The next congressional elections are a year and a half away, but one man who failed to get his party’s nomination last year is already on the campaign trail – hoping for a victory in 2020.
Roger Dean Huffstetler – also known as RD – might have won the Democratic nomination had the party held a primary election in the Fifth Congressional District. Instead, it opted for a caucus that chose Leslie Cockburn. Huffstetler was disappointed, but as a former Marine he volunteered to try and lure more veterans away from the Republican Party.
“We worked in all four of the targeted districts here," Huffstetler notes. "Obviously we have three new members of Congress – Elaine Luria, Abigail Spanberger and Jennifer Wexton, and we were able to organize hundreds of military families and veterans, which we were very excited about.”
Now, he thinks he can draw more independent and Republican votes by sharing his story. "I really have a great affinity for this area of the world. My dad grew up on a farm in North Carolina, and particularly as you get down toward the border of North Carolina it looks a lot like where my dad grew up and where I was born.”
Rural residents might also relate to the fact that Hufstetler’s father died of an Oxycontin overdose. The candidate plans to stress his commitment to better healthcare. “I think the ACA did a good job of expanding coverage," Huffstetler says. "I still think our premiums are too high, and I do still think folks in rural communities don’t have enough choices.”
His wife is a gynecologist and the two plan to be at a Remote Area Medical Clinic or RAM on June 23rd. In fact, Hufstetler is asking his campaign staff and volunteers to be there too.
If he gets the nomination, Huffstetler is expected to run against Republican incumbent Denver Riggleman in a district that favors the GOP.