Republican Lt Governor Candidate Forum a Success!

A press release from the Republican Women of Shenandoah County and their president, Karen Kwiatkowski

Photo by Joshua Huffman

The forum held on February 9th at the LFCC campus provided nearly 200 attendees from the upper Shenandoah Valley with an up-­‐close and personal view of the seven Republicans vying for the party nod for Lt Governor.

All seven candidates attended, including Stafford County Supervisor Susan Stimpson and Prince William County Supervisor Cory Stewart, US Senate Candidate Bishop E.W. Jackson, State Senator Steve Martin, Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, entrepreneur Pete Snyder, and former State Senator and delegate Jeanne Marie Davis.

Event sponsors were the Republican Women of Shenandoah County, the Apple Valley Club of Winchester, and the Shenandoah Valley Constitutional Conservatives.  The candidates were placed under the conservative microscope operated by moderator Suzanne Curran, Western Region Vice Chair of the Republican Party of Virginia.

While all candidates represented the values of limited government and individual opportunity, there were fireworks evident between those who have held office at the local level and often suffer from expensive federal and state mandates, and those who work or have worked in Richmond, at times dishing out those expensive mandates.  The theme of liberty and freedom was consistently articulated by EW Jackson, and echoed loudly by the other candidates, especially businessman Pete Snyder who is running a well-­‐funded and innovative campaign of “Big Conservative Ideas.”  Susan Stimpson and Cory Stewart both touted their success in reducing taxation and invigorating local economies.  Scott Lingamfelter shared status of his so-­‐called Boneta Bill (Freedom to Farm without Fear) and many in the audience were very supportive of this effort to get government off of the backs of average people and local farmers.

The candidates all addressed a local issue of interest to Shenandoah County voters.  Each expressed their thoughts on the direct and indirect cost to taxpayers of moral obligation bonds, and various Virginia Bond-­‐Issuing Authority roles within, and relationship to, the Virginia Constitution.  Virginia’s dependence on federal spending within in the Commonwealth was also discussed.

All of the candidates delivered the conservative message with passion, and the audience was large, intently listening, and well informed.  The Republican Women of Shenandoah County wish to thank everyone who worked to arrange this event, the Apple Valley Club and Dody Stottlemyer specifically for personal donation of food and drinks, Shaffer’s Catering for a donation of coffee, the great people at LFCC, the attendees and the candidates, and many more.

For more information on these candidates, their websites are below:

Corey Stewart                          

EW Jackson                             

Jeanne Marie Davis               

Pete Snyder                             

Scott Lingamfelter                 

Steve Martin                           

Susan Stimpson                     


Orndorff for Soil & Water Conservation Director

In about a week, Virginians have the opportunity to elect delegates, state senators, sheriffs, and a whole host of city and county officers.  Although most contests are uncontested here in the Shenandoah Valley, I want to draw your attention to one race in Shenandoah County.

Two newcomers are challenging the incumbents for spots for Soil and Water Conservation Director in the Lord Fairfax District.  I believe that Craig Orndorff is a candidate who deserves your support.

I’ve known Craig for a good many years now through our mutual involvement in valley politics and the blogosphere.  On my last trip to Shenandoah County, I had the opportunity to hear Mr. Orndorff speak about this position he is looking to fill, and let me tell you that I was impressed.  He possesses a very strong knowledge about the duties and responsibilities of the director and has a multitude of ideas for improvement over the current system.  He also demonstrates a real passion to expand both the openness and accountability of this position, two traits that are sorely needed at every level of government.

I encourage you to watch this video to learn a bit more as to why you should support Craig Orndorff for Soil & Water Conservation Director:

Although I cannot vote for him considering that I don’t live in Shenandoah County, I strongly recommend that my readers, friends, and neighbors who call the county home support him next Tuesday.

The Return of The Ron Paul Meetup

Back during the 2007-08 Republican Presidential Campaign, the phenomenon of the Meetup group was a bit of a peculiar oddity associated heavily with the Ron Paul movement.  Across the country, ordinary (and often otherwise apolitical) folks gathered together in their own communities.  In many cases, they did not have much experience with traditional campaigning, but came together to voice their support for the good doctor from Texas.

Here in my hometown of Harrisonburg, there were a group of us who advanced his candidacy in a multitude of ways; we made signs, we wrote letters, we discussed philosophy.  Once I took an official position with the campaign and relocated down to South Carolina, like with Virginia, I discovered a whole host of Meetup groups in that state.  They were all over the place: Greenville, Charleston, and Rock Hill…just to name a few.

Regardless of your feelings regarding Dr. Paul, you really should admire the remarkable way his candidacy attracted support.  It wasn’t based so much on some sort of cult of personality, but rather to a steadfast commitment to the Constitution and the principles of limited government.

Well, I’m pleased to say that the Ron Paul Meetup groups are springing forth once more.  Shenandoah County is the first area in the Shenandoah Valley to both reform their group and hold meetings in this new election season.  Although it appears that the Charlottesville group has reactivated their organization from 2007 as well, as far as I can tell, they have not held a general meeting in this cycle yet.

But I’m here to offer a bit of good news to my fellow lovers of liberty and Ron Paul supporters in and around my own community.  Although it is not an official Meetup group, there is a Harrisonburg & Rockingham County Facebook group devoted to Rep. Paul.  That’s right!  In fact, they will be holding the first gathering later today (July 31st).

So here at the details:

Location – Westover Park in Harrisonburg

Dogwood Drive and West Market Street

At the open pavilion

Time – starting at 6 PM!

Although I have a few important things to do today, I’m certainly planning to join my fellow Ron Paul supporters.   If you like Ron Paul, or if you simply support the idea of liberty, I encourage you to come to the meeting.

Now, even if you live in another part of the state or country, you should find a group near you.  If one doesn’t exist yet, go on and create it.  Not only will you get the chance to meet like-minded individuals, but also, by being in a group you’ll be able to more effectively promote your ideology.

After all, as Ron Paul himself says, “freedom is popular!”

Finding New Friends

Yesterday, while at the polls in Keister, I met two ladies in matching red shirts.  Unlike most polls workers, they were not from the 26th, but drove down from Shenandoah County to volunteer for the cause.  Their clothing marked them as members of a relatively new political organization, the Friends for Freedom.  After speaking with the duo for a little while, I asked if they would send me a bit more information about their group.  To follow is their mission statement:

We are an independent group of conservatives who believe in limited government, free market capitalism, a strong defense, secure borders, personal and fiscal responsibility, the sanctity of life, and the individual freedoms as espoused by our Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Our mission is to communicate and coordinate with like-minded members of our community to identify, encourage, and support political candidates who will uphold these principles. We aim to educate, motivate, and activate our community to foster civic participation, fundamental to the democratic process. We aspire to be guided in these efforts by standards of honesty, integrity and Godly wisdom.

Given our related stances, I’m excited to learn about this association.  We certainly need more conservative citizens to get actively involved in the process.  Until enough voters cry “Hold, enough!” the government will continue to expand, our rights will continue to erode, and our cultural values shall crumble.

The next meeting of the Friends of Freedom will be taking place in Shenandoah County on July 8th.  I don’t know if I can make this particular gathering, but, like I always do, I encourage each and everyone of you to find a group like this one in your community and make a difference.

For liberty with responsibility!