Tag Archives: Mike Thomas

An Open Letter of Thanks to RPV’s Mike Thomas


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Dear Mike,

You did it again — stepped in as interim chair to fill the vacuum left when John Whitbeck resigned in July — and the Republican Party of Virginia once again owes you a big thanks. You kept the party going until a replacement was voted on at today’s State Central Committee meeting.

Congratulations to new Chairman Jack Wilson who will finish out Whitbeck’s term.

We’ve been here before, haven’t we? As First Vice Chairman of the party, serving as interim chair is a role you have served a number of times in the past to preserve continuity in leadership. You have been asked before to take on the role yourself but you always said no. You seem to thrive working in the background, not in the spotlight of politics — always the reliable wind beneath the wings of whomever was chairman at the time.

The party owes you a huge debt of gratitude also for being the pillar that you are with a steady hand and even temperament and reliability to carry us through the rough patches. Your institutional knowledge is legendary — you are a walking encyclopedia of Virginia Republican politics — and we are amazed at your darn near perfect recall of facts.

During the battles that have occurred between factions, you have worked with all sides, listening and mediating and seemingly always available. Throughout the years not only have you worked with the grassroots but also with countless Republican elected officials who have turned to you for the same measured advice so appreciated by others.

For all that that and so much more, we thank you.

I looked through my photo archives from the past two decades because you know how I like to take pictures at Republican events. You’ve never told me no when I asked for a pic, patiently enduring my shutterbug over the years. Often what people don’t see in the photos I’ve snapped of elected officials is you off to the side, not seeking the limelight but every bit as important as those pictured.

So I compiled a few of those pictures from the multiple GOP events where we have run into each other. I have lots more but will save them for another time.

Just one more thing. Your friendship with many, patience with all, and wisdom from years of experience are truly appreciated by a party that probably doesn’t deserve you. I can just imagine that, as you handed over the gavel today to the new chair, you possibly gave a sigh of relief at resuming your role as First Vice Chair. All I know if we’re all grateful for your leadership. Thanks, Mike.

Best,

~Lynn

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At Burgers With Bill Bolling, June 2017. Richmond.

Mike Thomas August 2018
At son Alec’s wedding in August 2018.


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The Republican Advance at The Homestead, 2011.

mike-thomas-5-w-trixie-john-hagerTrixie Averill, former. Lt. Gov. John Hager, and Mike at the RPV State Convention in 2016.

mike-thomas-6Mike and son Alec at State Central Committee meeting in Staunton, 2015.

mike-thomas-7At Burgers With Bill Bolling, 2014.

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mike-thomas-9Republican Advance in Williamsburg 2009.

mike-thomas-10Election Night 2009 — Republicans swept Top 3 gubernatorial spots.

mike-thomas-11-familyMike with son Alec and daughter Ashley at one of Eric Cantor’s Republican Roundups.

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Photobombed by RTD’s Jeff Schapiro while talking with former Gov. Bob McDonnell, 2016.

mike-thomas-13Republican Roundup. Maybe 2012?

mike-thomas-14-juanita-ballenger-2011With Juanita Ballenger at Republican Roundup in 2011.

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mike-thomas-16With Paul Galanti and Judi Lynch.

mike-thomas-17With Susan Allen.

mike-thomas-18-ben-marchiWith Ben Marchi.

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mike-thomas-20-martin-brownWith Martin Brown.

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mike-thomas-23With Donald and Nancy Williams.

mike-thomas-24-rpv-conv-2011RPV State Convention 2009.

mike-thomas-24-with-mom-cal-2007With my parents at the Republican Roundup in 2007.

mike-thomas-25-at-geo-allen-house-2011Barbecue at Susan and George Allen’s house in 2012.


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With Polly Campbell, State Central Committee Secretary for 40 years, at the Republican Roundup.


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With longtime GOP activist Trixie Averill. Election night 2009 in RVA.

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell

Cross-posted at Bearing Drift

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Happy Birthday, Mike Thomas … and Thank You

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Mike Thomas, First Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia’s State Central Committee, has a birthday today. What would Virginia Republicans do without this pillar of the party whose steady hand and even temperament have carried us through many rough patches. His institutional knowledge is legend — he is a walking encyclopedia of Virginia Republican politics. During the battles between factions that occur, he has worked with all sides, listening and mediating and seemingly always available.  For that, we owe him a big thank you. I hope he is enjoying his birthday without politics interfering for this one day.

I went through my photo archives and looked for pics of Mike from the past 14 years at Republican events around the Commonwealth. Here are a few of them. Thanks, Mike — your friendship and wisdom are truly appreciated. Happy Birthday!

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Mike Thomas

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Today’s 6.5-hour Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee meeting was chaired by First Vice Chairman Michael Thomas in the absence of chairman John Whitbeck who had a family emergency.

Once again Mike’s wisdom and guidance prevailed to lead the party through some tough issues. I hope he realizes how grateful we are for his years of leadership and service to Virginia Republicans. Mike Thomas … a gentleman and a statesman.

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SCC members call on RPV to rebuke racist statements of Bull Elephant blogger

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Republican Party of Virginia leaders Mike Thomas, State Central Committee (SCC) first vice chairman, and Carole de Triquet, SCC member, have taken the lead in calling on the party’s ruling body to rebuke racist statements made by a conservative blogger.

Jeanine Martin at the Bull Elephant blog made the comments in a post and follow-up comments (for background see Jeanine Martin doesn’t think immigrants ‘Hmong’ here — updated with responses and more hate). Martin is also a member of the Loudoun GOP and has carried a proxy to SCC meetings.

Martin’s comments caused an outcry among party members who have worked to engage minority voters, not just at the polls, but also as candidates throughout the state.

Here is the letter sent to RPV Chairman John Whitbeck and State Central Committee by Thomas and de Triquet:

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Happy Birthday, Kurt Michael, from all of us at LynnRMitchell.com

Happy Birthday 1Everyone at LynnRMitchell.com wishes the happiest of birthdays to our managing editor

Dr. Kurt Michael!

He has met many people along the way so here’s a little walk down Memory Lane. We’ve had an exciting year that will continue and only get bigger as we grow. Wishing this long-time friend many more birthdays!

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” –Galatians 6:9

??????????Kurt and Ed Gillespie

18aLieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and Kurt at the Capitol.

??????????Governor Mitt Romney and Kurt

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Photos from Saturday’s RPV meeting in Staunton

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Staunton 4 rainyOn a rainy Saturday morning, the Republican Party of Virginia arrived in Staunton, located in the 24th Senate District, to resurrect a lawsuit in the 24th District (see Here we go again: RPV resurrects lawsuit in Emmett Hanger’s 24th Senate District), and to vote for a Presidential Primary during the five-hour marathon meeting (see Live-blogging RPV State Central Committee meeting in Staunton, Va).

Brian Schoeneman has a good analysis of Saturday’s meeting at Bearing Drift (see SCC meeting in Staunton puts RPV dysfunction on full display).

1RPV’s First Vice-Chairman Michael Thomas (right) with his son Alec Thomas. Mike has been a pillar in the party and a voice of reason during the turmoil in recent years.

2Kasha Nielsen, ‎Chairwoman at College Republican Federation of Virginia and UVa student, rallied the pro-primary supporters prior to the vote. She was cheered by the crowd that included at least two dozen College Republicans (CRs) and Young Republicans (YRs).

3YRs and CRs sat on the floor due to lack of chairs: YR and small business owner Emily Brewer (left), CR Samatha Sedivy (middle), student at University of Richmond’s T.C. Williams Law School; and YR Thomas Turner (right) who had written a pro-primary post for LynnRMitchell.com (see Western Tidewater Young Republican Chairman supports a primary for 2016). #TeamPrimary

Trixie, Don Wms, Ben DessertDonald Williams, Chairman of Chesterfield County Republican Committee; Trixie Averill, former RPV Western Vice-Chairwoman; Ben Dessart, law student at the University of Richmond T.C. Williams Law School.

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Mike Thomas responds to baseless claims by blogger

In case you missed this Saturday post….

LynnRMitchell.com

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Republican Party of Virginia First Vice Chairman Michael Thomas responded to the latest click bait rambling attack of blogger Tom White and his baseless accusations on Donald Williams, the Chesterfield County Republican Committee, the Hanover County Republican Committee, and by extension, the Republican Party of Virginia. Mr. Thomas wrote:

Dear Tom:

I believe you are way off base with your attacks on Donald Williams and the Chesterfield County Republican Committee. There are no requirements for RPV or any local committee to allow audio or video recording of meetings. None. Not in IRS regs, not in federal or State code, not in the RPV Party Plan.

In fact, the RPV General Counsel provided guidance in 2008 that committees MAY adopt restrictions – or even a prohibition – on recordings. Quite a number of committees have such a policy, including the Chesterfield County Republican Committee, which adopted one…

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from all of us at LynnRMitchell.com

Christmas 12 lanternThe reason for the season….

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.” Luke 2:8-20

The true meaning of Christmas … a time for the Christian world to pause and celebrate the birth of the son of God.

As 2014 comes to a close, we are thankful for a successful year and especially for our readers who contribute and share the posts we publish at LynnRMitchell.com.

It is a time to remember those who have special meaning in our lives. We are grateful to have our core group of contributors –Kurt, David, Daniel, and Lynn — working together as each brings a unique perspective that is shared in our writings:

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Birthday wishes for Mike Thomas, Virginia’s Republican pillar

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Mike Thomas

By Lynn R. Mitchell

LynnRMitchell.com sends happy birthday wishes today to one of our guest writers and good friend Mike Thomas … husband to Stacey, father to Sarah and Alec, grandfather, and children’s church leader.

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Mike is greeted by Susan Allen.

Born and raised in Virginia, Mike began his political career with the College Republicans while earning a political science degree at the University of Richmond. It would lead him to the highest reaches of Virginia politics, serving in the administration of former Governor and Senator George Allen, who remains a close friend. He held positions as Chief of Staff and State Director during Allen’s time in the U.S. Senate, and served the Commonwealth of Virginia over the years as both the Secretary of Administration to the Commonwealth, and as Director of the Virginia Department of Information Technology.

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Looking back: ‘The passing of Tucker Watkins … Virginia Republicans have lost a friend’

By Lynn R. Mitchell

[Mike Thomas reminded us on Monday that it was two years ago that we lost Tucker Watkins (see Passings: Remembering the unforgettable Tucker Watkins). It was the day of Congressman Eric Cantor’s Republican Roundup and the sad news quickly circulated through the crowd that in years past had included Tucker. At the time I wrote the following collection of remembrances from many whose lives were touched by this man.]

  Tucker Watkins and George Allen, September 2012.
(Photo from Allen campaign)
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:7

Boy oh boy, did Tucker Watkins fight the good fight. Full of life and mischief — that grin and the twinkle in his eye always made you wonder what he had been up to — this lifelong Republican and Virginia gentleman left a legacy that will live beyond him. A VMI graduate and Vietnam veteran, he fought hard and lived large, enjoying every drop of joy on his life’s journey through his native, beloved Commonwealth.

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Passings: Remembering the unforgettable Tucker Watkins

Mike Thomas 1By Michael Thomas

Two years ago today, we lost Tucker Watkins. Not a week has gone by in those two years that I haven’t wanted to pick up the phone and get Tucker’s take on an issue or his counsel about a thorny political issue. Or, just to tell him about something that had come up that day.

It is true that out of the literally thousands of telephone conversations we had over close to 14 years, the largest number had some connection to politics and political personalities. Yet, no matter the topic of our conversation, one thing came through clearly: Tucker Watkins always saw the individual. Not the occupation (though he always knew it). Not the geography (though we shared a partiality for Southside Virginia). Not the family history (though Tucker knew the history of many, many families and took the time to become familiar with the families of many of those with whom he worked). It wasn’t race or ethnicity or religion or educational attainment.

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Happy Birthday, Kurt Michael, from all of us at LynnRMitchell.com

Happy Birthday 1Everyone at LynnRMitchell.com wishes the happiest of birthdays to our managing editor
Dr. Kurt Michael!
We’ve had an exciting year that will continue and only get bigger as we grow. Wishing this long-time friend many more birthdays!

??????????Kurt and Ed Gillespie

??????????Governor Mitt Romney and Kurt

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RPV’s Mike Thomas calls for treasurer FitzSimmonds to resign

GOP elephantBy 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.

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ICYMI: Photos from ‘Burgers with Bill’

??????????By Lynn R. Mitchell

For 20 years, Bill Bolling — former Virginia Lieutenant Governor, state Senator, and Hanover County supervisor — has gathered with friends and supporters in June near the date of his birthday on the 15th for Burgers with Bill, a casual cookout fundraiser. This year was the 20th anniversary of that event and it was an invitation-only evening in Richmond, compliments of Bolling’s Mainstream Virginia Project. With temperatures soaring into the 90s, it was literally the hottest ticket in town with hundreds in attendance.

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