Vince Haley filed papers earlier today at the Republican Party of Virginia Headquarters to initiate his candidacy for RPV Chairman. The former aide and close associate of Newt Gingrich is most recently known for his bid for the GOP nomination to the Virginia Senate from the 12th District, a hotly-contested four-way primary ultimately won by Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant.
Haley is taking on current RPV Chairman John Whitbeck, who was first elected a year ago to finish the remainder of retiring chairman Pat Mullins’ term.
Haley has recently been sharply critical of the party’s imposition of a new requirement for participants in its March 1, 2016 presidential primary, in which voters must sign a statement indicating “I am a Republican” before they are allowed to cast a ballot.
Haley’s written statement announcing his run is below:
Today, at the urging of many Virginia conservative activists and grassroots leaders from across the Commonwealth, and hopeful for the support of thousands of like-minded grassroots conservatives who believe we need a party run by and for conservatives, I have made the decision to run for RPV State Party Chairman.
My bottom line? We need a Republican Party that keeps its promises.
I’ll promote candidates that truly believe in our Virginia Republican Creed – and will fight for it as if the fate of our Republic depends on it. Because it does.
A Republican party that keeps its promises and fights for our creed is a party that will deliver the better future we all want for our families, our Commonwealth, and our country.
The Republican Party promised the grassroots of our Party that if they did the hard work to help elect Republicans, Republicans would defund executive amnesty, defund Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood, and curb deficit spending. Instead, after historic mid-term victories, these new Republican majorities passed budgets that did the opposite. Instead of standing on principle, our Republican leadership has allowed elected Republicans to walk away (again) from the promises they made to the rank and file. Like you, I’ve had enough.
There is a reason that over 65% of Republican Primary voters are opting for so-called anti-establishment candidates. The base of the Republican Party are loyal Republicans because of the principles of the Party – not because someone has an “R” next to their name.
Yet too many within the Republican Party have chosen not to keep faith and advance its principles – and as a result the Republican Party has alienated large numbers of its most loyal supporters.
At the present time, the urgent challenge facing the Republican Party isn’t extracting “loyalty oaths” from our base – it’s losing our base. Losing our identity as the party of freedom and opportunity. Losing sight of the very principles that make this nation of ours brave and free. Losing elections. The moment Republican leaders seek to wall out alienated Republicans whose only request is for the Republican Party to truly represent our creed, that’s the moment you know new leadership is desperately needed to restore the vision and greatness of the conservative movement and forge a new conservative coalition.
Instead, many now equate “being a Republican” to being in step with serial Republican capitulators in Congress. Even the Rev. Franklin Graham said he has left the Republican Party. I’m sure we all know folks who have become tired of the games certain Republicans play, folks who have wandered away and abandoned a party that for too long has abandoned its principles. Folks, if people like the Rev. Graham are leaving the Republican Party, maybe it’s time to ask if the Republican Party has left them.
Yet there are men and women of principle who want and deserve a better Republican Party. I’ve devoted the last 14 years of my life to that cause. I am proudly 100% pro-life, pro marriage, pro-2nd Amendment, anti-tax-and-spend. As RPV Chairman, I will fight for candidates who will stick to their guns and vote that way, and I’ll make sure national Republicans hear your voice loud and clear in Washington and in Richmond — not kowtow and compromise.
The time to restore our identity and trust in our Republican Party is right here and now. Let’s get candidates who are unafraid and unapologetic to stand on the very principles for which our Founding Fathers sacrificed their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.
With a Republican Party that guards its principles and keeps its promises, we can save our Republic. I earnestly look forward to your support, our conversation, and engaging with so many new friends over the next few months. Thank you for this tremendous opportunity to keep the promise. Let’s build a party worthy of our creed.
The Whitbeck/Haley race looks to be the first time since at least 2008 that RPV has seen a seriously contested race for chairman. Then, the upstart young legislator from Prince William, Jeff Frederick, took on and soundly beat the “establishment” candidate John Hager, a former Lieutentant Governor.
A source close to Whitbeck characterized Haley’s chances of winning as low. “This is going to be Muldoon 2.0,” he said, referring to the fringe candidacy of Patrick Muldoon for Lieutenant Governor in 2009. We’re not so sure. Whitbeck begins the race with a good deal of support from all corners of the party, and is coming off a good year in terms of fundraising. He is unlikely to exhibit the same kind of complacency as Hager, but Haley has the ability and stature to turn this campaign into a real barn burner.
We at The Bull Elephant commit to providing honest and balanced coverage of this contest as it unfolds. Although we will undoubtedly have a healthy measure of commentary to go along with it, we’ll make sure our readers are provided with news and opinion from all sides.
[Editorial Note: This story went up in a hurry, and several updates and corrections have been made since initial publication. Our apologies for any confusion.]