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Posted April 23, 2012 | 8 Comments
Shenandoah County Republicans elect chairman
By Sally Voth - firstname.lastname@example.org
WOODSTOCK -- Shenandoah County Republicans gathered in the Central High School gym to elect their committee chairman Monday night.
District 3 Supervisor David Ferguson beat Craig Orndorff, who is a director of the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District. He replaces Jeremy McCleary, the mayor of Woodstock.
Before the votes were read, Orndorff addressed the party members still in attendance and said he was removing his name from consideration and moving that Ferguson be elected as party chairman by acclimation.
Committee delegates broke into caucuses to vote for the position starting at about 9:15 p.m.
Prior to that, there was some debate as to whether Woodstock resident Cindy Bailey could present a resolution regarding the RSW Regional Jail from the convention floor
Bailey's proposed resolution says the state Republican Party creed cites fiscal responsibility.
"Whereas, the County of Shenandoah has in recent years shown fiscal irresponsibility and no budgetary restraint, resulting in increasing of county taxes and excessive borrowing," the resolution says. "Whereas, the County of Shenandoah has been misled into approving spending scores of millions of dollars on a completely unnecessary regional jail to be built in Warren County, many miles from our courthouses;
It goes on to say that Sheriff Timothy C. Carter doesn't support the regional jail project, that the state crime rate is down, and a vacated wing at the Northwestern Regional Jail has space for Shenandoah County inmates. The resolution also says the county was misled into making the decision.
It concludes, "the RSW Regional Jail should be disapproved and actively opposed by all officials elected by the citizens of Shenandoah County, to include all members of the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors, all members of the General Assembly, as well as the Attorney General, the Lieutenant Governor and the Governor of Virginia."
Mike Monahan chaired the rules committee during the convention and said its proposed rules included a requirement that any resolution to be considered had to be in writing and approved by the resolutions committee prior to that committee's report to the convention.
McCleary said that was a standard rule that had been used often in the past.
Bailey and Woodstock attorney Brad Pollack protested.
"The resolutions committee already met, and wouldn't hear anybody, wouldn't allow anybody in the room," Pollack said.
McCleary said he'd pass the resolution on to the proper committee.
"There are three people on the resolution committee," Bailey said. "If those three people say no to hearing this resolution, then that means none of you will get to hear it if we don't strike this part of the rules. It's important enough to a lot of people to be read."
The caucuses also voted against hearing Bailey's resolution on the floor, with 141 votes to keep the rules as described by Monahan, and 86 opposed.
Earlier in the evening, Orndorff brought up the contention within the party in his election speech.
"Right now, our party is facing troubled times," he said. "Differences do exist."
He said those differences have created an "almost poisonous atmosphere." But, the party needed to unite for a common goal, Orndorff said.
"Above all else, we must all believe that this country simply cannot afford four more years of an administration that seeks to reshape our nation among the most radical lines," he said.
Ferguson said the entire party needed to participate for it to be successful.
"...I have only been successful in effective leadership because I surrounded myself with people that were willing to do the job," he said. "One thing I have is character. I'm an honest person. I'm a fair person."
Area legislators and candidates also spoke to the party faithful Monday night. Among them was state Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg.
He asked if anyone there was proud of the work being done by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. His question was met with applause.
"Some of the fights that are being fought right now, right here in Virginia are some of the fights that demonstrated to me why it is that we need to win these elections this fall," Obenshain said
He cited healthcare reform as a "classic example of governmental overreach."
The Environmental Protection Agency is stifling the coal industry, Obenshain said, and that will make it more expensive to heat homes.
"I hope that next year in 2013, we might be able to pick an attorney general that shares some of those beliefs," said Obenshain, who is seeking that office.
He said times are getting better, with unemployment going down and exports up in Virginia.
"We're on the the leading edge of what can be a great national recovery, but unless we retake the Senate and unless we take the White House this fall, that recovery is going to fizzle out," Obenshain said.
Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock, spoke in support of Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-6th, and Senate candidate and former Gov. George Allen, although he spoke highly of their challengers, Conicville resident Karen Kwiatkowski and Del. Bob Marshall, R-Prince William County.
Allen "has always understood the Reaganesque principles that I think drew many of you here tonight," Gilbert said.
He said the former governor is the best opportunity for Republicans to beat another former governor, Democrat Tim Kaine, this fall.