Times-Dispatch pundit gives inside look at Virginia politics during talk at Mathews Memorial Library

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Jun 26, 2013 - 01:20 PM

Photo: Richmond Times Dispatch political pundit Jeff Schapiro discussed the Richmond political scene during a talk last Thursday at Mathews Memorial Library. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Richmond Times Dispatch political pundit Jeff Schapiro discussed the Richmond political scene during a talk last Thursday at Mathews Memorial Library. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Richmond Times Dispatch political pundit Jeff Schapiro enlightened an audience of about 50 Thursday afternoon at the Mathews Memorial Library with his years of experience covering Richmond politics.

Mathews Library director Bette Dillehay introduced Schapiro, saying he has covered Richmond politics for 30 years with a "critical eye, sharp tongue and sharp wit."

Schapiro said the last time he was in Mathews, he spent some time with retired county administrator Steve Whiteway, who was in the audience, during unpleasant weather at Thomas Hunter Middle School, which was being used as a storm shelter.

He spoke of spending time in Mathews years previously with former House Speaker John Warren Cooke. "He was a man who stood in two generations—two important periods of history," Schapiro said. "It was always a remarkable time—the time I spent with Mr. Speaker."

Schapiro then went into discussing the year of the gubernatorial election in Virginia, explaining it as, "the year we choose someone who will walk among us."

He said that since 1851, Virginia’s gubernatorial election has taken place the November after the presidential election in an effort to insulate state politics from the whirlwind of the national political scene. He said gubernatorial elections have changed drastically as far as the electorate is concerned over the past century.