I grew up in Eastern Sussex County, but have dozens of relatives who have lived in Western Sussex County where my mother grew up. On Saturday I attended the funeral of my uncle, David Speicher, a lifelong Republican (as were many of the Speichers) and a former Republican state representative. One of the attendees was Democratic State Senator Thurman Adams.
It dawned on me that over the last 36 years since my grandfather died I had attended about 6 funerals in the Greenwood-Bridgeville area and Thurman Adams had attended at least three. Each of these funerals was in a small rural church with attendance of around 100 with maybe a couple dozen of friends and relatives who had moved away coming home to honor a loved one. So I would estimate about 75 people at each event were local residents (and I think they are likely voters or I would not be writing about it here)
While I may disagree with some of his politics, I have to admire that he has been there on these sad occasions for my family members. I mentioned to someone that he had been this consistent in attendance at my Republican relatives’ funerals and likely had been there to grieve with other families in the areas over the decades. The person pointed out he had also likely been there for the weddings and christenings as well. Those kind of bonds can be strong. If people have shared their joys and sorrows with him and broken bread with him on multiple occasions, it will take more than a political issue to sever that kind of tie.
This is not an endorsement, but rather a suggestion that part of what succeeds in local politics is local ties. I am thinking for anyone to beat Thurman Adams, whatever their politics might be , they are going to need to attend their fair share of weddings, funerals, chicken dinners,Lions Club shows and all matter of sporting events. People vote on issues and that is important, but in a complicated world people like to feel they have an advocate and knowing that advocate on a first name basis as a person with whom they have shared significant life events could easily be a comfort to a lot of voters as they maneuver through life’s complexities.