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 R. 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.

D.J. McGuire, Financial Editor

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.

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

Will Shewmake, Senior contributor

Will Shewmake was a long-time member of the Chesterfield County Republican Committee and veteran volunteer for many campaigns. A graduate of William and Mary where he majored in philosophy and government, he is of counsel with the law firm Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black. All views Will expresses are his own and are not attributed to his firm.

Stephen Spiker, Senior contributor

Stephen Spiker is a pollster and a veteran Northern Virginia political operative. He is the 10th District Young Republican representative and former chair of the Prince William YRs. Spiker graduated from George Mason University and lives outside Manassas with his wife and three sons.

Andrea Epps, Senior contributor

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, Senior contributor

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.


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.

Content Partners

Bill Bolling, Content Partner

Bill Bolling spent 22 years in elected office including eight years as 39th Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He lives in the Richmond area with his wife Jean Ann and teaches government and politics at George Mason University, University of Richmond, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Michael Fletcher, Content Partner

Michael Fletcher is a writer, playwright, actor, and producer. He is the former editor of Bearing Drift print magazine and writes regularly at The Write Side of My Brain. Michael is a graduate of Asbury University and holds a Certificate in Christian Education from Asbury Theological Seminary.

Chris Saxman, Content Partner

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.

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