA’s School of Medicine. He pledges that “Common sense and fairness” come first. Then promises to put health care front and center when he is in Congress. Webb lives in Charlottesville with his wife Leigh-Ann, an ER doctor, and their children.
Participate in the discussion.
Submit your questions for candidates at Chair@RappDems.org
We missed seeing you at our last monthly get together,
cancelled for COVID19. Unfortunately, we will miss you again. Our scheduled
general meeting for April 11 is also cancelled to keep everyone distanced
and safe, following Governor Ralph Northam’s recommendations. They came not a
moment too soon. Sadly, our county reported its first confirmed case this week.
Distanced as we are, we have been busy and want to keep you informed
of events in the coming months.
County delegates to the district, state,
and national Democratic conventions have until April 9 at 5 pm to send
in their pre-filing forms to the DPVA (Democratic Party of Virginia).
Based on your votes on Super Tuesday,
the county was allotted two delegates for Joe Biden and one for Bernie Sanders.
Even though Bernie has dropped
out of the race, his delegates will go to the conventions!
To be a delegate to the 5thDistrict Convention on May 9 and State Convention on Jun 20, click HERE for the form.
To go on to the National Convention in August 17-20 in Milwaukee, click HERE to apply.
NOTE: Compared to other
counties in the CD5, Rappahannock has had a great turnout of delegate
applications! The DPVA has been accepting them all, for both candidates, to
cover the shortfall in other counties.
NOTE: Because of the
pandemic, the Party will decide, from moment to moment, whether to hold
in-person or virtual conventions. The 5th District Convention
will be held virtually. (Those details to come.)
To find out more about delegate selection and
duties, click HERE.
The 5th District Congressional
Primary is scheduled for June 9. We are urging you to vote
absentee by mail. It’s easy and complies with our distancing practices.
I’ve attached Registrar Kim McKiernan’s
instructions and the deadlines to apply for and send in absentee ballots for
the June Congressional Primary and November General elections.
NOTE: Mail-in voting is going to be crucial this year for getting
out the vote! We’re planning phone banks, texts blasts, and socially distanced
postcard parties to get the word out, and to help voters get their ballots in.
We’ll need your help.
NOTE: We have four terrific candidates to run against Denver
Riggleman in November: RD Huffstetler, John Lesinski, Claire Russo, and Cameron
Webb. Instead of live forums to let voters meet the candidates, we’re
coordinating with other 5th District committees to hold virtual
forums in our localities. Ours is tentatively scheduled for May 12 at 6 pm, to
be moderated by former candidate Leslie Cockburn. (Details to come.)
RCDC fundraising has become one of the
casualties of COVID19. Our April 4 Blue State Blue Grass Brunch and auction
were cancelled. The Yard Sale in August may be too. While our expenses will go
down, our income will too. As the season progresses, we’ll need to buy yard and
highway signs, and campaign ads. We appreciate any donations you’re able to
make along the way.
We want to thank everyone for your work and support, for
stepping up even as our world is upended by this invisible threat wreaking such
havoc to ourselves and our democracy. Thanks in particular to Ron Goodman,
Tommy Bruce, Larry Wohlers, and Rachel Taylor for representing us as delegates
to the State Convention (and beyond!).
In the altered reality of COVID-19, the Democratic election picture is coming into focus! To get either Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders to the White House, Democrats have to nominate one or the other. Here are the steps ahead for us in Virginia:
First, we Rapp Dems have to our select delegates to represent either Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden to ultimately go to the National Democratic Convention. Rapp has been allocated one Biden delegate and one Biden alternate delegate (to fill in if needed), and one Bernie delegate. Now we have to pick those delegates.
In normal times, Rapp Dems step up to become delegates and we’d hold a caucus at the Library to elect them them. Because of restrictions brought on by COVID-19, this year we’ll hold a virtual caucus.
Here’s what you need to do:
If you want to be a delegate or alternate for Bernie or Biden, submit this pre-filing form to the Democratic Committee of Virginia by April 9. You’ll need to pledge to one candidate.
To participate in picking the delegates (and we hope EVERYONE will!), submit this form to the Democratic Committee by April 9.
After April 9, the DPVA will let us know who has applied to be a delegate and who wants to participate in selecting delegates.
Then on April 20 we will hold our virtual caucus. All registered participants will receive an emailed ballot, which they will email back to us. We then notify the winners and send our results back to the DPVA.
On May 9 is the 5th Congressional District Convention to whittle down the local delegates to those who will go to the State Convention. This will also be held virtually. (Details to come.)
June 9 is the State Convention, where delegates will be picked to go to the National Convention. Chances are good that we’ll have to find a way to hold a virtual convention.
July 13-16 is the National Convention.
The DPVA and DNC are working hard to make the nominating process safe, inclusive, and transparent. The situation is still fluid, but now is the time to get involved!
After Super Tuesday, there is still work to do to nominate a Democratic Presidential candidate to rid us of Donald Trump and his entire incompetent apparatus.
In spite of the chaos and upheavals of the past week, we are charting our course (with guidance from the Democratic Party of Virginia) to safely select delegates to send to the 5th District Nominating Convention on May 9, then on to the State Convention on June 20. From there, VA delegates will go to the National Convention in Milwaukee on July 13 to 16.
It’s still unclear what form these conventions will take, given the cancellations due to the coronavirus outbreak across the country. What we do know is that:
Rappahannock County has been allotted 2 delegates and one alternate delegate to represent us on May 9.
Each delegate may only pledge to either Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden.
We will be holding an unassembled caucus to pick those delegates on MondayApril 20 from 7:30 to 9:30 pm at the Rappahannock Library. This is like a typical voting experience: you’ll come to the library, present an ID, complete a form certifying that you are a Democrat registered to vote in the county, and fill out a ballot for one of a list of potential delegates. (Click here to open the call for caucus form)
Governor issues guidance on large events and state workforce, activates long-term economic plan
For Immediate Release: March 12, 2020 Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia in response to the continued spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
While Virginia has been thoroughly preparing for weeks and has adequate funding to address the situation, this declaration will allow the Commonwealth increased flexibility to ease regulatory requirements and procurement rules, continue federal and multi-state coordination, and ensure continued access to critical services for the most vulnerable Virginians. In addition, it has become increasingly clear that states must take a primary leadership role in the national response to COVID-19. The full text of the Governor’s emergency declaration is available here.
“Our top priority is to make sure Virginians stay safe and healthy, and that our response to this situation leaves no one behind,” saidGovernor Northam. “From our health department, to our schools, to our hospitals, to our transit systems, Virginia’s agencies and institutions have been thoroughly planning for every scenario. This emergency declaration will ensure we can continue to prepare for and appropriately respond to Virginians’ needs during this time.”
Governor Northam also announced additional steps to ensure the health and safety of all Virginians, including:
Ban on State Employee Travel and Implementation of Telework Policies
Virginia has over 100,000 state employees stationed throughout the Commonwealth. Governor Northam has halted all official travel outside of Virginia by state employees, with increased flexibility for inter-state commuters and essential personnel. Specific guidance will be released to agency heads and state employees, and Virginia will revisit these guidelines after 30 days.
Governor Northam has also directed his Secretary of Administration to implement a phased transition to teleworking for state employees. The Department of Human Resources Management will work with the Virginia Department of Health’s Equity Workgroup to prioritize support for impacted state employees that may be unable to perform their duties from home, including janitorial, food, and grounds staff.
The Department of Human Resources Management has worked to ensure all agencies have updated emergency operations and leave policies. State employees, including part-time employees, can access paid Public Health Emergency Leave in the event of exposure to COVID-19 or high-risk travel.
Public Gatherings and Large Events
In accordance with advice from state public health experts, the Commonwealth of Virginia will cancel all specially-scheduled state conferences and large events for a minimum of 30 days.
Governor Northam is directing state agencies, through the Department of Human Resource Management, to limit in-person meetings and non-essential, work-related gatherings.
Governor Northam is also urging localities and non-profits to limit large public events, effective immediately. Localities should make these decisions in coordination with their local health departments and the Virginia Department of Health. Highly populated localities and those with close proximity to positive cases are strongly encouraged to announce updated event guidance by Friday, March 13, at 5:00 PM, in advance of the weekend.
Long-Term Economic Planning
Governor Northam is also assessing the potential long-term economic impacts of COVID-19. While containing the spread of the public health threat remains a top priority, Governor Northam is working with state and local partners to ensure Virginia are prepared for any continued economic disruption.
Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade will coordinate regularly with representatives from the Virginia Employment Commission, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, the Department of Labor and Industry, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and other relevant stakeholders.
Throughout his administration, Governor Northam has worked closely with state legislators to protect Virginia’s strong economy and prepare for unexpected economic shocks. The General Assembly will vote today on a budget that boosts Virginia’s reserve funds more than at any other time in the Commonwealth’s history, an essential mechanism to ensure continued state services regardless of economic uncertainty.
Ongoing State Response Efforts
The Commonwealth of Virginia is continuing to execute a multi-agency response plan across all levels of government. Efforts include the following:
The Department of Education has advised all school districts to update their pandemic guidelines, in consultation with their local health departments.
The Northam administration continues to be in regular communication with superintendents, university and community college presidents, to provide guidance on the unique situations they are facing on the ground.
The Virginia Department of Health has expanded its testing criteria to ensure that anyone who has symptoms and is in a nursing home is top priority and gets immediate testing.
Nursing homes and senior care facilities have updated their policies to provide additional visitor screening and increased monitoring of patients.
Virginia’s social services agencies are preparing options to ensure the most vulnerable populations have continued access to critical services, including the potential for in-home care and food supports.
In the event of extended school closures, the Virginia Department of Social Services is working with local partners, such as food pantries, to ensure no one goes hungry.
Addressing Barriers to Care
Virginia is working with insurers to waive co-pays and diagnostic testing related to COVID-19.
Governor Northam continues to encourage private businesses to explore telework and paid time off options, including those with hourly workers.
Across the Commonwealth’s transportation network, which includes airports, Metro, buses, and rail, Virginia is adjusting cleaning schedules according to CDC protocol.
Virginia is also working with transportation partners to help reduce the potential spread of disease.