The unlikely uniting force in a bitter time: Wegmans

wegmans

Supermarkets can apparently unite America in the most bitter election season ever. | Courtesy: Charlottesville Newsplex

I may not live in Charlottesville anymore, but I still closely follow the local news, events and issues. The small Virginia college town is a unique media market, one that spans many political ideologies, socioeconomic classes, religions and creeds. Charlottesville itself is a liberal urban oasis, surrounded by the sprawling rural and conservative suburbs.

Therefore, Charlottesville has also not been immune to the divisive rhetoric of the 2016 election. The 5th District Congressional seat has been a hard-fought and expensive race. That’s aside from city council or county supervisor races and state politics.

But amid the chaos of bickering and heated discussions, I noticed something Sunday that has united the diverse Central Virginia community, all politics aside.

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Introducing Virginia’s next governor to viewers

Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe thanks his supporters at a campaign party in Tysons Corner, Va., on Nov. 5, 2013.

Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe thanks his supporters at a campaign party in Tysons Corner, Va., on Nov. 5, 2013.

It was like a repeat of Nov. 6, 2012. Just a different candidate in a different Virginia city.

The setup at gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s campaign party in Tysons Corner, Va., reminded me a lot of covering Tim Kaine’s party in Richmond last year. However, this year, things became a bit more hectic.

First of all, my station held an election special from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., so that was an additional two liveshots from the party, on top of my 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. hit. Around 9:30, I began gearing up for the 10 p.m. hit. I interviewed Virginia’s House Minority Leader, cut a soundbite and began sending it back to the station. I wrote some bullet points in my notebook that I wanted to touch on in my liveshot. I dabbed some makeup on my cheek to cover up a razor nick from shaving earlier in the morning.

Around 9:50, I tweeted the following:

Live report on WAHU FOX27 in 10 minutes from #McAuliffe HQ. Lots can happen in 10 minutes. #VAGov

I jinxed it.

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Every Year is Election Year

One thing that’s truly great about being a journalist in Virginia, as it may very well be in many other states: every year is election year.

And for the record, every statement in this post should have an asterisk with the footnote “all politics aside.” This is not a partisan post.

Every odd-numbered year is a Virginia House election and a Charlottesville city council election. Virginia senators are elected to four-year terms on the odd years. And then, of course, the even years give us U.S. House elections, the occasional U.S. Senate election and the ever-dramatic presidential election.

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