Candidate Visits Resident

NOTE: The Sunnyside Times does not take or represent any particular political persuasion but feels that the human interest aspect of this article certainly makes it worthwhile. Mary Lipscomb, a resident of the Pannill Health Care Center, received a surprise visitor on September 20. The Democratic candidate for Virginia’s Sixth District seat in the US House of Representatives came by to meet Mary, to hear about her earlier work for the party, and to update her on campaign activities.

Before moving to Sunnyside, Mary volunteered with the Rockbridge County (VA) Democratic Committee for many years. In addition to making phone calls, knocking on doors, and addressing envelopes, Mary frequently hosted parties for candidates, including Jim Olin and Creigh Deeds. Mary chuckled as she recounted her exploits as a “poll watcher.” She and a friend would sit in a car outside their polling place and check off the names of Democrats they knew who entered to vote. Late in the day, they would call Democrats who had not yet voted, and get them to the polls ASAP.

Several months ago, Mary requested literature from the “Jennifer Lewis for Congress” campaign. Since then she has been spreading word about Jennifer. Mary is careful to point out, however, that she only talks to her friends, and only those friends who would like such information. In other words, she is careful to follow Sunnyside’s “no solicitation” rules.

Another Sunnyside resident described Mary’s interest to Lewis at a fundraising dinner. Lewis immediately wanted to visit Mary, and a date was selected. This was kept secret from Mary, in case the candidate’s schedule had to be revised. However, several members of the Pannill staff were alerted in advance, as were Mary’s good friends Marcia Stirewalt and Jean Beard. Marcia and Jean arranged to visit Mary before the candidate arrived.

Staff members clustered around Mary’s door, waiting to see her reaction. Mary took a moment to process the identity of her visitor, then broke out in an astonished, enthusiastic smile. Lewis immediately pulled a chair close to Mary, and the two fell into deep conversation about party, politics, strategy, and candidates. Lewis also presented May with a “Jennifer for Congress” t-shirt.

After 20 minutes, Jennifer hugged Mary farewell, and proceeded to her next campaign stop ... and Mary continued to smile for the rest of the week.

--Susan Sheridan --Photos by Mary Rouse