Tag Archives: Republican Party of Virginia

Happy Birthday, Mike Thomas … and Thank You


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 too much politics interfering with his day.

I went through my photo archives and looked for pics of Mike from the past 15 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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Happy Birthday, Mike Thomas … and Thank You


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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Primary vs Convention Roll Call

The main event at the Republican Party of Virginia’s State Central Committee (SCC) meeting on Saturday was the vote for a 2017 primary or convention with the final vote 41-40 in favor of a primary. Here is the roll call vote.

1st District: All voted for convention — Bob Watson, Allen Webb, Carol Dawson, Steve Albertson, Larry Kile, Eric Herr

2nd District: Stephen Corazza was absent. All others voted for primary — Ashley McLeod, Jeff Ryer, Carolyn Weems, Dennis Free

3rd District: All for primary — Bill Coburn, Carol De Triquet, Steve Trent, Jennifer Lee

4th District: Convention — Pete Burkhimer; Primary — Carey Allen, Kishore Thota, Janet Riddick, Barbara Tabb, Jack Wilson

5th District: Convention — JoAnne Holden, Renee Maxey, Ed Yencho, Travis Witt, Lynn Tucker; Primary — Clara Wheeler

6th District: All voted Convention — Nate Boyer, Joseph Sonsmith, Steve Troxel, Gene Rose, Anne Fitzgerald, Scott Sayre

7th District: Convention — Nancy Smith, Susan Lascolette, Dewey McDonnell, Mark Hile, Ben Slone; Primary — Ron Hedlund

8th District: Convention — Mark Kelly; Primary — David Foster, Sandy Liddy Bourne, Brian Rabbit

9th District: Convention — Susan Edwards; Primary — Michelle Jenkins, Corey Scott, Kevin Corbett, Marcy Hernick, Adam Tolbert

10th District: Convention — Heidi Stirrup, Julie Williams, Eve Gleason, Mark Sell, Jo Thoburn; Primary — Puneet Ahluwalia

11th District: Convention — Freddy Burgos, Paul Prados; Primary — Kyle McDaniel, Ryan Rauner

CRFV Chairman Ben Dessart: Primary

CRFV First Vice-Chairman Nadia Elgendy: Primary

CRFV Second Vice-Chairman Jack Koltisko: Primary

Eastern Vice Chairman Mr. Kevin Gentry: Convention

Eastern Vice Chairwoman Diana Banister: Convention

Finance Chairman Jerry Kilgore: Primary

First Vice Chairman Michael Thomas: Primary

House Caucus St. Cen. Rep. Hon. Jimmie Massie: Primary

National Committeeman Morton Blackwell: Convention

National Committeewoman Cynthia Dunbar: Convention

RPV Chairman John Whitbeck: Abstain

Secretary Jill Cook: Primary

Senate Caucus SCC Rep Hon. Siobhan Dunnavant: Primary

StCen Caucus Rep. Hon. John Cosgrove: Primary

StCen Caucus Rep. Hon. Jackson Miller: Convention

Treasurer John Selph: Primary

VFRW President Ellen Nau: Primary

VFRW SCC Rep Mrs. Miki Miller: Primary

VFRW SCC Rep Elizabeth Munday: Primary

Western Vice Chairman Wendell Walker: Primary

Western Vice Chairwoman Dr. Nancy Dye: Primary

YRFV President Dan Webb: Convention

YRFV SCC Rep Jeff Wernsing: Convention

YRFV SCC Michael Wood: Convention


Mike Thomas

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Mike Thomas 8

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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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Photos from RPV State Central Meeting in Charlottesville

DSCN3570 (2)Mike Thomas was reelected First Vice Chairman

Saturday’s Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee meeting (see live updates here) lasted almost five hours and accomplished what it needed to: elected five officers to a two-year term. The reconstituted committee was packed with new faces, a fact that was driven home when RPV Chairman John Whitbeck asked for a show of hands of those who were new. The spring’s mass meetings that took place throughout the Commonwealth resulted in an almost fifty percent change of leadership on the committee.

There were seven elections of State Central leadership and that was the draw for the fifty observers who crowded in the standing-room only back of the meeting room. After business of the day was taken care of, elections began with nominations, two-minute speeches from the candidates, and voting by committee members. The results were an affirmation that Virginia Republicans are looking for rational, pragmatic leadership after years of losing statewide races.

Only two incumbent officers ran for reelection: Mike Thomas who was challenged by Eric Herr, and Kevin Gentry who had no opponent. All other seats were open. The newly elected officers are:

First Vice Chairman: Mike Thomas
Western Vice Chairman: Wendell Walker
Western Vice Chairwoman: Nancy Dye
Eastern Vice Chairman: Kevin Gentry
Eastern Vice Chairwoman: Diane Bannister
Secretary: Jill Cook
Treasurer: John Selph

Below are photos of some of the people who spent half a day in Charlottesville with fellow Republicans conducting the business of the party.

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Happy birthday to friends Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling


Two friends .. Bob and Bill

At this 2014 Burgers With Bill event, the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to former Governor Bob McDonnell and former Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling who share today as their birthdays. In November 2009, Bob won by historic proportions with Bill easily winning reelection. Together, they made a good team for Virginia with both recognizing the importance of cultivating a relationship not just with Virginia’s citizens but also with Virginia’s citizen journalists — the bloggers.

Bob and Bill were some of the first politicians who worked with bloggers at a time when that group was trying to break through as an information network. Bill hosted an annual Bloggers Day in Richmond for seven years, held while the General Assembly was in session, setting up opportunities for those writing for blogs to sit in on meetings at the capitol, meet with GOP legislators and leaders, and observe the State Senate and House of Delegates in action (see LG Bill Bolling hosts 5th annual Bloggers Day). It always ended in the evening with a complimentary dinner at a nearby downtown Chinese restaurant hosted by Lieutenant Governor and Mrs. Bolling … except the year we all were invited to a reception at the Governor’s Mansion hosted by Governor and Mrs. Bob McDonnell. All were wonderful opportunities.

At one of the Republican Party of Virginia Advances, probably around 2004, then-Attorney General Bob McDonnell, who would become the next governor, hosted a meeting of bloggers attending the annual event at the Homestead. Congressman Eric Cantor also recognized bloggers and welcomed them to his events.

Bill’s Burgers With Bill became an annual cookout fest. The last one was two years ago when over 400 guests joined him along with Mrs. Bolling in Richmond on a hot afternoon. It offered the opportunity to spend time with fellow Republicans who had worked together for years, and to greet Mitt Romney, Ed Gillespie, and many other familiar faces — a fantastic event that was much appreciated by all.

Happy Birthday, Bob and Bill! Thank you for all you’ve done throughout the years for Virginia Republicans … we have not forgotten.

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2016 RPV State Convention at James Madison University … here’s what you need to know

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All Virginia GOP roads lead to Harrisonburg this weekend where state Republicans will meet for their 2016 state convention at James Madison University. It will be bustling in the fair city north of my home with JMU students preparing for final exams and the Rocktown 2016 Beer & Music Festival that will take place Saturday afternoon in downtown Hburg. The complete Friday-Saturday convention agenda can be found at the bottom of this post.

This is a private event sponsored by the Republican Party of Virginia and is open to delegates who were voted 0n at local mass meetings earlier in the year, and their paying guests.

Bearing Drift will have a number of writers on site throughout the weekend. Don’t forget to join us Friday night at Wolfe Street Brewing for our ’80s Party featuring Bearing Drift’s Matt Hall and his 1980s play list.

***9:30 – 11:30 – Reagan-Bush 84 Bringing America Back Prouder Stronger Better Hospitality Suite***
Co-sponsored by Bearing Drift at  Wolfe Street Brewing,  120 Wolfe Street, Downtown Harrisonburg

President Ronald Reagan once said, “Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.” In the spirit of President Reagan, Bearing Drift, the College Republican Federation Of Virginia, and VA NextGen GOP are teaming up to throw the best party of the 2016 RPV Convention: “Reagan Bush 84 Eighties Party!”

All RPV Convention attendees, both young and young-at-heart, are invited to join us on Friday, April 29th, at Wolfe Street Brewing from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. DJ Matt Colt Hall will be turning up the treble and laying down some of the best hits of the 80’s.

We hope to see you all there!


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Former AG Jerry Kilgore replaces Snyder as RPV Finance Chair

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore is no stranger to Virginia politics, and now he will again actively step in to help the Republican Party of Virginia as their new Finance Chairman.

Kilgore, who has served the Republican Party in many capacities throughout his almost forty years of activism in Republican Party politics, was instrumental in precinct organization in Scott County before being elected to serve as the Ninth Congressional Committee Chair in Southwestern Virginia. He served as RPV Counsel for four years, engaging with Party leaders and activists on organizational and legal issues.

He has served as a Finance Chair and Co-Chair for many statewide candidates, including former Governor Bob McDonnell and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli. Kilgore was the State Co-Chair for the presidential campaigns of former President George W. Bush and U.S. Senator John McCain, and most recently supported presidential candidate Jeb Bush. Throughout the years he has served in leadership positions in a number of other local, state, and national campaigns.

During the administration of Governor George Allen, Kilgore served as Secretary of Public Safety, overseeing the eleven public safety agencies in Virginia. In 2001, he was elected attorney general, and was the Virginia Republican nominee for Governor in 2005. He currently serves as a Senior Advisor at McGuire Woods Consulting, co-chairing the Multistate Practice area.
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Libertarian Gary Johnson supporter not the chair needed for Hanover GOP

Libertarian Party logo 1By Lynn R. Mitchell

Current Hanover County Republican Committee Chairman Nancy Russell is being challenged at Thursday’s mass meeting by Russ Wright, a Libertarian whose allegiance in 2012 was to the Libertarian Party instead of the Republican Party even after he vowed to support the GOP candidates. Because of that, Wright cannot be trusted to represent and promote the Republican Party and Republican candidates as chairman in Hanover.

In 2012, Wright entered his name as a candidate for State Central Committee, National Delegate to the 2012 convention, and Presidential Elector for the Republican Party of Virginia. Three times he signed a full-fledged Statement of Intent affirming he would support the Republican candidates:

“In accordance with the Qualifications for Participation set forth in the State Party Plan, I do hereby state my intent to support all of the Nominees of the Republican Party in November 2012.”

However, just months after signing his support — two months before the crucial November 2012 election — Wright donated $250, on September 18, 2012, to Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson who was running against the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney. By supporting Johnson, Wright was also supporting Johnson’s extreme Libertarian platform that is at odds with the GOP platform on many issues including legalized prostitution; cutting all aid and support to Israel; soft on immigration; pro-choice; legalized drug use; soft on national security.

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Want to run for Staunton GOP chairman? Deadline is February 3

GOP elephantBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Wednesday, February 3, is the deadline for anyone interested in running for chairman of Staunton Republican Committee to submit a  prefile form.

For those who wish to participate in the mass meeting to be held on February 18 at 7:00pm at the Staunton Public Library (info found  at 6th District website), you must submit a prefile form by February 15.

I would refer you to the Staunton Republican Committee website for this information but it has not been updated in a year. Instead, the info is available at 6th District website.

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Arizona GOP smacks down tea party resolution to censor Sen. McCain

Republican elephantBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Arizona Republicans showed leadership over the weekend when they smacked down a resolution censoring U.S. Senator John McCain. As one Arizona Republican noted on Facebook, “Sanity wins again, and lunatics walked out like always as sore losers.”

It was tea party-Libertarian versus Republicans, again:

It was a tough weekend for Tyler Bowyer and his boss, AJ LaFaro.

One week after LaFaro and Bowyer disregarded their own bylaws in order to pursue the same destructive, divisive tactics that have plagued the MCRC for over a decade, order was restored at the Arizona Republican Party Mandatory meeting on Saturday.

This was a completely different meeting from last Saturday, when chaos reigned, bylaws were ignored and a “kangaroo court” removed two hard working officers from the executive committee, a blatantly illegal “non-endorsement” of Senator McCain was passed and botched processes ruled the day.

Indeed, this last weekend’s State meeting was a welcome relief and a sign that the Republican Party does indeed possess the leadership and unity to win Republican elections in Arizona.

In Arizona, it’s not the first time Libertarian tea partiers have gone after McCain — they were smacked down in the past, too. The Arizona meeting ended with cheers from the pro-McCain forces:

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Samantha Sedivy: ‘I am a Republican’

Samantha SedivyBy Samantha Sedivy
Guest Post

I am sick and tired of being mischaracterized as a Republican because of the reprehensible actions of individuals masquerading as voices of the Republican Party. My fellow Republicans need to find their own voices and show the greater public that we are more than the foolishness constantly being promulgated in the media.

I am a Republican. I believe in pluralism, freedom, democracy, and individual rights. I believe in respecting and upholding our Constitution. I care for the well-being of all of my neighbors, my community, my state, and my country. I am not afraid of considering the opinions of others, especially when they do not agree with me.

Most importantly, I strive to treat all others as I would hope to be treated: with respect.

Please do not mistake me as something that I am not because of the actions others.

Samantha Sedivy, who grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, is currently a third-year student at the University of Richmond’s T.C. Williams School of Law and is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Samantha has spent over five years in Virginia politics and currently serves as the Chairman of the Greater Richmond Young Republicans, the Vice-Chairman for Membership of the Richmond Republican Committee, a Southern Regional Director for the Young Republican National Federation, and is a member of 2016 Class of the Sorensen Institute’s Political Leaders Program.

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Rob Bell will announce GOP candidacy for attorney general

Rob Bell 3By Lynn R. Mitchell

Republican Delegate Rob Bell of Albemarle will announce later this week that he will seek the party’s nomination for attorney general, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. This will be Bell’s second bid for the position that he lost in 2013 to Mark Obenshain who went on to lose to Democrat Mark Herring.

Ed Gillespie has announced he will seek the GOP nomination for governor in 2017.

Rob Bell has tried for years to get a Tebow Bill passed to allow homeschool athletes to play with their local public school teams like former professional football player Tim Tebow did on his way to becoming a Denver Bronco quarterback.

The Republican nominee will run against Herring who has already announced he will seek re-election as attorney general.

Grassroots for Rob Bell Facebook page.

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Governor Chris Christie 6th candidate to file petitions with RPV

GOP 4By Lynn R. Mitchell

Governor Chris Christie has filed petitions to compete in the Virginia presidential primary to be held on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. He is the sixth candidate to file. The other five Republican candidates who have filed petitions are Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and Ben Carson.

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Write-in campaign against GOP nominee brings up question of Party Plan violation

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Jeff Frederick write-inSomething in the Republican Party of Virginia State Party Plan covers Republican members who support those other than the GOP nominee….

UPDATE: Article VII, Section C. Removal. This section of the Party Plan is applicable in this situation. (The previous section that was listed has been removed to avoid confusion.)

A member of an Official Committee is held to a higher standard of support for nominees of the Republican Party than an individual who merely participates in a mass meeting, party canvass, convention or primary. Therefore, a member of an Official Committee is deemed to have resigned his Committee position if he (a) makes a reportable contribution to and/or (b) allows his name to be publicly used by and/or (c) makes a written or other public statement in support of a candidate in opposition to a Republican nominee in a Virginia General or Special Election. Such member may be re-instated by a majority vote of the other members of the Committee.

Calling Chairman John Whitbeck. Read more of the Party Plan.

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