By Lynn R. Mitchell
Mike Thomas, First Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, has called for the resignation of GOP treasurer Bob FitzSimmonds, former aide to Ken Cuccinelli and currently chief deputy clerk of court in Prince William County, after inflammatory remarks made by FitzSimmonds earlier in the week about Muslim Americans (see Va. GOP treasurer is said to offer resignation after Facebook post on Muslims).
In a Facebook post Friday morning, Thomas, who is one of the most widely-respected Republicans in the Commonwealth, noted the responsibility of those in leadership who represent RPV:
Freedom of Religion is just as much a part of our Constitution as Freedom of Speech. What is missing here is responsibility. Any individual is entitled to express his or her opinions on a subject. I will defend their right to do so, even when I disagree with it. BUT, if the individual is an officer or leader of the Republican Party, they have a RESPONSIBILITY to the Party to conduct themselves in a way that is respectful of others and accurately reflects the values of the Party.
Regrettably, the RPV Treasurer has not, in my opinion, exercised this responsibility as an officer of RPV through repeated public comments that are at best not respectful of others and not reflective of the Party, and he should step down as Treasurer.
Thomas joins others in the party calling for FitzSimmonds’ resignation including Republican Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates William Howell.