By Lynn R. Mitchell
At noon on a day in May earlier this year, I sat in a make-shift political office in Staunton waiting for Augusta County’s State Senator Emmett Hanger to meet and work on our schedule as we approached the upcoming June primary. By the time I saw him, he had already attended a breakfast with local business folks followed by another meeting, while returning phone calls in between.
A typical day was filled with conversations with fellow legislators, traveling his 24th senate district that extended from Staunton north in the Shenandoah Valley and over the mountain to Cupeper and Madison, and grassroots activities, and a hospital recognition and stopping to say hey to folks in a local eatery. While making his way to a table in a local restaurant, he would be greeted with, “Hey, Emmett,” and handshakes and smiles and recognition as the hometown boy who went to Richmond and did well.
That is the Emmett Hanger most voters in his district know and respect, someone who stands up for them in Richmond — Republicans and Democrats, he represents them all the same — and folks from all walks in life. He has family all over the place and no matter where he goes, there is someone to smile and call out the familiar “Hey Emmett,” greeting.