Earlier today, one of my friends presented me with a bag of political materials, primarily from the 1993 Virginia Republican Party Convention. Although that convention predates my time in politics, it was fascinating to explore these items. At the time, the George Allen campaign dubbed the ’93 RPV convention, “the largest political convention in the history of the free world”.
In case you don’t remember, that convention featured three candidates for governor: George Allen, Clint Miller, and Earle Williams, two for lieutenant governor: Mike Farris and Bobbie Kilberg, and two candidates for attorney general: G. Steven Agee and Jim Gilmore.
But what was the state of the Republican Party at the time? Well, the RPV chairman was Patrick McSweeney. At the federal level, the party had only four Virginia members of the House of Representatives: Herbert Bateman in the 1st, Bob Goodlatte in the 6th, Thomas Bliley in the 7th, Frank Wolf in the 10th, and one senator, John Warner. Back then Republicans were in the minority in both the state senate and house of delegates.
The program featured three ads from Ollie North and his Virginia Action Committee, no doubt a precursor to his run for U.S. Senate the following year.
As you can see from the picture, the bag included a convention guide for delegates supportive of George Allen as well as a cowboy hat shaped fan.
Like many political contests, this convention had its share of negativity. This flyer, created by a group called “Reclaim the GOP Coalition” attacked the candidacy of Mike Farris. However, this tactic proved to be unsuccessful at denying Farris the nomination. His nomination did not condemn the entire Republican to defeat as the flyer claimed, though Farris himself was not victorious in the general election.
Besides the convention materials, the bag also contained: a copy of The Federalist Papers, a brochure from Representative Bob Goodlatte’s 1992 campaign, and a flyer from the 8th Annual Republican Advance in 1991.
All in all, an interesting time capsule from twenty years ago.
Special thanks to Amanda for these items.