Bruce Sargent, HCDP’s second vice chair, hails from England where he earned an MA from Cambridge and a PhD from Manchester. He worked in pharmaceutical research in the UK for over 20 years, helping to discover new medicines, principally for mental illnesses. In 2001, he moved to upstate New York into a dual role of continued research and management of a large contract research business across three continents.
Bruce and his wife retired to Hendersonville in 2015 and he soon started to volunteer for HCDP. Along with Jessica Stepp Edney and Peter Fricke, he helped organize the Atkinson Precinct, of which he currently serves as chair.
“I was raised in a conservative household and was in my mid-20’s before I realized that my values were very different from my parents’,” Bruce said. “My politics shifted through centrist to distinctly left. On arriving in the U.S. I was truly shocked at the weakness of our social support system compared with other strong economies. I immediately recognized that the extremity of the US capitalist system with its grossly unbalanced approach to taxation and its threadbare safety net left many in an impossible situation. The lack of paid medical leave, universal healthcare and properly funded education is unconscionable.”
As second vice chair, Bruce builds on his scientific background as well as his prior experience as HCDP’s data manager. He took the lead on building HCDP’s highly successful canvassing and phone-banking operations for the 2022 midterms and continues his crusade to make the Get Out The Vote effort data-led. “I am immensely proud of the teams that took to the streets and phones during the last election, and I anticipate an even stronger effort in 2024.”
Bruce conducts post-election analyses and has shown how, through a combination of increased turnout of Democrats and a shifting of support amongst unaffiliated voters, Henderson County is making substantial inroads into the Republican margin. He looks forward to the day when Henderson County will turn blue.