Two teams of candidates are running for offices on Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District Republican Committee. The team that coalesced around current Sixth District Vice Chair John Massoud is far more experienced and accomplished than are the candidates hand-picked by current District Chair Jennifer Brown. It appears that certain individuals who support Brown are trying to dump mud on the Massoud team in order to hide the obvious advantages of his team.
The lie that came out this week claims that Massoud’s team were responsible for trying to rig the 2018 District Convention against Ben Cline by choosing to make the nomination a plurality vote.
The vote was taken at a District Committee meeting in January 2016. It was done as a piece of political gamesmanship for reasons that are still unclear to me. The Committee vote meant nothing because at conventions the delegates choose how the nomination will be decided. They can choose a plurality vote (as is done in every primary in Virginia) or a majority vote. Delegates have the final say. The vote at the District Committee meeting had no legal authority.
Now, let me point out that only two members of the Massoud team could even vote at the January 2018 Committee meeting. John Massoud did not become a member of the Committee until June of 2018 when he was elected as Vice Chair. Randy Gilbert did not become a member of the Committee until spring of 2018 when he was elected as Chair of Shenandoah County. Curt Lilly was no longer a member of the Committee because his job had moved him to Alabama in 2017. Steve Richards did not become a member of the Committee until he was elected at the convention in May 2018. Dean Welty has never been a member of the Committee. I have been a member of the Committee since my election to State Central in 2016, but the minutes of the January 2018 meeting show that I voted against plurality. Steve Kurtz was a member of the Committee, and I think he voted for plurality, which – as I said – sets the same standard for winning the nomination as is used in any primary in Virginia. Only two members of the Massoud Team even voted on that motion, and we voted opposite ways for reasons that have nothing to do with some wild conspiracy theory. To say that “Massoud’s Team” tried to throw the election to Cynthia Dunbar and steal it from Ben Cline is – as we used to say back in Oklahoma – hogwash.
Cline’s staff don’t understand why Brown supporters even go there. Cline and Dunbar made peace long ago. Every member of Massoud’s team supports Ben. He is doing a great job. Maybe the topic keeps coming up because Brown’s team does not compare well with Massoud’s team, and her supporters know it. (Or maybe they just like to perpetuate the divisiveness in the Sixth District.) When you vote at the 2020 District convention, cast your vote based on the facts, not on “fake news” put out on behalf of a team whose credentials don’t measure up.
Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.
P.S. Pre-file deadlines to become voting delegates to the state and district conventions are upon us. Amherst, Harrisonburg, and Rockingham deadlines have passed. Staunton’s is February 21. Bedford County’s deadline is February 26. Page County’s deadline is February 27. Augusta County and Waynesboro’s deadlines are February 29. Go to “How You Can Help” in the menu bar above and click on the Mass Meeting link to find the pre-file deadlines and 2020 Mass Meeting dates for all units in the Sixth District.