Updates from RPV State Central Meeting in Charlottesville
See more photos here.
Today’s state central committee meeting for the Republican Party of Virginia is set to begin at noon in Charlottesville. The agenda will consist of the election of seven committee officers: First Vice Chairman, Eastern Vice Chairwoman, Eastern Vice Chairman, Western Vice Chairwoman (vacant), Western Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer.
11:00am: It was a foggy, misty drive over Afton Mountain from Staunton, and the overcast skies are over Charlottesville as well. Here’s hoping we have a civil meeting.
11:40: Room is filling as folks filter in. Parking here is $2/hour in garage so maybe that will help curtail all the long-winded discussions. LOL. Well, one can hope….
11:55: Charlottesville is GOPville today with the Republican Women meeting at the Holiday Inn and the 5th Congressional District Committee meeting somewhere around town.
Fellow Bearing Drift colleague Rollin Reisinger is here along with many familiar faces. It’s already standing room only … not enough chairs for guests.
12:20: The meeting is trying to com to order. Folks have rolled in from those other meetings. The room is at capacity.
Stacie Gordon from MillennialAscent.com blog is here.
Opening business is underway. Roll call, proxies, other business.
12:30: Del. Rob Bell is giving an update on the GOP lawsuit concerning Governor Terry McAuliffe allowing 200,000 felons to vote. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/gop-sues-to-strip-209k-felons-from-va-voter-rolls/2016/05/23/ef2587a8-20e4-11e6-aa84-42391ba52c91_story.html
Nancy Dye and Wendell Walker are here who are running for Western Vice Chairwoman and Western Vice Chairman.
Mike Thomas is here who is running for reelection as First Vice Chairman.
12:42: There’s a motion to go into executive session. Visitors must leave the room.
We are now in the Omni atrium waiting to be allowed back into the meeting.
At least it’s cool in the atrium. The meeting room is extremely warm.
Meetings going on in every corner. LOL. Such is he nature of politics. Vance Wilkins and del Rosso speaking in the atrium….
1:00pm: We’re back in the room and the meeting has resumed.
Juanita Ballenger, who is retiring off SCC, is addressing the group. At the beginning, Chairman John Whitbeck asked for a show of hands of those who were new to SCC, and it was amazing how many hands went up. I don’t have a count but hope to get that information.
I met Jill Cook who is running for Secretary. Also John Selph running for Treasurer and Amanda Johnson Batten running for Eastern Vice Chairwoman.
Michelle Jenkins, who works for Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-9th) is speaking. I think I saw her come in with former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore.
Internet is a bit slow but just about everyone in the visitor section (50 or more) is on their iPhones.
1:10: Newly elected chairman of Albemarle County is speaking. As a millennial, they are working together throughout the Commonwealth. Our young people … the future of the party.
1:15: Tom Garrett running for Congress in 5th District is now speaking. Congressman Robert Hurt is retiring. It is difficult to hear him at the back of the room so I’m only picking up bits and pieces.
1:25: Mention of class action lawsuit filed by a Virginia Republican delegate who does not plan to vote for Donald Trump at the national convention.
Corey Stewart is speaking for the Trump campaign.
1:30: Discussion about voter turnout for 2016.
I keep hearing something that sounds like thunder. Does anyone know if a thunderstorm is rolling into downtown Charlottesville? Maybe there’s a bowling alley in the atrium….
1:40: Wrapped up old business. Now moving to new business and officer elections.
Now need to approve rules. Motion made to approve and seconded. Move to change rules from secret ballot to open roll call.
Discussion now taking place … the usual “secret ballot” versus roll call that has been going on for as long as time.
Discussion is over; question is called.
1:46: Amendment by open roll call — stand. Opposed — stand.
The opposed have it. It will be a secret ballot for officer elections.
1:50: We are now taking a recess. Apparently one of the candidates cannot be here so they will set up the video for him to speak.
2:00: We’re back for voting.
First up is First Vice Chairman. Mike Thomas is running for reelection and Eric Herr is challenging him.
Morton Blackwell just nominated Eric Herr. How many years have Mike and Morton worked together … and it was seconded by Kevin Gentry. Sad. There’s a video of Eric Herr speaking to the group.
Juanita Ballenger has nominated Mike Thomas who has been a stalwart leader of our party … and it was seconded by Sandy Liddy Borne who said he has stood as the voice of reason throughout the years. Mike is now addressing the body.
Ballots are now being handed out to SCC members.
2:20: Votes will now be counted.
Morton Blackwell talking….
MIKE THOMAS WON! Congratulations, Mike!
Mike Thomas: 41
Eric Herr: 39
WESTERN VICE CHAIRWOMAN:
Nominations for Nancy Dye and remarks by her. Nominations for Anne Fitzgerald and remarks by her. Voting now taking place.
Nancy Dye: 42
NANCY DYE WON!! Congratulations, Nancy!!!
WESTERN VICE CHAIRMAN:
Wendell Walker was nominated by Adam Tolbert and seconded by Carol de Trinquet. He is now addressing the group. Graduate of Liberty University and member of Moral Majority.
Dick Black (state senator — not present due to previous plans). Nominated by John Stirrup’s wife and seconded by Morton Blackwell and Nate Boyer. (Not sure why he had three people speak on his behalf.)
Voting now taking place.
Ben Dessert is speaking on behalf of the Young Republicans.
Nadia Elgendy is addressing the body as a Muslim speaking about Facebook remarks by a State Central Committee member that were offensive . Oops — they just shut her down. [Update: Nadia has an op-ed at Bearing Drift: Burgos’ Comments Hostile to Inclusivity Within RPV’s State Central.]
CONGRATULATIONS WENDELL WALKER for election as Western Vice Chairman!
Wendell Walker: 45
Dick Black: 38
3:15: EASTERN VICE CHAIRWOMAN
Amanda Johnson Batten has been nominated and is speaking.
Diana Bannister has been nominated and is speaking.
Voting is now taking place.
Congratulations Diane Bannister!
Diane Bannister 44
Amanda Batten: 39
EASTERN VICE CHAIRMAN:
Incumbent Kevin Gentry doesn’t had opposition — nominated by Kathy Hayden and Jo Thoburn. Congratulations.
Matt Hardin is being nominated by Steve Albertson.
Jill Cook is being nominated Puneet Ahluwalia and Dave Foster.
Voting is now taking place.
CONGRATULATIONS, JILL COOK, on election as Secretary!
Jill Cook: 45
Matt Hardin: 38
John Selph and Rich Nilsen have been nominated and are speaking.
Voting is now taking place.
CONGRATULATIONS, JOHN SELPH!!!
John Selph: 45
Rich Nilsen: 38
We now have District Reports.
4:20: We are now dismissed. Meeting over.
8pm: I’m home and uploading pictures from the day while navigating phone calls, texts, and emails. I hope to have those up soon. As I let the events of the day settle over me, I’ll have commentary about what today’s elections mean for the future of the Republican Party of Virginia.