Funk to lead Warren County GOP

Daryl Funk

FRONT ROYAL – Warren County Circuit Court Clerk Daryl Funk will lead the local Republican Party chapter for the next two years.

Republicans selected Funk during a mass meeting held Friday by the Warren County Republican Committee. Funk succeeded Stephen Kurtz, who is now seeking a leadership position with Virginia’s Sixth District Republican Committee. The bylaws of the district committee bar a member from chairing a local chapter and the larger organization. Kurtz asked him to seek the chairman’s seat of the local chapter, Funk recalled.

“It’s an opportunity for service and I was asked to serve and I hesitantly agreed to do it,” Funk said Wednesday. “Well, it’s a huge responsibility and like I said at the meeting certainly there are better people that I feel, other than me, that have served in this position.”

Funk mentioned Bridget Madden, wife of Commonwealth’s Attorney Brian Madden, Kurtz and others.

“It’s not a responsibility I take on lightly,” Funk said.

Funk stepped down as a member of Front Royal Town Council in December after his election to the clerk position in November. Funk replaced Jennifer Sims, who did not seek another term.

The committee announced a call for a mass meeting and the process to select the chairman. The committee sets the mass meeting every two years. The panel then selects other officers at its first regular meeting next month.

Any registered voter in Warren County wishing to run for chairman had to file with the committee in advance of the mass meeting, Funk explained. He said he was the only person who filed to seek the seat.

Also at the mass meeting, participants picked delegates to serve at the Sixth District Republican Convention in May. Offices such as the post sought by Kurtz are selected at the convention, Funk said. Warren County is entitled to send delegates to the convention. The number of applications received by the committee exceeded the 60-plus delegates the organization can send so some individuals were not elected, Funk explained.

“I was very distressed at the situation and since then it’s come to light the party plan actually permits us to go back and certify all of the delegates,” Funk said.

The misunderstanding of the state party rules prompted some critics to cry foul over the apparent limiting of delegates. Front Royal Town Councilman John Connolly chaired the mass meeting and on Wednesday quelled any rumors of wrongdoing and that all delegates would go to the district convention. The meeting also served as the committee’s opportunity to select delegates for the state convention in April. Participants selected 122 delegates for the state convention and 144 delegates for the district convention.

Connolly said he is working with the mass meeting secretary to certify the delegates selected and to send that information to the district and state GOP.

Connolly noted that some confusion arose over the number of delegates the committee could pick and the interpretation of the state party plan that sets the standards. There was a list of 18 people who couldn’t go to the conventions, Connolly said. But, after receiving information from the Republican Party of Virginia, all 144 delegates will be certified to attend the district convention, Connolly said.

“That’s the only confusion that’s happened so far and we were apparently not the only locality to have an issue like that in the call for the mass meeting,” Connolly added. “It was simply a mistake in the call but everything has been cleared up.”

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com