By Lynn R. Mitchell
On Saturday, January 24, 2015, the Virginia Republican State Central Committee took a secret vote to remove 5th Congressional District Chairman Jon Berkley for being a “non-functioning” chairman despite the fact the vote was an illegal maneuver and not in compliance with the Party Plan.
Interestingly, Berkley had the support of most in leadership in the 5th District but their requests for him to remain were overruled by those from outside the District. (That sounds very much like an overreaching federal government.)
Chairman Berkley has served for less than a year. During that tumultuous time when he has continually been challenged and undermined by those who lost the election that put him in the position, he took a District with $45 in its account and over $800 in outstanding bills and, by holding fundraisers and working steadily the past nine months, now has $10,000 in the District’s checking account. But that’s not all he has accomplished. In a post on Facebook, he noted his District also gave Congressman Robert Hurt over 60% of the vote for the first time ever and had more polls manned than any District in the state.
It is interesting the first point of business for newly-appointed State Chairman John Whitbeck was the illegal removal of a district chair and, even though he was shown the error in the maneuvering, he refused to correct the issue. This occurred immediately after 1st Congressional District Chairman Eric Herr declared on Facebook that he promised to form a third party is either Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney won the 2016 Republican nomination for president (see Herr threatens to form 3rd party if Jeb or Mitt get 2016 nod).
The following endorsements are from 5th Congressional District leadership. For more background about this issue, see RPV in Crisis: How is a chairman ‘non-functioning’ when he raises $10,000 for a bankrupt unit? and Doom for Virginia Republicans by Bill Wheaton.