by Beck Stanley
Like a reignited lynch mob, Campbell County infighters are fabricating troublesome accusations against well-established conservative Zach Martin. As a committed Republican, I don’t typically comment on matters of infighting because it’s destructive to the party, but the recent actions of Eric Zehr and Rick Boyer must serve as a clear warning to anyone associated with the current leadership of the Campbell County Republican Committee: they eat their own.
And they’re always hungry.
Last month, Campbell County GOP chair Eric Zehr and his dear friend Rick Boyer put forth a full-of-lies hit piece on Lynchburg City Republican Committee Chairman Zach Martin, prompting a firm outpouring of support from the reasonable wings of both the Campbell County GOP and Lynchburg City Committee. The two men accused Martin of aiding an independent candidate (or as they called him, “a liberal”), John Ferguson, for the Campbell County Board of Supervisors. What’s more shocking is that despite the emergence of a video that proved Martin’s innocence, the article has not been removed from “The Bull Elephant,” an obscure blog often criticized for its poor taste, racist leanings, and destructive dialogue. The video depicts Martin explicitly not assisting Ferguson in his campaign activities.
Oh, and for the record, this alleged “liberal” running for office in Campbell is a former leader of the Liberty University College Republicans. He is a father, husband, and good Christian who has made significant contributions to Republican victories for years. He’s been called names, he’s been targeted, he’s been made a scapegoat. Nonetheless, he hasn’t given up the fight for common-sense conservatism. But hard facts and resilient truth haven’t stopped Zehr and Boyer before; and it won’t stop them in the future if slanderous messages like theirs are not condemned by party leaders. Like cancer, their lies and inaccuracies have been allowed to spread through our Party alongside six straight years of statewide losses. The bottom line: lies and fear-mongering does not, and never will, win elections.
When we allow people like Zehr and Boyer to drag us down to their ideological sewers, ripe with lies and blooming with power-hungry aspirants, we are doing a disservice to both the Republican Party and our creed, a creed that I believe should include a new prescription: togetherness. Eric Zehr and Rick Boyer represent all that is wrong with the Republican Party of Virginia, quick to fire toothless attacks but slow to support nominees they don’t agree with on 100% of the issues. Meanwhile, Zach Martin is out helping to elect all Republicans. Keep up the good work, Mr. Martin.
Beck Stanley serves on the Bedford Town Council and is an active member of the Bedford County Republicans.