Tag Archives: Republican Party of Virginia

Business as usual for Campbell County ‘Republicans’

Beck StanleyBy Beck Stanley
Guest Post

Like a reignited lynch mob, Campbell County infighters are fabricating troublesome accusations against well-established conservative Zach Martin. As a committed Republican, I don’t typically comment on matters of infighting because it’s destructive to the party, but he recent actions of Eric Zehr and Rick Boyer must serve as a clear warning to anyone associated with the current leadership of the Campbell County Republican Committee: they eat their own.

And they’re always hungry.

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Gillespie won by landslide over Hill at 2014 Virginia Republican Convention


Ed Gillespie at 2014 Virginia GOP State Convention. Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

At the 2014 Virginia Republican State Convention in Roanoke, Ed Gillespie soundly defeated Shak Hill for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, and then went on to come within a whisker of toppling incumbent senator Mark Warner. Final results were Warner 49.2 percent; Gillespie 48.4 percent; Sarvis 2.5 percent (see How Gillespie nearly slayed Warner).

Monday after Ed Gillespie’s name began circulating for governor after Mark Obenshain announced he was not running, radio host John Fredericks wrote the following false comment on his Facebook page:

Gillespie barely beat back a woefully underfunded convention challenge for U.S. Senate in Roanoke in 2014 by Shack Hill — who raised a little over $20,000 and ran what amounted to a Mail-Chimp campaign.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Here are the facts with the numbers to back them up. Ed Gillespie won by a landslide over Shak Hill (and the other two candidates), as noted at the time by blogger Justin Higgins who attended the convention and asked, “Just how badly did Gillespie beat Hill?”

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Obenshain decides to sit out 2017; Gillespie for governor?


Ed & Cathy Gillespie at Republican State Convention 2014. Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Monday afternoon certainly perked up when the news began circulating that Mark Obenshain had decided not to run for the Republican nomination for governor in 2017 (see Obenshain will not run for Va. governor).

The immediate response from GOPers was who would run?

For the Republican Party of Virginia, we really need Ed Gillespie as our candidate for governor. His narrow loss when he challenged U.S. Senator Mark Warner in 2014 showed he was able to pull together the factions and unite a hurting party that is looking for a leader.

Ed Gillespie could be that leader.

Former Lieutenant Governor agrees. On his Facebook page Monday he noted:

This is good news for the Virginia GOP. It gives the party a chance to unite behind a mainstream candidate for Governor in 2017. Ed Gillespie ran a great campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2014. Should he decide to run for Governor, Ed is the kind of candidate the party could unite behind.

Could Ed Gillespie be the gubernatorial candidate to run in 2017? Stay tuned….

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Happy Birthday, Lt. Governor John Hager

By Lynn R. Mitchell

John Hager 4

Former Virginia Lieutenant Governor John Hager with then-7th Congressional District Chairman Linwood Cobb … 2014.

Birthday greetings to one of the hardest working Republicans in Virginia — former Lieutenant Governor John Hager! He travels all over the Commonwealth to events and supports candidates, something he continues to do. He’s everywhere! Together with wife Maggie, they are in-laws to the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush, and former First Lady Laura Bush. Their son Henry is married to the Bush’s daughter Jenna. Here are just a few of the many photos I have taken of the LG at GOP events throughout the years with a sincere thanks for all he has done to advance the causes we all believe in. Happy Birthday, John Hager!

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LTE: Judicial proceedings flawed in Bob McDonnell case

By Donald Laslie

[This letter to the editor was submitted to the Richmond Times-Dispatch by the author.]

To the Editor:

I’d like to publicly acknowledge the request for prayer and support from our former governor, Bob McDonnell, who is nearing the end of his appeals process.

I’ve never met the man. But what has happened to him has prompted me to passionately defend this public servant against a judicial proceeding that was clearly flawed. I am not alone in my firm belief that a travesty of justice, substantial federal overreach, no less, has occurred against not a criminal, but a strategic political target.

So, Bob and Maureen, you are both in my thoughts and prayers as you complete this arduous journey. May the Good Lord continue to clothe you with His grace and comfort. And may you know the support and concern of those around you.

“America! America!
God mend thine every flaw!
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!”


Donald Laslie
Powhatan, Va.

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10th Congressional District votes primary for Comstock

Barbara Comstock 6By Lynn R. Mitchell

Good news out of the 10th Congressional District for first term representative Republican Barbara Comstock who saw the committee vote for a primary. From Brian Schoeneman’s Facebook page:

Very pleased to see that the 10th District Congressional Committee voted in favor of a state-run Primary for Congresswoman Barbara Comstock‘s reelection bid next year. It was a tight vote 8-8 and broken by Chair Jo Thoburn’s tie breaking vote, but we owe the 10th CD committee thanks. And hopefully she will have no competition and we won’t have to worry about a primary at all. Looking forward to being able to cast my vote for her next year.

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Please stop being hypocritical about secret ballots

Secret ballotBy Lynn R. Mitchell

The howls continue about Saturday’s secret ballot at the State Central Committee meeting in Staunton (see Live-blogging RPV state central meeting in Staunton).

Please stop the hypocrisy.

In January, John Whitbeck took over as chairman of RPV and the very first thing on his agenda was the illegal removal of Jon Berkley, chairman of the 5th Congressional District (see RPV in Crisis: Due process and rule of law ignored in removal of 5th CD chair Jon Berkley). The vote at that State Central Committee meeting that removed Berkley was a secret ballot.

I wrote at the time:

Mr. Whitbeck announced it would be a secret vote and, when asked by a member of the body why it was secret, he responded, “Just because.”

Those who are now complaining about the process from Saturday’s meeting were all in favor of it in January. Could we please stop the faux outrage?

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RPV trips over Twitter

GOP elephant laughingBy Lynn R. Mitchell

I almost spewed Diet Coke on my keyboard this morning reading the latest from Matt Colt Hall over at Bearing Drift (see Really RPV? Chris Christie is Bernie Sanders?).

By now just about everyone in the political junkie club has heard about the Republican Party of Virginia’s Twitter mishap on Tuesday. Matt takes a humorous look at what has to be one of the more prominent shake-your-head moments at RPV, noting:

When RPV decides to cut staff, not raise money, piss off donors, worry about litmus’ tests on incumbents instead of trying to get more Republicans elected, it’s easy to lose sight of the details. And when you lose sight of the details, no wonder you mess up like this.

My laugh of the day … make it yours!


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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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Here we go again: RPV resurrects lawsuit in Emmett Hanger’s 24th Senate District

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Saturday’s State Central Committee meeting in Staunton had barely been called to order when a dispute arose about an added agenda item and the order in which it would be heard.

The 24th Senate District lawsuit that had seen a federal judge rule against the 24th Legislative District Committee (see 24th Senate District: Court upholds laws of Commonwealth, Hanger gets primary) was resurrected even though it was not originally on the official agenda that was sent out by Chairman John Whitbeck. It had been added in the week before the meeting, a matter that brought protests from some but they were overruled and the matter was added as the second item to be addressed.

Please note that the referenced “Incumbent Protection Act” is a made-up name by those pushing the lawsuit.

Here is the email that was sent to State Central Committee members outlining the background and desire by SCC to change the method that incumbent elected officials have for re-election:

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Western Tidewater Young Republican chairman supports a primary for 2016

Thomas Turner YRBy Thomas Turner
Chairman, Western Tidewater Young Republicans
Guest Post

The debate over the pending vote that the RPV State Central Committee (SCC) will take Saturday June 27,2015, recalled a memory from seven years ago when I voted for the first time for President of the United States. I was an 18-year-old senior in high school and most importantly had figured out that I was not a Democrat, but a Republican. I was excited to have the opportunity to join my fellow Republicans in choosing our nominee for president in the primary.

This memory comes to mind especially now because there is a distinct possibility that many young, first-time voters would be excluded from the nominating process if the State Central Committee chooses a convention instead of a primary for the allocation of delegates. If the SCC had a convention instead of a primary back in 2008, I would not have known where to attend a mass meeting or been able to navigate the political landscape as a first timer, and would not have had the means to attend a convention which would have left me voiceless. I would have been disenfranchised without my direct consent because I would not have been informed on how to participate in the process and, like many others, would not have stayed active.

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Pro-primary Bedford Republican responds to email from pro-convention Stearns

Dolores Switzer 2By Dolores Switzer
Guest Post

[Editor’s note: Christopher Stearns, who is chairman of the 3rd Congressional District and former leadership in the Libertarian Party, emailed Virginia Republicans encouraging them to write members of RPV’s State Central Committee to vote for a convention at Saturday’s meeting. He received the following response from Bedford County Republican Dolores Switzer who shared her response.]

I am sorry, Mr. Stearns, but I am tired of seeing the State Central Committee disenfranchise our military, elderly, those who cannot afford to travel to a convention, and for those that simply may be working or cannot conform to your way of thinking. I do not agree with a convention and until we can take those mentioned above into consideration, I will not be changing my mind.

Sir, for me this is personal.  My father was a war veteran with 30 years of service.  Needless to say, he was not someone who went to work Monday through Friday and came home every night.  By having a convention, those in our military are not included in the process.  I myself do not care if there is only one member serving in our military who takes advantage of the absentee ballot, it is well worth having a primary to give that man or woman the opportunity to cast their ballot. I have never been in their shoes to observe what it is like to see war, to live away from family day in and day out.  I am sure there are some on SCC who have been in those shoes.  I hope they will vote for a primary and think of their fellow soldiers.

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2016 Primary vs Convention in Virginia: How to Avoid a Logistical Nightmare

Primary by J HigginsBy Gerrie Smith
Guest Post

On June 27, 2015, State Central Committee (SCC) Republican officials will gather in Staunton, Virginia, to decide which method of nomination shall be adopted to select our nominee for President on November 8, 2016. Regardless of one’s opinion of the value of conventions vs primaries, the sheer number of Party officials and administrative offices to be determined next year must be included in the calculus.  These offices and nominations are to be completed according to the Party Plan, which the SCC is charged with implementing.

Although there are many and varied philosophical and political reasons for a primary or a convention, 2016 promises to be a very active year for Republicans.  The method whereby we select our nominee for President must be the preeminent task of the SCC. All business must be conducted and completed within a fairly tight time table, and adding to the mix is our popular annual RPV Advance which will be held in December. Completing these tasks is a daunting undertaking, but will be further complicated if the Convention method is adopted to nominate our candidate for President.

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‘No to Virginia GOP convention’ … RTD Correspondent of the Day

Richmond Times Dispatch 1By Lynn R. Mitchell

Augusta County resident Larry Tillett is Friday’s Correspondent of the Day in the Richmond Times-Dispatch writing in favor of a 2016 Presidential PRIMARY (see No to a Virginia GOP convention):

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I continually read about the Virginia State Central Committee preparing to decide on the issue of a presidential primary or a convention to select the Republican nominee for president.

If it chooses a convention, which only a few voters will attend, it will disenfranchise thousands of Virginia voters. I cannot for the life of me see how this would benefit Virginia voters.

The committee says Democrats could skew the vote because they can vote in a primary. How ridiculous is that? If the Democrats are really intent on upsetting the process, it seems to me that it would be much easier to recruit enough people to sign a meaningless pledge and hop on a bus to a convention than to get enough to upset the vote in the entire state.

The selection of a presidential candidate should fall to the people of Virginia. Virginia will most likely be a crucial battlefield state in 2016 and, if the SCC shuts out the people in the selection of the Republican nominee and the convention selects a person of little appeal to the people, you can kiss Virginia’s electoral votes goodbye.

All this talk about a convention or a primary is simply a way for one group to say we are in charge and we know best. I believe that the people know best and you should let them decide.

The United States is too precious to risk this next election on the selection of a nominee who cannot win. I do not care if you call yourself Republican, tea party, libertarian or what else, you must trust the citizens of Virginia to do what is right for Virginia.

We the people have been ignored long enough; let us have our say.

Lawrence Tillett.


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2016 PRIMARY … here’s who to contact to voice that opinion

By Lynn R. Mitchell

There are numerous reasons why it makes more sense for the Republican Party of Virginia to hold a 2016 Presidential PRIMARY instead of a convention. The vote on PRIMARY versus convention is June 27.

If interested in a 2016 presidential PRIMARY, here are some ways to express that desire:

1) Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.

2) Contact the Republican Party of Virginia (804. 780-0111 / Info@Virginia.GOP) and let them know you want a PRIMARY.

3) Contact your local state central committee (SCC) member. Their contact info is listed here. The state is divided into regions with reps from each; contact RPV if you need further help with this.

4) Contact RPV Chairman John Whitbeck (chairman@rpv.org).

5) Contact everyone on the RPV Executive Committee (find contact info here).

Share this information with others who would like the opportunity to go to the polls in a primary on March 1st and vote for presidential candidates. Otherwise, most Virginia Republicans will be shut out of the process.

For background on the issue, see:

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