Deborah Baum, chairman of the Floyd County Democratic Party.

Deborah Baum, chairman of the Floyd County Democratic Party.

My first campaign as a political operative came in 1982 on the re-election effort by Rep. Manuel Lujan of New Mexico.

A descendent of the Spannish settlers of the Land of Enchantment, Lujan was seeking re-election in a tough campaign against State Treasurer Jan Hartke, son of former Senator Vance Hartke of Indiana.

Working as his communications adviser, I learned a lot about politics and the workings of Congress.  I worked in his Congressional office and later as his Special Assistant to The Ranking Member of the House Committee on Science and Technology.

His view of politics was memorable.

“Politics is a compound word that starts with the Latin work ‘poli’ which means ‘many’,” he said.  “It ends with tics, which as we know, are blood suckers.”

Labor Day is the traditional start of the holiday season in local and general assembly races in Virginia and the Democratic party kicked off the shenanigans this weekend with “Acres of Politics,” a gathering of candidates and faithful which came this year to the Floyd Eco-Center.”

My grandfather once said so few Democrats lived in Floyd County they party could hold their meetings in a phone booth.

So “acres” as a way to describe a gathering the the party of the donkey in Floyd?

They had a good size crowd at the Eco-Center, helped in part by Democrats from nearby counties that are part of the 9th District.

Still Deborah Baum, chairman of the county party, didn’t have many local candidates.  An overwhelming majority of the county office holders are Republicans, including the all-GOP Board of Supervisors.  Oddfellas Cantina owner Kerry Underwood is the only Democrat running for the board this year in a race with an independent candidate, Michael Schumann, and Republican Joe Turman.

Republicans like county treasurer Missy Keith are running unopposed.  So is Republican Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Branscom, who won the GOP primary earlier in the year. At the circuit clerk’s office, Rhonda Vaughn is set to assume the seat held by retiring Wendell Peters.