The Fairfax County Republican Committee elected a new chairman over the weekend. Conservative candidate and retired Colonel Tim Hannigan won with a decisive total. And because we are talking about Fairfax County, this is a pleasant surprise.
Hannigan was backed by the TEA Party and constitutional conservatives. His opponent, attorney and former 8th Congressional District Republican Committee chairman Mike Ginsberg, was backed by the moderate Republicans and most of the elected officials in Fairfax including Rep. Barbara Comstock and Supervisor Pat Herrity. With a good amount of resources dedicated to Ginsberg from the Herrity camp, and with the help of the outgoing leadership, the race was considered by many committee members to be Ginsberg’s race to lose.
The only elected official in Fairfax to endorse Hannigan was School Board member Elizabeth Schultz. After the big win Schultz told us, “It wasn’t just Tim who emerged a victor; Fairfax and its residents just won, whether they know it or not. They won because we now live with a better chance today to restore sanity to our county, Commonwealth, and country.”
Hannigan won with an old fashion grassroots effort. He personally spoke with hundreds of delegates about his plan for making Fairfax County competitive again. His focus is on precinct level operations. Every precinct needs an active precinct captain who can then activate block captains. With Fairfax County’s enormous population to draw from, increasing the membership and activating this kind of support level is a reachable goal.
Our biggest reservation about the Ginsberg candidacy was it looked like he would run the committee as it has been ran in the past. The this-is-how-we-always-do-things mentality has to change if Fairfax is going to be competitive for local and statewide candidates. Two examples leap to the front.
First, membership numbers need to improve. The outgoing chairman did next to nothing to attract new members and he’s personally responsible for pushing away some grassroots activists. Second, every year the county committee spends and wastes a ton of money on the poorest conceived effort for Back To School Night at the county’s public schools. It really couldn’t be handled any worse than it is right now, with the low mark being the nonsense they tried to hand out in 2015. Hannigan understands the importance of recruiting and we are confident he’ll blow up the Back To School Night plan and insert a new one.
Conservatives now have control of the largest committee in Virginia. Whether or not that will translate into wins at the ballot box is up to the new leadership. We are confident that Tim Hannigan (pictured below) has the right vision, the right plan, and will certainly put in the work required to change the losing culture which has bogged down the Fairfax County Republican Committee in the past. And now- onward to November!
Originally published at conservativevirginia.com