About Us

About Us

Bearing Drift was founded in 2004 by J.R. Hoeft and is Virginia’s premiere conservative web site.  It is part of the Virginia Line Media LLC group, which includes The Jeffersoniad website, and our regionally syndicated radio show The Score.

What does the name mean?

Bearing Drift is a nautical term that describes relative motion. Having bearing drift is good, as the likelihood of a collision is low. Without bearing drift, the risk of collision dramatically increases as range decreases.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard “rules of the road,” the best course of action when there is a risk of collision is to alter one’s course to starboard – the right. In our case, we also believe this is true in public policy: When it looks like the ship of state is going to wreck, alter the course to the right – you can’t go wrong!

 

Editorial Board

Lynn R. Mitchell, Editor-in-Chief

Lynn Mitchell is the Editor-in-Chief of Bearing Drift. She has been a fixture of the Virginia political commentary scene since 2006. Active in local and statewide politics, Lynn has coordinated campaigns and served in various Party leadership roles. She has served on official boards in the area including Trustee with the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia, and currently sits on the Augusta County Library Board. Originally from the Richmond area, she and her husband live in the Shenandoah Valley.

Melissa Kenney, Managing Editor and Advertising Director

Melissa Kenney is an occasional writer, a full-time mother, and a part-time farmer in the #centeroftheuniverse. She is the Managing Editor, and the point person for advertising on Bearing Drift. For advertising opportunities, contact her at [email protected]

Jason Kenney, Webmaster

Jason Kenney is a veteran Virginia political commentator and has blogged at J's Notes since 2001. He is a graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University and resides in Richmond, Virginia with his wife and two sons. He also serves as Bearing Drift's webmaster.

Featured Columnists

Brian Schoeneman

Brian W. Schoeneman is the former Editor-in-Chief of BearingDrift.com. He is an attorney and resides in Centreville, Virginia, with his wife and son.

Norman Leahy

Norm Leahy is a Washington Post columnist, and comments on Virginia politics for WRVA and the Virginia Talk Radio Network

Senior Contributors

D.J. McGuire

D.J. is an Adjunct Faculty Instructor in Economics at Tidewater Community College, a cost estimator, and a musician. A neoconservative, he has watched the Republican Party succumb to white supremacist and anti-democratic impulses with alarm. He now calls himself a Red Dog Democrat.

Stephen Spiker

Stephen Spiker is a pollster and a veteran Northern Virginia political operative. He is the 11th District Young Republican representative and former chair of the Prince William YRs. Spiker graduated from George Mason University and lives in Woodbridge with his wife and three sons.

M.D. Russ

M. D. Russ is a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Army and a 17-year veteran of the Defense industry, working in three Fortune 100 companies and then running his own consulting practice. He is a native of Princess Anne County and has a dual-major undergraduate degree in History and Political Science from Wofford College in South Carolina, and a graduate degree in Management Science from Troy University in Alabama. Merle now owns and operates a vineyard in Loudoun County.

Andrea Epps

Andrea Epps is a part-time land use consultant, full-time mother, and her mother’s caregiver. Her hobbies are centered on her family, land use, politics, and working on the second rebuild of her 40’ 1973 MCI Bus. She is fiercely independent and enjoys a unhealthy obsession with creating obscure legal arguments.

Kristina Nohe

Kristina Nohe is a political activist, adoption advocate, and homeschooling mom who is proud to be from Prince William County but does not suffer fools lightly or quietly. She has been involved in Republican politics for over twenty years, was a member of RPV State Central Committee, and is a graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership Program.

Susan Sili, Interim Editor, The Jeffersoniad

Susan Sili has been a freelance journalist and photographer for 30 years, published in numerous Virginia periodicals and recently along with the team from the local newspaper, won several Virginia Press Association awards for stories on history and architecture. She has also covered the last three Governor inaugurations in depth for The Caroline Progress. A former local elected official, her interest in politics is generational, with the first ancestor serving in an elected position in Caroline in 1727.

Contributors

Matt Homer

Matt Homer is a former pastor, congressional staffer, political operative who worked on both the 2016 Trump campaign and the 2012 Romney campaign, elected political official in Virginia’s 6th Congressional District, and lobbyist.

Michael Allers Jr.

Michael Allers Jr. is an educator, politico, and a former veteran of central Virginia politics. He is a Long Island native, and both a JMU and Mary Baldwin graduate. He lives in Northern Virginia and proud of it!

Shaun Kenney

Shaun Kenney is the editor of The Republican Standard, former editor at Bearing Drift, former chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Fluvanna County, and a former executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia.

Jim Hoeft

Jim Hoeft resides in Chesapeake, Virginia with his wife and daughter.

Susan Kiers, Contributor

Susan lives with her husband and family in the central Shenandoah Valley where they own and operate Ox-Eye Vineyards and Ox-Eye Tasting Room in historic downtown Staunton.

Content Partners

Chris Saxman

Chris Saxman represented the 20th District in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2002-10. A businessman and active member of the community, he is Executive Director of Virginia FREE, a non-partisan, non-profit that informs the business community in order to advance free enterprise and responsible, pro-business government. Chris and his wife Michele live in Richmond.

Rob Schilling

Rob Schilling is a respected voice and trusted name in the Charlottesville community. A former member of the Charlottesville City Council, the first and last Republican to have accomplished that feat since 1986, Rob hosts The Schilling Show on WINA 1070 AM from Noon to 2 PM each weekday.

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