The conflict didn’t begin in 2018, but that was the year it became very evident. And it was nasty.
Anger, disgust, chaos, and vile comments were endemic among Sixth Congressional District Republicans. The issues are so well known that they don’t need to be restated. One side held offices on the committee, but the other side held the majority of the committee votes. There was no cooperation between the sides because there was no trust. Turmoil and uncertainty were the order of the day among Sixth District Republicans. The Democrats loved it.
Then John Massoud won the election for Sixth District Chair in 2020, and things changed for the much better. Prior to his election, John had served as Vice Chair of the Committee and knew the issues behind the turmoil first-hand. After John became chairman, the committee was able to settle down and get to work. Certainly, during the first few months of John’s tenure, supporters of one side made comments and frequently tried to continue the feud. But John did not “get even” with them. Instead, he talked with them. He listened to them. Most times, they even listened to him. And slowly, gradually, people began to calm down and started working together again in their efforts to elect Republicans to every public office in the Sixth District.
Under John’s leadership Republicans hold a greater percentage of local offices than they have in a long time, and the winning percentages have continued to grow. Things have gone so well that not only was John not challenged in his bid for re-election in 2022, but a consensus was reached as to who would hold the other three Party officers who needed to be elected. Since only one individual was running for each office, the District committee was able to cancel the 2022 convention. It was not a “back-room deal” type of arrangement. Active Republicans in the Sixth District had started working so well together that once they found out who was interested in serving, they saw no reason not to support them. That was a result of John helping everyone understand that they were all on the same side of the bigger battle.
This is the culture that John Massoud has brought to Republicans of the Sixth Congressional District. I was a member of the Committee before, during, and after the “hard times,” and the eighteen months (until redistricting) that I spent on the committee under John’s leadership were wonderful in comparison to the atmosphere prior to that.
A perfect example of John’s abilities comes from his role as a member of the Strasburg Town Council. The town council has eight members. Two of them are Tea Party Republicans, two are moderate Republicans, two are moderate to liberal Democrats, and two are Socialist Democrats. Yet when John wrote a Second Amendment Sanctity resolution and introduced it to the town council, he managed, through his amazing people skills and deft negotiating touch to have his resolution passed unanimously. He also advanced the successful efforts in Strasburg to reduce the town’s budget at the same time they increased funding for public safety.
He has brought peace to the Republican Party in the Shenandoah Valley and the Sixth Congressional District.
Now John has an opportunity to use his skills for good in Richmond. A large number of public officials and private individuals both inside and outside the Sixth District have persuaded John to run for the State Senate in the newly formed (by redistricting) First Senate District, which includes Clark, Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren Counties and the City of Winchester.
John is currently the front runner for the office. He has worked hard to prove himself as capable, energetic, and effective. Little wonder that he has so much support.
Should he win the election, which is currently scheduled for 2023, John will continue to be a worker, a warrior, a conciliator, a counsellor, an advocate, and a friend to and on behalf of every hard working, America-loving, God-fearing patriot not only within the First Senate District but in the entire Commonwealth.
I am proud to call John Massoud my friend, and I hope that the people of the First Senate District will learn to see him as a friend as well and will elect John next year to serve them in the General Assembly.
Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.