Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Del. Merricks Challenged by Democratic Newcomer

The Danville Register & Bee reports that Del. Don Merricks (R-Pittslyvania County) will be challenged by Shawn Palmer, 27, for the 16th District House seat. Palmer was nominated by the Pittslyvania County Democratic Party last week and was the only challenger to file for the Democratic nomination. Money quote:
“I think that Mr. Palmer is a very enthusiastic gentleman,” said [Pittslyvania Democratic] committee chairman Robert Neals. “He’s young and inexperienced but he’s willing to try. He knows Mr. Merricks is a formidable opponent, and (Palmer) has no previous political experience but with the passion that he has I think he’ll do a good job.”
Palmer's campaign priorities include:
He vehemently opposes uranium mining and generally agreed with the current practice of dealing with felons and voting on a case-by-case basis.

“I run not to oppose any one man but to oppose policies,” Palmer said. “I am convinced that the 16th District is on a perilous course of lawlessness, intimidation and interrogation … The people aren’t properly being represented.”
He supports farmers’ unions and local sharecroppers and pushed for education reform.

“It’s sad to say but some kids are going to slip through the cracks and be the next felons,” he said. “I want to put a pre-emptive strike on that and get Richmond to see what is going on here in Pittsylvania County.”

The 16th District covers parts of Pittslyvania County, Henry County, and Martinsville, and is seen generally as a tough district for Democratic challengers. But as we learned last year, it can be done.

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