July 4, 2007
The Emmett Hanger fall campaign got off with a bang at the 4th of July parade here in Staunton today. Fresh from his narrow primary election victory over Scott Sayre, our friendly state senator waved at the big crowd from the back of a pickup truck, and was received warmly by the local folks. Because of the deep divisions in the Republican party, locally as well as state-wide, Hanger knows that he cannot count on an easy victory this November. He will have to spend a lot of effort mending fences with supporters of Scott Sayre, but on the other hand he has to avoid caving in to their demands if he wants to have any clout in Richmond next year. Handling this delicate situation in the right way will be one of the biggest challenges of his political career.
Because of the problems within the Republican Party, we didn't have a booth at Gypsy Hill park or a float in the parade this year, whereas the Democrats had a booth and a float. In lieu of the usual joint float effort between the Staunton and Augusta County Republican Committees, the Augusta County Republican elected officials put together their own float, highlighting Emmett Hanger, and it looked very impressive:
Meanwhile, the Democratic candidate for the 24th district state senate seat, David Cox, walked along a Democratic float. It was the biggest such endeavour the Other Party has put together since I have lived in Staunton -- five years. There were also many signs and balloons for the third party senatorial candidate, the Libertarian Arin Sime. I even saw a Republican who was carrying a Sime sign, which is not a good sign for the GOP.