Earlier today, the James Madison College Republicans hosted a picnic at Purcell Park in Harrisonburg. More than a dozen students along with a handful of activists gathered together in the warm spring day to socialize and discuss politics. The featured guest was Virginia State Senator Mark Obenshain of Harrisonburg. Two other elected officials also made an appearance: Harrisonburg/Rockingham Clerk of Court Chaz Evans-Haywood and Delegate Tony Wilt of Broadway.
In part, given my considerable involvement in politics during my time at the College of William & Mary, I very much appreciate political interest and involvement among university students. After all, who knows whom among us will be our future leaders? Many of the principles students learn during these years along with their civic involvement will go a long way toward crafting great citizens.
As with communities throughout America, yesterday the citizens of Harrisonburg celebrated the 4th of July. The city’s downtown area was filled with an assortment of vendors and entertainment, not to mention politicians and political activists. Unlike the previous year, the local Democratic Parties did not seem participate in Thursday’s festivities, somewhat surprising given the three statewide races going on this fall.
A few moments ago, Representative Bob Goodlatte (VA-6th) concluded his 4th annual BBQ at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds, just south of Harrisonburg, VA. About 400 people were attendance and came from all around the Shenandoah Valley and the 6th district.
Besides Rep. Goodlatte, other Virginia officials of note included Wendell Walker, the 6th district Republican chairman who Goodlatte referred to as his boss, Delegate Tony Wilt of Rockingham County, Delegate Dickie Bell of Staunton, Delegate Chris Head of Botetourt, Rockingham/Harrisonburg Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson, Rockingham County Clerk of Court Chaz Evans-Haywood, and the three Republican candidates for Harrisonburg City Council. Lastly, Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina was also there; he is perhaps best known for shouting, “you lie!” to President Barack Obama during a joint session of Congress back in 2009.
Shaffer’s Catering of Woodstock, VA provided the bulk of the food for the BBQ, including the pork and chicken, while many of the attendees brought a variety of desserts.
This event serves as another reminder that there is little doubt that the 6th district of Virginia will vote heavily for the Republican slate in November, as it has done for decades. The real question becomes, are residents of the Shenandoah Valley excited and organized enough to offset the liberal trends of places like Charlottesville and Northern Virginia? Given that Election Day is less than two months away, we’ll find out soon.
Well ladies and gentlemen, the time for the 2012 Tax Day Rally has come and gone.
On April 14th, the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party held their annual event in downtown Harrisonburg, Virginia. The event boasted an impressive list of speakers including Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Even if you missed the gathering, you can still either read about it on examiner.com or watch a slideshow video on youtube.
On Saturday, the Harrisonburg GOP, the Rockingham County GOP, and the local Republican Women held a fundraiser at the Stone Family Barn in Harrisonburg. The event featured delicious local BBQ and a wide range of tempting desserts prepared by the Republican Women. In addition, Dave Kyger and his band provided some excellent bluegrass music.
Harrisonburg’s own State Senator Mark Obenshain was the first of many well-known speakers, which included Susan Allen, the wife of former Governor and U.S. Senate candidate George Allen, and U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte (VA-6). The audience brimmed with elected representatives and Republican hopefuls, a virtual who’s who role call in local politics. The complete list (and I hope I haven’t left anyone out) also included: Karen Kwiatkowski of Shenandoah County (a candidate for Virginia’s 6th district House of Representatives seat), State Senator Emmett Hanger of Augusta County, Delegate Tony Wilt of Rockingham County, Delegate Steve Landes of Augusta County, Delegate Rob Bell of Albemarle County, Bryan Hutcheson (a candidate for Harrisonburg/Rockingham County Sheriff), Commonwealth Attorney Marsha Garst, Clerk of Court Chaz Evans-Haywood, Rockingham County Treasurer Todd Garber, Rockingham County Supervisor Pablo Cuevas, Rockingham County Supervisor Fred Eberly, Rockingham County Commissioner of the Revenue Lowell Barb, and Harrisonburg School Board member Greg Coffman.
This event proved to be another excellent opportunity to collect signatures to get both Representative Ron Paul and former Governor Gary Johnson of New Mexico on Virginia’s ballot for the 2012 Republican primary. Whether you support Paul or someone else, I encourage you to sign these petitions so that each Virginian can have a great range of options when we go to vote next year.
As the event came to a close, the party held an auction to raise additional funds. There were a wide variety of items on the block including many of the same desserts we previously enjoyed with our meal. Of course, I would be remiss if I failed to offer thanks to Chuck Ahrend whose hard work made this experience possible.
Overall, the event seemed to go quite well. If you are a local Republican who unfortunately missed Saturday’s event, I encourage you to mark your calendars in advance for next year’s gathering. You shouldn’t let this occasion pass you by.