In the Book of 1st Timothy, the Apostle Paul told Timothy:
1st Timothy 4:12 NIV: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
Over the weekend, two incredible young people defied all odds to help achieve a great victory that may have very well saved the Republican Party of Virginia. College Republican Federation of Virginia Chairwoman Kasha Nielsen and Young Republican Federation of Virginia Chairman Dan Webb both led the way for a RPV compromise that would allow all Virginia Republicans to vote for their chosen candidate in a 2016 primary.
According to all accounts (ours, Lynn Mitchell’s, and TBE’s), Nielsen defended the right of all Virginia College Republicans to vote for their candidate. Mid-March (the proposed convention date) is right around mid-terms, which would have disenfranchised a lot of college voters. At the same time, its costs a lot of money to attend these conventions, especially for college kids with only a part-time job or work study.
Kasha, who won a resounding victory over a libertarian opponent this past February, has breathed new life into the CRFV. As a former CRFV member, I noticed some chairmen always voting with the powers that be. Ms. Nielsen has exerted more leadership in the past couple of months than some State Central members do in two or three terms.
College Republican National Committee Chairwoman Alex Smith had this to say about Nielsen:
“Proud of College Republican Federation Of Virginia for casting some key votes in favor of a Virginia primary today. Young voters decided the 2012 elections and will do so again in 2016. Having the voices young conservatives make up a greater share of the nominating electorate will only ensure that our nominee is well-equipped to speak in a relevant way to this generation by the general election. A primary makes it easier for those voices to be heard. And for the older generations, there is nothing more conservative than passing our ideas on to the next generation of voters and Party leaders. Good for Kasha Nielsen, Devon Flynn, & Kate Gaziano for standing up for young voters! Onward to 2016!”
Ms. Nielsen showed a great amount of leadership. It would not surprise me a bit to see her running for College Republican National Committee Chair in the next few years.
YRFV Chair Daniel Webb defended the “Compromise of 2015.” With the main proponent Richmond GOP Chairman Chip Muir sidelined due to a family issue, Dan led the charge to keep the party nomination method open for 2016. Dan has been working SCC for quite some time to push this compromise, and I am very pleased to see his leadership.
Dan was elected Young Republican Federation of Virginia Chair in April, and currently works as Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s Political Director. Mr. Goodlatte should be very proud of his young staffer. Dan brought together a large coalition for the compromise, something I did not think was possible.
I have also heard from multiple sources that many CR and YR leaders sacrificed their Saturday to attend this meeting in support of a primary (I would have been there too, but I had a prior commitment). YRs and CRs from Richmond, NOVA, and Tidewater drove across the state to have their voices heard.
I would be remiss if I didn’t quote my favorite television show. President Jed Bartlett on The West Wing once said that “decisions are made by those who show up.” That’s exactly what happened this weekend — young Republicans showed up, in force, to support a primary in 2016.
Hats off to Kasha and Dan for being great young leaders!