- Bearing Drift - https://bearingdrift.com -

A Man’s Word Is His Bond … Right? You Be the Judge – New Updates

UPDATED 8/3/2020: Since this story was first published, the Town Hall just keeps getting better … and bigger!

It is now co-hosted by the Young Republican Federation of Virginia [1] whose chairman, Thomas Turner, will be moderating.

If you have any questions, send them to [email protected] [2] as soon as possible, with the subject RPV Chair Town Hall. Please leave your name and the county you reside in. Questions will be asked in the order they are received.

The event is Monday, August 10, 2020. Be sure to tune in! [3]

I am just speculating here, but I am willing to bet Chairman Wilson will happily put to rest some of the incorrect information that has been stated, and shared … ad nausem … by his detractors, as well as explain his plans to MAKE VIRGINIA RED AGAIN!


[Editor’s note: What began as an announcement of a great debate, hosted by a local youth group, turned into this article because two candidates placed unreachable conditions on the hosts, after confirming they would indeed participate.]

Most people agree that once you’ve given your word to do something, you do it. Unless, that is, you’re two out of three candidates for Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) Chairman in 2020.

The Young Republicans in New Kent, fresh off the successful U.S. Senate Nomination forum, organized themselves again and decided to host a town hall debate with the three candidates for RPV Chairman: current chair, Mr. Jack Wilson; Mr. Rich Anderson; and Mr. Mike Schoelwer.

The NKYRC sent out an invitation to all three at the same time. On Jul 11, 2020, at 12:43 PM, New Kent Youth Republicans wrote:


Each candidate for RPV Chairman is on this email. We would like to host a RPV Chairman’s debate via Zoom and Facebook Live in early August, after August 5th, 2020. Would each of you be interested in attending? If so could you please provide us with dates and times you would be available?

Please reply to all.

Thank you,

New Kent Youth Republicans

The first to reply was RPV Chairman Wilson:

From: Jack Wilson
Sent: Monday, July 13, 2020 9:29 AM
To: New Kent Youth Republicans
Subject: Re: Chairman’s Debate

I would be happy to participate. The one you hosted for the Senate Candidates was outstanding! I am free either August 6 or 10. I recommend 7:00 p.m.



Followed by Mr. Rich Anderson. On Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 5:20 PM Richard L. Anderson wrote:

Many thanks for your kind invitation. Since August 6th and 10th are good for Mr. Wilson, I’m happy with them, too. When Mr. Schoelwer responds, you can then go final on dates.

Thanks for hosting!


Mike Schoelwer replied by phone and confirmed his attendance.

The youth group replied. On Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 6:40 PM New Kent Youth Republicans wrote:

Hello Everyone,

Thank you for each of your confirmation emails. We will be hosting the debate on August 10th at 7:00 pm via Zoom and Facebook Live.

Once we get a moderator set I will email all of you with the rules, zoom login info, and make it public.

Thank you again for participating.

Wonderful, right? Of course not. I have no idea why, or who, has a problem with the next generation of Republicans hosting a candidate forum. As night follows day, someone complained. A couple of unit chairmen complained.

Unbelievably, Mr. Anderson and Mr. Schoelwer decided not to participate due to an issue (as you will see from their own emails) they know nothing about. They “suggested” they would not participate unless the NKYRC work with the unit chairs.

Why? The NKYRC Debate that they agreed to do has nothing to do with two unit chairmen given there are well over 100 units in Virginia. The Chairman is supposed to be the Chairman for the rest of them as well.

Maybe you can help me figure out why grown men seeking the RPV Chairmanship would do this? I will let them speak for themselves, knowing our readers will see the picture.

Mr. Schoelwer was first to change his mind (unless the kids did what he suggested):

From: Michael S
Sent: Friday, July 17, 2020 8:50 PM
To: New Kent Youth Republicans
Cc: Richard L. Anderson ; Jack Wilson ; Bob Watson, Mark Daniel, Tom Miller 
Subject: Re: Chairman’s Debate

I have been advised by several GOP committees in your area that there is friction between them and your youth group. It would be inappropriate for candidates in the RPV Chairman’s race to either take sides or appear to take sides in a local issue like this. Regretfully, then, I must put on hold my participation in your RPV Chairman’s candidate forum until you are able to reach some sort of an agreement with them. For my part, I am especially concerned because you are at odds with our official GOP committees, yet you are using “Republican” in your title. I ask that you contact the New Kent and Hanover GOP committees and work out an arrangement with them to co-sponsor or co-host the Chairman candidates’ forum.  I do hope that you can reach an agreement.  At that point, I will be happy to participate in whatever forum you are able to arrange.  

With regret,

Mike Schoelwer

So, Mr. Schoelwer backs out because the forum isn’t hosted, or “agreed” to by the New Kent and Hanover units, but will participate if those two unit chairs give their blessing. Seriously?

I’ll say this more than once, but the debate is STATEWIDE, and the youth group is its own entity. They are their own association, and have every legal and ethical right to call themselves “Republican.” Just a humble FYI for Mr. Schoelwer.

Next, it’s Mr. Anderson’s turn:

From: Richard L. Anderson
Date: Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 11:10 PM
Subject: RE: Chairman’s Debate
To: New Kent Youth Republicans
CC: Michael S , Jack Wilson , Bob Watson , Mark Daniel , Tom Miller

Like you, I am in receipt of Mr. Schoelwer’s email and want to express my own concerns. Several chartered Republican Committees in the 1st Congressional District, all affiliated units of the Republican Party of Virginia, have expressed to me in the last week that several contentious issues exist between their units and the adult leadership of the New Kent Youth Republican Club. While I reside in Prince William County in the northern end of the 1st CD and am therefore not intimately familiar with the issues in question, I have to concur with Mr. Schoelwer that the candidates for RPV Chair shouldn’t engage in an event where contention exists between official Republican entities. For that reason, I think it best that I not participate in an RPV Chair candidate forum until the points of contention are resolved. If you will engage with the chartered Republican Committees in your area and reach consensus in a way that resolves these issues, I will be happy to participate… 

Despite this turn of events, I want you to know that I am thankful for the young people who are affiliated with the New Kent Youth Republican Club…

Thank you for the invitation to participate in this RPV Chair candidate forum, and please know that I sincerely hope that we can find a way forward so that I can comfortably participate.


One point to Rich – if he wants to be Chair of RPV, he needs to know going in that if he stops events due to a difference of opinion within the RPV, he’ll have a difficult time getting anything done, and someone will start the calls for his head … quickly.

Onward. I noticed Rich copied the same people and used the same excuse. Other than Hanover and New Kent, who are these “several” units that complained? I suppose that if Mr. Watson (the 1st CD Chairman) is Anderson’s champion (as Mr. Daniel and Mr. Miller are for Schoelwer) it makes sense, but it also makes me wonder who decided to tell these two grown men to back out of a forum they agreed to participate in unless the two  unit chairs gave their blessing.

Anderson and Schoelwer both agreed to participate. Now, they want to break their word … that they gave to a Republican Youth Group because two out of over 100 chairmen had their noses in a bunch? Does this make sense to you? Me neither.

The youth group does not need the blessing of anyone to hold a candidate forum. They are their own group not affiliated with any unit. They did a great forum for the Senate debate. But apparently someone thinks they need the unit blessing … or, they just want to exercise control over the debate, to take it away from the kids that organized it. In any case, this message is from me:

Mr. Anderson, Mr. Schoelwer,

You are running to serve all Republicans and every unit in Virginia. If you can’t keep your word to a youth group, how do you expect anyone to believe anything you say about wanting to expand the party? You both know that the youth group does not need the approval of any unit, committee, or individual. That excuse is unfathomable. You agreed, so please keep your word. Do you need permission to participate? If not, you still have a chance to fix this. Contact the New Kent Youth Republicans and tell them you’ll participate. Your word is your bond … don’t break it before you even get through your campaign.

The Youth Group, understandably unnerved by the actions of these two men replied. On Tue, Jul 28, 2020 at 8:43 PM New Kent Youth Republicans wrote:

Mr. Anderson and Mr. Schoelwer,

It is unfortunate that you choose not to support our membership by backing out of your commitment to attend our debate. We will be hosting a town hall now with Jack Wilson on the date originally set for the debate we welcome both of you to attend and we will make it a debate. As chairman of our organization I have some questions for both of you as it pertains to my membership and attacks made at my membership.

Could both of you explain what issues our organization has with Hanover and New Kent GOP? This would help us understand what we need to do to settle these issues.

In your emails you pointed out how you were concerned that we were not Republicans because we were not affiliated with the local units, could you further explain that statement? Does this mean that two candidates running for RPV chair consider all Teenage Republican groups not Republicans?

I would also like to know how these committees found out about this event, as it was my understanding that our organization would be making this public? And why there are added parties onto this email chain?

I find it upsetting and disheartening, as does our membership, that two people who could possibly chair the party we work and campaign for appear to not support us and think we are not Republicans.

Once again I invite the both of you that if you have a change of heart please let me know and you will be included. <

Thank you,

New Kent Youth Republican Club

Whatever “issue” might exist, the debate isn’t “inserting” the Chairman’s race into anything. The debate and the office are supposed to serve all Virginia Republicans.

Mr. Schoelwer replied … again. On Jul 29, 2020, at 5:27 PM, Michael S wrote:

please re-read my earlier note. I am very happy to work with your group and welcome your participation.  However, as I wrote before, your adult leaders need to address whatever issues that they have that are apparently causing friction with our official GOP committees in New Kent and Hanover counties.  I defer to Rich and Jack to speak for themselves, but it is not appropriate for the RPV Chairman’s election to become a factor in a local issue.  I’d encourage you to meet with Dale Swanson and Mark Daniel and resolve whatever issues there are with them.  I can’t speak to the substance of the issues; I don’t know.  But, I urge you to work out whatever issues there are.  Best regards, Mike Schoelwer

PS: I am assuming that you have their contact info. If not, I will find it for you.

Mr. Schoelwer, not knowing these “issues” should know by now that “friction” is often subjective and could equally be caused by the two chairmen he mentioned, making any attempt of resolution nearly impossible … just my two-cent guess that he should know that already.


As for Mr. Wilson:

From: Jack Wilson
Date: July 29, 2020 at 6:36:58 PM EDT
To: Michael S
Cc: New Kent Youth Republicans, “Richard L. Anderson” , Bob Watson , Mark Daniel , Tom Miller
Subject: Re:  Chairman’s Debate

I was very complimentary of your organization and execution of the debate with our GOP Senate candidates earlier this year. I applaud your efforts in growing our Republican Party among your contemporaries. I look forward to doing anything I can as Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia to help you and your friends grow our party among the next generation of voters and look forward to being with you next week!  Of course I will be happy to share the time with both Rich and Mike, but know regardless I plan to participate.

Jack Wilson
Republican Party of Virginia

Well now, a candidate who actually supports the next generation with more than mere words, and honors his obligations!

I honestly hope to see all three of them during the debate. I hope I am not expecting too much from grown men seeking to Chair RPV. This is about the next four years, and it’s important. Important to the delegates, the public republicans, and more importantly, these kids who have worked harder than most committee members to elect Republicans.

Post Script: As I was writing what I thought would be an announcement of the debate, I received the emails (above) explaining that Mr. Anderson and Mr. Schoelwer would not participate unless the chairmen of TWO units told them it was ok to do so. So, when the article went towards this unfortunate direction, I emailed Mr. Anderson and Mr. Schoelwer in the hope they might reconsider. I said:

Good morning gentlemen.

I am in receipt of a string of emails when you agreed to participate in the debate the youth club is hosting, and the emails when you backed out.

I am sending this email in the most sincere hope the article I wrote will not need to be posted.

I don’t know why you wouldn’t keep your word, but the forum will be fair and unbiased and I am asking both of you to reconsider.


Andrea Epps

This email was sent to the two candidates in question, as a sincere heads up. I also sent it to the New Kent Chairman, Mr. Daniel. I don’t know the Hanover Chair.

Somehow, when I received a response, Mr. Daniel, JB Benson, Nick Collette, and Bob Watson had been added to the email list. Why? I’m starting to see a manipulation brewing, and oh … hell no. Not with this gal.

How stupid do these people think I am? Mr. Benson was the first uninvited guest to reply with his usual bantering about a story I did that he doesn’t like. On 4/1/2020 he copied most of MY article into a word document… I wonder why? Oh well, the story was, is, and will always be … true. Get over it.

Then Mr. Collette decided to chime in telling me I was attempting to “blackmail” the candidates.

The exchange is below.

On Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 6:43 PM Nick Collette wrote:

With all due respect, Andrea, how exactly are you aware of this if you have nothing to do with the NKRYC? At least be honest about your involvement if you’re going to engage in blackmail against candidates for Party office…

Spin much Nick? Are you dizzy yet?

My reply:

With all due respect, Nick, why are you even sending me an email? I didn’t copy you, or Mr. Benson, so this is about zero percent of your business. And I already answered your question. I don’t need a relationship to obtain information.

I think Nick is full of bullshit. Anyhow, I told Mr. Schoelwer and Mr. Anderson that this article would be accurate, as I was using their own words.

I then received a message (NOT from either candidate) that my original email had “gone about.”  Now, who is doing the blackmailing? I’ll address that in my own time. Unless I’m way off, someone is trying to create a pathetically false narrative, and use it to say I wanted to blackmail Mr. Schoelwer and Mr. Anderson. Please … how desperate are you?

To be clear, I was writing a story about what was then a debate so when the details were finalized, it was ready to go. Then I received the two emails above.

This is a different story, and I wish it wasn’t. But as Mr. Schoelwer and Mr. Anderson already know, I was not trying to blackmail them. Mr. Anderson was kind enough to explain he understood my meaning, and I am grateful.

I don’t really care what the other non-candidates believe, but I do think it’s funny that someone thought they were needed in the conversation. Independent thought is necessary as RPV Chair … just FYI.

Whoever decided that trying to throw me under the bus and start a false narrative was a good plan…

Bad idea.

Please do the right thing and encourage Mr. Schoelwer and Mr. Anderson so that they are “comfortable” enough to participate. You aren’t helping your preferred candidate this way, and this action is as transparent as fine crystal … that was broken by the scream of dealing with the truth.

Besides, units have signs now, so the problem has been solved, right?

Update 7/31/20 with the following correction: Mr. Schoelwer did in fact confirm his participation by email, not by phone. I apologize for the error.

His email said:

From: Michael S
Date: Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 3:19 PM

Subject: Re: Chairman’s Debate

thanks for the invitation.  I’d welcome the chance to exchange views with my esteemed opponents and the members of your group.  Right now, I am free, but my calendar will be filling up fast.  Please let me know what works for you.

Best regards, Mike Schoelwer
Chairman, Lancaster County Republican Committee
Candidate, RPV Chairman