Several members of the Fifth Congressional District Republican Committee feared that our meeting on June 11 was going to be too long. In addition to the normal items that must be handled at Republican committee meetings, newly elected Fifth District Republican Chair Rick Buchanan planned the “kick-off of a two-year campaign to train, engage, and implement strategy with the unit committees for the common goal of winning elections in our 5th District.”
Now don’t blow by that sentence too quickly. Chairman Buchanan not only has a goal, but he has planned a campaign to reach that goal. His goal is to train people, engage people – both new and veteran – and work with those people to implement strategies that will help us win elections. That’s an impressive undertaking.
The concerning thing prior to the meeting was that he had five different presentations that were scheduled to be 20 minutes EACH, plus several group activities and a couple of other shorter presentation. At least Congressman Bob Good was providing lunch for the Committee. (Tacos and sides)
Our first guest speaker was Virginia’s Republican National Committeewoman Patti Lyman. Because we have worked together on the State Central Committee, I was asked to introduce her. She has an impressive list of credentials and academic degrees – including a Juris Doctorate – but the line from my introduction that seemed to resonate with everyone there is this: “She knows her mind when it comes to conservative principles and issues, and she forcefully speaks her mind when people who should know better stray from our conservative Virginia roots.” She spoke about our role as Virginians in the overall national scheme of things. She was engaging to the point that her 20 minutes was up before we were through listening to her.
She has offered to come speak to every Republican unit in Virginia at one of their regular meetings. Having her as a guest speaker would be a great opportunity to invite guests and energize conservatives in each region.
Following Patti, RPV Executive Director Ken Nunnenkamp spent 20 short minutes talking about RPV data. The wealth of data available to units is astounding. We can reach any demographic and location with precision and effectiveness. The HUGE change is that in the past the RPV did not make that data available to the units. Units would collect data, send it to the RPV, and never see it again. We would collect the same data over and over every year. Governor Youngkin has put a stop to that. He wants to reform the Party so that success builds from the ground up, since he knows that you can’t dictate success from on high. In order to build success, people need data with which to work. It’s there, and we now have access to it.
Former RPV Executive Director and former Fluvanna Supervisor Shaun Kenny spoke about political engagement and building a farm team of candidates at the local level so that we will have proven candidates to run at higher and higher levels. This perfectly dovetailed with Nunnenkamp’s message of building the Party from the ground up.
Former Loudoun County Supervisor Suzanne Volpe used her 20 minutes to explain how precinct organization was supposed to work and why it was so crucial. She gave practical steps to build our precincts, and she repeatedly expressed how much she wished she lived in a district – like the Fifth – where American flags could line the streets without being torn down and defaced. We don’t know how good we have it in the western part of Virginia.
The fifth 20-minute presentation came from Jaqueline Timmer and Tim Griffin of the Virginia Voter Alliance. (Tim is also Bedford County Chair.) They spoke about the importance of the Republicans we appoint to our local electoral boards and the incredible amount of power given to the boards by the Code of Virginia. Electoral Boards often take the easy way and allow Registrars to do the Board’s job. That is a recipe for problems.
Former Fifth District Chairman Melvin Adams, who is now with the Noah Webster Educational Foundation, spoke for a shorter period about the desperate need to take back control of our schools, and Travis Witt spoke about outreach to the pastors who fail to grasp that one political party (not ours) is totally and ideologically opposed to every principle held by Bible-believing Christians.
At the end of the day, we elected an executive committee and immediately adjourned. It was a long meeting but a fruitful one. Rick Buchanan scored a win for his first Committee meeting as Chairman.
Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.