The Norfolk GOP is BACK!

Don Roby, 2nd District Chair Dennis Free

The Norfolk GOP is BACK!

Following a rough couple of months inside the Norfolk GOP, our group is now back meeting again on a regular basis as we work to rebrand and rebuild with positive energy.

Recently we had the first monthly breakfast since I became chairman. Normally in the past the estimated attendance of the breakfast was around 12 folks or so. I am excited to announce that at our breakfast we had 45 in attendance, the largest breakfast crowd I have seen during my time in the Norfolk GOP.

3rd District Chair Jennifer Lee, Don Roby

Included were those who had never been to a Republican meeting before as well as those who were die-hard Republicans who had become absent for the past several years and came back to rejoin us.  A lot of credit goes to the team of longtime Norfolk Republicans, Rachel Rock and Mike Ziegenfuss, who work hard to make sure the trains run on time.

We are currently holding our monthly breakfast at Max & Erma’s on Military Highway inside the Hilton Double Tree Hotel. Breakfast is the first Saturday of the month at 9 am with options of a buffet or ordering off the menu. The meeting concludes at 10 am so folks can enjoy their Saturday.

Delegate Jason Miyares

In April we had two featured speakers:

Delegate Jason Miyares
The first speaker was Republican Delegate Jason Miyares of Virginia Beach. Delegate Miyares spoke about the need to remember that capitalism lifts people out of poverty. He spoke of many countries that have adopted socialism, such as Venezuela, that are now suffering.

Delegate Miyares is the first Cuban American member of the Virginia House of Delegates and proudly tells his mother’s story of fleeing Castro’s big government regime and seeking a better life in America. His message of spreading the goodness of America to our youth struck home for those in attendance.

Miyares highlighted the positive impact technology has on improving the lives of those less fortunate by pointing to a cell phone he held in his hand.  The technology, he mentioned, pushed by the free market was truly remarkable when you think about all of the assets our phones grant us today: weather, time, internet, price comparisons, social media, and more.

Catharine Colgan

Catherine Colgan
The second speaker was Catherine Colgan who is the ultimate Republican activist. She served on the Board of Visitors at the United States Naval Academy, was State President of the Texas Republican Women, and has served in countless other notable positions in the GOP.

Delegate Miyares credits Catherine with “forgetting more about Republican politics than many of us have ever even known.”  Oh, and by the way… Catherine does not forget anything! She has a long history of growing the Republican Party in Texas and Virginia.

While living in Texas she befriended Barbara Bush and helped George H.W. Bush in his run for the U.S. Senate. She spoke fondly of her friendship with the late former first lady and brought several mementos including a signed copy of one of Barbara Bush’s children’s books that she authored to promote literacy.

Book signed by former First Lady Barbara Bush

One of the best stories Catherine told was about when she recently became divorced from her husband. She received a call from Barbara Bush in Washington asking what she and George could do for her in such a difficult time.  Catherine told Barbara that she needed a man and a job, and wouldn’t you know Barbara did help her out with at least one of those.

It was great to hear the personal stories of a close friend of the former First Lady up close and personal, and Catherine did an excellent job at bringing Barbara Bush a little closer to our lives.

Cole Trower, Catherine Colgan

The Norfolk GOP was also very thankful to newly elected School Board member Lauren Campsen for attending the breakfast and thanked those who supported her for School Board. She won with 65 percent of the vote.

Former Norfolk City Councilman Randy Wright was also in attendance and thanked the supporters of Lauren Campsen, of which he managed a successful campaign. This was the first election that allowed voters of Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 to vote for School Board.

Bob Brown, Max Shapiro, and the late Dennis Gronka fueled the successful referendum several years ago of electing school board members.

Lauren Campsen- Winner of Non Partisan School Board Race in Ward 5, Randy Wright on right

Ward 2 City Council candidate and Norfolk GOP member Don Roby was also in attendance and was thanked for his valiant effort in running for council this past election. Although not elected to office, he put forward a valiant effort.

Updates were given by 2nd District Chairman Dennis Free, 3rd District Chairman Jennifer Lee, and the campaigns of Congressman Taylor as well as Senate candidate Nick Freitas.

The Norfolk GOP is growing and moving into the summer months with new positive energy together as a TEAM effort. We hope to continue this team success and have you be a part of it!

Left Pat O’Brien, Mr. McNulty, unknown, Jim Shaw, Henry Connolly, Sandra McNulty
Titanya Gaynor, Dono Gambino
Rachel Rock, Pepe Cabacoy