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Showdown looms over GOP leadership in Warren County

By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- Warren County Republicans appear headed for a showdown over party leadership at a regular committee meeting tonight.

The meeting is coming two days after a group challenging the existing leaders elected their own slate of leaders. Now no one is sure who is in charge of the party, and some have raised the possibility that party officials at the congressional district or state level will have to decide the issue.

Mike McHugh says he should be considered the officially chosen chairman and Dave Henderson should be out after McHugh was elected to the post at what the party calls a mass meeting Tuesday. McHugh estimated 35 or 40 people attended the meeting, most of them his supporters.

But other party members do not consider the meeting nor its results to be valid and binding.

Henderson said Wednesday he remains the committee chairman. Vice chairman Dominic Ripici dismissed the Tuesday meeting as "a publicity stunt."

"I was not there, nor were any of our members," Ripici said of those supporting the existing party leaders. "I didn't want to legitimize it in any way."

McHugh, and Dennis Fusaro, who chaired the Tuesday meeting, insist it was a legitimate reconvening of an earlier mass meeting held to elect party leaders. That meeting ended inconclusively with McHugh's side accusing the Henderson and Ripici side of imposing invalid restrictions on floor nominations.

Ripici insisted that the earlier mass meeting "was appropriately adjourned, and there was no further business to discuss."

McHugh argues that the mass meeting's business was incomplete and therefore still eligible to be reconvened.

"We will appeal to the local committee to accept the results of the mass meeting," McHugh said, adding that he expected the appeal will be rejected tonight.

"I'm very convinced there will be a majority on that committee that will try to elect their own party chairman," Fusaro said of tonight's meeting. "Then the fight is on, for lack of a better word. That will be the issue and debate.

McHugh said he will appeal an unfavorable outcome to party officials of the 6th congressional district and, if necessary, to the state party.

"The state central committee is going to have to choose between the majority who elected me, or the minority," McHugh said.

On another issue, McHugh distanced himself from comments in which he quoted Henderson as saying "pray I don't put a bullet in McHugh's head" during a party meeting in late March. In an e-mail to The Northern Virginia Daily on March 31, McHugh said "time is running out before I seek a restraining order" against Henderson.

Henderson denied Wednesday making any threatening remarks to McHugh and refused to comment further. McHugh said later in the day that Henderson "had made things right" with him since he sent the e-mail.

He also said he did not want to talk to the media about the incident and was no longer thinking about trying to obtain a restraining order.


I don't know what's wrong with what McHuch did. Chris Holloway did the same thing when he got the Democrats to put him on the Board of Supervisors. Me and the boys are thinking about holding our own meeting and electing some of us. We think we could do as good as they are and then we could vote us a nice salary too!

If we cant get our own boys elected, we'll get Chris back and he'll set things right!

"Warren County Republicans appear headed for a showdown over party leadership at a regular committee meeting tonight."

I don't think I'd call it "Leadership"

I heard a rumor that Hollaway has decided to have another meeting next week and bring his 30 people and appoint himself chairman of the Republican party along with Thorpe, Darr, Sayre and Lauder. Oops Darr has not committed to the party yet but is a member of the good old boys club..The rumored decision of the current Democrat Hollaway was based on the outcome of recent golf outing of the masters of Warren County Good Old Boys committee ( can not wait to read this years disingenuous letter from the elitist individual) as they meet on the golf course every 2 years to determine how to get their Boys elected for the town of Front Royal. You just have to love Warren County politics. Where else can you find a Republican party committee that offers it's members the options to be either a tradition republican or a Ron Paul republican or a "good old boy" republican.
Who says that the republicans does not have a place for
everyone and that "good old boys" politics can not cross the party lines

So, tell me, when tonight's meeting is gaveled to order, who will be sitting in the Chairman's seat? McHugh or Henderson or Bubba or the Chief of Police? Can I get the concession to sell popcorn before the fight? Will there be a metal detector at the door? To be safe from possible gunfire, should I avoid the library, the community center, or the government center at 6 P.M. tonight?

I guess I just don't understand why would any one of these three want to be the Captain of the Titanic after the Ratigan iceberg incident? Why are the committee members allowing themselves to be so easily manipulated into rearranging the deck chairs to favor who is yelling the loudest and longest? Well, if that's the way it's always been, who am I to question such infinite political wisdom that decides who will lead the parade?

George Allen is in the area.... maybe you could talk him into making a cameo appearance to identify the committee members in the minority position??? He's real good at that minority stuff. Won't take ol' George very long to separate the "us" from the "them" people.

Your macaca friend,
Bwwwwaaaaaaahhhhhhhh hahahahaha.

Well it is going to be a interesting night. I might have to show up as an observer.

I don 't have a problem with the Ron Paul People. But I have a question for them. Why didn't you follow the rules in the first place? If you wanted to take over the party why didn't you do the following?

1. Let your followers know that this is going to be a two month process and that it will require two nights of meetings. One meeting to take over the mass meeting and another meeting to actually elect your own officers. Instruct everyone who was coming to the meeting to bring twenty dollars and proof of being a registered voter and join the committee.

2. Take over the Mass Meeting and elect your own temporary chairman.

3. Vote down the oposition's slate of officers knowing that you cannot nominate from the floor.

4. Vote in the new members. Knowing by this point you have the majority and hopefully all of your side has paid the membership dues and filled out the application.

5. Vote in your slate of Delegates to the congressional convention and your slate of delegates to the state convention.

5. Adjourn the meeting.

6. Show up at the next meeting and then elect your slate of officers. Mission accomplished!! And it is done in a peaceful manner.

But no as usual Ron Paul Supporters must make a scene and moan and complain about how the world is not being fair to "Mr. Whiny Pants" from Texas. Play by the rules set up for the mass meeting that your side adopted and get over it! Or do the above and actually WORK for what you want!!

Ratigan Iceberg Event? What Ratigan Iceberg Event? All he did was refuse to pay his dues and he wasn't even voted in as a Republican. All he did was walk out of a Republican Mass Meeting as a simple independant. A man without a party because he choose to walk out and leave the nightmare of a failed two party system behind. And BTW he wasn't the only one who walked out. I know of three other people who walked out. I think the reason that Ratigan is being singled out is because he is running mayor and he is also a little bit of a medial hound. I do believe you give Mr. Ratigan way to much credit.

I'm voting for him as Mayor but he has alot to learn. For one thing, keep your facebook private so that press can't hack into it and publish your comments!

I took the Ratigan Iceberg Event to mean that if Ratigan doesn't get his way he quits instead of trying to stay and help. That sure is a good quality for a mayor LMAO I would NOT vote for him ever. He has NO experience at all....well other than quitting. I bet the Republican party is glad he didn't write them a check for his dues. They have been known to have a rubber tendency to them. This per his public facebook page so it is not hacking when it is out there for everyone the press included to read. Another good quality for a mayor......rubber check writing.

Mistakes happen. One of the reasons I am voting for him is the fact that when he was alerted to the one check being returned he immediately took steps to rectify the problem. And he released a very public statement about that incident. He didn't go out of his way to hide the incident or cover it up. He bravely came out in the spirit of transperency and holding himself accountable for his actions and issued a public apology for the incident. I would rather have an honest man who is not afraid to admit and take responsibility for his mistakes then a man who goes back on his campaign promises like the Current Mayor has done. And The Current Mayor wants to continue to pander to the needs of the County Board of Supervisors and wants to send more and more water and infrastructure to the County and place the bulk of the cost on the shoulders of the Town Taxpayers. Give Me Ratigan who is not afraid to admit when he has made a mistake over Darr who doesn't put the needs of Front Royal first and panders to the likes likes of the Board of Supervisors and sells the Front Royal Citizens down the river any day of the week!

And again for the record. It was Mr. Ratigan's Money. When he decided not to support the Republican Committee due to the direction he could see was coming. That is his business. I applaud Mr. Ratigan's actions. I would've with held my dues and membership application too if I was in the same position as he was. Mr. Ratigan is a brave and honest man. He is willing to step out and serve his fellow citizens. I don't see your name on the ballot.

Let's remember:

1. He didn't renew his dues/membership for the Warren County GOP.

2. You can't quit something that you didn't renew.

truth will set you free = Ratigan

Its pretty obvious......

Wow! To compared be to Mr. Ratigan. Oh if only I was worthy!!! Ok maybe that was a little over the top. Sadly for you I am not Mr. Ratigan. I know of him and haven't had the honor of meeting him yet. I do not agree with alot of what he believes in. But I do agree with what he wants to do on the local level.

Sorry I will not be revealing my true self. Mr. Ratigan made that mistake and I will not be following in his foot steps in that regard.

Say, aren't you that tall, skinny, white haired older guy with 3 or 4 young daughters who works over at Seton Home School bashing the atheist non-believers into submission? How do you come to know Republican Board member Mary Kay Clark?

I don't remember saying that I knew this Mary Kay Clark. I do not work for this Seton Home School place. I do not even work in Front Royal. I only live here. I don't follow that crowd at all. You would wise to stear clear from her as well. I am not going to reveal myself to you or anyone else for that matter. I am entitled to my privacy.

I have to say I agree with you mvctoys

truth will set you free = ratigan

I guess we can mark transparency off the list

I'm thinking that maybe you are one of those crazy Tederick fellows. You are either him or one of his rabid followers.

I don't remember asking you what you remember.

I asked how do you come to know Republican Board member Mary Kay Clark?

You continued by offering unsolicited advice admonishing I would be wise to stear (sic) clear from her as well. Is she not the little old lady gentle soul she portrays? Or is it, as some suggest, Granny packs heat and looks for fights to leave blood and teeth on the floor?

BTW, you know as well as everybody else Seton Home School is not located in Front Royal -- it is located in Warren County and you work in Warren County. You claim you don't follow that crowd at all -- is that because you are their leader?

C'mon, fess up, it'll do your soul good to be honest for a change and not parse your words to hide your identity.

BTW, I am told one of those 3 or 4 young girls I previously mentioned is actually the 30 years younger wife. Some old guys buy sports cars, some go for very young trophy brides. Either way, its what grumpy old white guys do to hide their aging.



I am in agreement as well, if its not Ratigan it is surely someone lodged very firmly up his backside.

All bs aside, I would like to see the NVD or the Warren County Report do an in depth report on the candidates. Voting records of the incumbents, public stances of the challengers...you know...inform the people...I know actual information isn't used as much in the "news" today, but it would be nice if it were. Not everyone can go to the meetings, but should at least have the opportunity to enter the booth informed rather than just counting who has more signs placed around town.

I do not work in Front Royal nor do I work in Warren County. I simply live in Front Royal. As for my warning about this Mary Kay Clark Person I have heard about her dealings with the Town Elections. The Warren County Report did a story about her a number of weeks ago about her attempts to run partisan candidates in the Town Election. That alone convinced me that I would not want to have any dealings with her. And for the record her office building is in the Happy Creek Technology Park on right off of Shenandoah Shores road. I know this because I drive by the place when I go out the Animal Shelter to help out on occasion, and that park is just inside the Town Limits.

And after seeing how this comment thread treats people who reveal themselves you can understand why I will continue to keep my identity private. After all your's is private too.

If you're going to deride someone for not revealing their real name on an internet comment forum, at least have the class not to do so while hiding behind your own moniker.

An in depth special section on all candidates will be in the paper before election day.

The pre election articles is better than nothing but I want to see these canadates react under a little pressure. Why doesn't Darr and Ratigan square off in answering questions from the public regarding issues facing the town and let us know their positions . Maybe on the Valley Today or at the public library before the election. Could it be that after Darr's performance at the Chamber debate that he might be scare to face his challenger.
You could do the same for the Council candidates so we could get a better feel for their positions on issues. Like for instance , mr Funk stated that he was The Home Town Canadate which by my knowledge there are at least 5 other candidates that could say the same. I was also told that Mr Funk's campagn sounds very similar to Clay Atthey's campaign when he ran for Council. Doesn't Mr Funk work for Athey's law firm? Is the advice being offered to Mr Funk to say nothing about the issues and lay low similar to lhe other incumbents strategies.
"Get Real People" as the wife of a seated Councilman said at a public meeting, is there anyone else out there other than me that wants more information on the people that will be leading or town. Maybe I should just go and join the Republican Party and say " what the heck" but I don't which one to join.( see earlier post)

A lot of "big" fish in a very, very small pond.

What happened tonight?! Did everyone come together?

If looks could kill it would have been a massacre on both sides -- and it ain't over by a long shot. The communist faction decided new members could not vote because they were new members. Some folks left before the guns came out. Madden made a fool of himself -- Elar blubbered his way into the establishments hearts -- McHugh promised more bloodshed -- Fusario's neck veins bulged -- Mary Kay Clark looked splendid in her shiny new jackboots --

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