Bearing Drift, Online Community Mourn the Passing of Colleague Rick Sincere

Rick covering 2010 tea party convention in RVA (photo by Lynn R. Mitchell)

It was with shock and sadness that we learned this afternoon of the passing of our longtime Bearing Drift colleague Rick Sincere. A professional writer, editor, and talented on-air personality, Rick had contacts far and wide that were useful in his writing, and while producing and hosting Bearing Drift’s weekly radio show, “The Score.” What now will be his final edition of “The Score” that was published Sunday is a perfect example of the extended network of contacts and friends that he enjoyed.

Rick with David Shephard (Virginia Gentleman) at Bill Bolling’s “Bloggers Day” in RVA, February 2011 (photo by Lynn R. Mitchell)

Rick’s list of journalistic accomplishments is long — author of two books, articles on foreign and domestic policy issues that appeared in the Roanoke Times, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Wall Street Journal, Washington Examiner, Washington Star, Washington Times, and numerous other publications.

As a journalist, he covered the 1996 Democratic National Convention, 1996 New Hampshire presidential primary, numerous Libertarian Party national conventions and state political conventions, and presidential and vice-presidential debates. He interviewed members of Congress, governors, state legislators, local elected officials, and political candidates.

Eric Cantor’s Republican Roundup, 2012. Nathan Pick (foreground) and Rick (photo by Lynn R. Mitchell)

Rick was a joy to work with with a kindness that extended to everyone. As word spreads and the tributes begin to pour in, Bearing Drift mourns with his sister at the unexpected loss of a friend, colleague, and talented member of the political community. We will miss him.

WINA has a brief notice of Rick’s passing.

Facebook is filling with memories from the many people who knew, respected, and worked with Rick throughout the years. Here are a few….

Coy Barefoot:

I have only just learned that my very dear friend Rick Sincere passed away in his sleep last night. No other details are known at this time. My sincere condolences and thoughts go out to his sister, his extended family, and the many, many friends across Virginia who knew and loved Rick so much.

The former Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Virginia, long-time member of the City of Charlottesville Electoral Board, and one of the first truly online journalists in the state, Rick joined me on my radio and TV programs countless times over the years. In addition to being an astute observer of all things political, Rick was a great champion of liberty, democracy, human and civil rights. The world is a better place today because Rick Sincere fought so earnestly for causes in which he so sincerely believed. Safe travels my friend. You will be missed.

Jackson Landers:

Random Rick Sincere memory: The time he told me to put on a suit and meet him in Dupont Circle, where he took me to the Embassy of Gabon to meet with the Ambassador and present him with a signed copy of a book I’d written. There is definitely nobody else in my life now who is likely to do that.

Jim Hoeft:

When I think of Rick Sincere, I think smart, loyal, reasoned, and principled. I have known Rick for as long as I have been in Virginia blogging and podcasting, but he was making his mark and leaving his legacy long before we ever met.

With our shared interest in social media, but also foreign affairs and public relations, he was always an easy person for me to have a conversation with – and not because we always agreed. It was when we did not see eye-to-eye that Rick always showed his true character – not devolving into a useless, unproductive shouting match – but demanding, through his example, that the conversation proceed cogently and  collegially. Rick had the innate ability to connect with anyone, while also being tenacious  and prepared to secure an interview or report on a story.

I was incredibly honored to call Rick a friend and I echo the thoughts of so many others who had the pleasure to have had Rick in their lives. This is simply stunning news.

When we celebrated BD’s anniversary, Rick left a very important comment. Rick wrote, “I didn’t realize fifteen years can breeze by like this.”

Neither can I. You have left us too quickly, but I am so glad to have known you and the example you set.

Fair winds and following seas, Rick.


Rep. Robert Hurt (R-5th CD) speaks as Brian Schoeneman and Rick Sincere listen (photo by Jason Kenney)

Brian Schoeneman:

Very saddened and surprised to hear of the passing of my very good friend Rick Sincere. Rick and I knew each other for almost a decade, starting out as colleagues in the Virginia blogosphere, and then ending up on the same team at Bearing Drift. He and Jim Hoeft taught me everything I ever learned about podcasting, and he was one of the best Virginia political interviewers I ever saw. He had his recorder with him everywhere and it never ceased to amaze me how easily he got Governor X or Senator Y to do an interview with him, no matter when or where (this photo is living proof). I remember fondly us tag-teaming more than one RPV Advance, lugging bottles of booze up to the Homestead for a hospitality suite. He was one of the best – one of the only libertarians I knew who didn’t want to hit me with his car – and I can’t believe he’s gone. Literally just talked to him yesterday.

Shaun Kenney:

Still reeling a bit from the news that Charlottesville’s Rick Sincere passed away unexpectedly last night.

Between radio shows and as a fellow political writer in Virginia, Rick was well liked across the political spectrum — always kind, never out of place, and deeply principled to both his Catholic faith and his libertarian principles… and in a manner that exemplified the very best of the Jesuit tradition.

There are few people in this world whom you can count on to be consistently kind, generous, thoughtful souls. Rick was just happy to be where he was, always ready to lend his opinion, but never in an obtuse or critical manner.

Godspeed, Rick.

Doug Mantaconis:

I met Rick Sincere many years ago when he was helping to organize a chapter of the Republican Liberty Caucus in Virginia and we reconnected here online years later when he was living down in Charlottesville. He was also a frequent commenter in the comment threads here as some of you may recall. Sadly, during that whole time, I didn’t catch up with him even though he was a frequent visitor up to Northern Virginia. I did meet up with him again at a Cato Institute event about ten years ago, but that was it. The reasons don’t matter and they mostly my own fault for not reaching out to people being the introvert that I am. As a result, I guess you could say we were Facebook “friends” but that was about it.

That’s why it was sad to read this afternoon that he had passed away during the night. He wasn’t much older than I am so that hits home in and of itself. So long, Rick. You’ll be missed.

Blogging friends Rick Sincere and Krystle Weeks Gabale at a Virginia political event.

Krystle Weeks Gabale:

I’m still in shock over the passing of my friend, Rick Sincere. When I lived in Virginia, he was a great writing mentor and was so kind. I still remember covering many political events with him as a writer for Bearing Drift and my former site. He will be missed. RIP Rick.

Sandy Liddy Bourne:

I am so sorry for your loss. Rick has to be one of the nicest people I have ever met. Be at Peace.

Erich Reimer, Former Charlottesville City Republican Party Chair:
I had the pleasure of working with Rick in Charlottesville politics for several years. We served together on the Charlottesville City Republican Party’s Executive Committee and worked together when I was Chair, in which he and I aligned on many issues and supported one another.
He always stood out as an honest, fair minded, firmly grounded, optimistic, and integrity-driven fighter for human freedom. His passing is far too soon and leaves a void for those who believe in values-driven governance that builds up rather than tears down.

Look here for Rick’s work on Bearing Drift.

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