On Thursday, delegates to the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) State Convention received an email from Jack Wilson alleging that I want to “shrink our party.” Please let me address this untruthful deception.
From day one, I have loudly and clearly proclaimed that I do not support the change to the RPV State Party Plan because it reduces the number of seats occupied on the RPV State Central Committee (SCC) by the Virginia Federation of Republican Women (VFRW), College Republican Federation of Virginia (CRFV), and Young Republican Federation of Virginia (YRFV). There are provisions in the proposed amendment that are worthy of discussion, but the reduction of women and youth representation on the SCC is a non-starter for me. Additionally, the amendment is of such gravity that it should not be considered by a simple up-or-down vote with no opportunity for amendment, discussion, or debate. Its consideration in an unassembled drive-through convention is a faulted pathway to making party policy.
I will therefore vote against this proposed amendment to the Party Plan. I have been clear from day one on this matter. I have stated as such via email. I have signaled my opposition on social media. I have emailed my views to the VFRW, CRFV, and YRFV presidents. I have been unequivocal in every way. I therefore conclude that Mr. Wilson is playing politics and engaging in untruthful deception with this important issue.
After two years of dysfunction and defeat in our state party, this race for RPV Chair requires that someone put into words what hundreds of thousands of Virginia Republicans have been thinking from one end of our Commonwealth to the other. I regrettably do so below, but being a leader means that one must sometimes step up to unpleasant tasks:
- Over the last two years, RPV has abandoned its will to fight and win. Mr. Wilson has presided over what is known by grassroots Republicans as the RPV Surrender Caucus. This will only heal with new leadership.
- He disregarded a request by our Republican Congressional Delegation that he not run for election because of dysfunction, defeat, and despair on his watch.
- Three of our Congressional District Republican Committees (more than one-fourth) took votes of no-confidence against him as a result of his poor decisions. Our SCC (the governing body of RPV), overruled multiple decisions and rulings that he incorrectly made for personal political reasons.
- He has minimal knowledge of the art and science of politics, campaigns, and elections. In 2007, he ran for the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors—a Ruby Red jurisdiction—and suffered a resounding defeat in the Republican Primary at the hands of conservatives.
- He and RPV have provided little support to our candidates for state and federal office over repeated election cycles.
- While the House and Senate Republican Caucuses have primary responsibility for recruiting candidates, RPV has not played the essential supporting role that it must play. As a result, three dozen House and Senate races went without Republican candidates—a major contributing factor in losing the majority in both chambers on his watch.
- In 2019, RPV provided marginal support to Republican candidates for the House of Delegates and Senate of Virginia—again, a major factor in the House and Senate flipping from Republican to Democrat control.
- He presided over an RPV Advance in December 2019 where multiple speakers on the dais stated that “Republicans won’t win in Virginia as long as President Trump is in office.”
- He recoiled and complied with every unconstitutional order issued by a Governor who restricts the liberties and livelihoods of Virginians. He refuses to fight; therefore, he refuses to win.
- He has repeatedly and unsuccessfully put his thumb on the scale for his preferred candidates in multiple Republican contests. Our courageous grassroots Republicans stood their ground and successfully resisted.
- After two years in office, he has only now begun to communicate with our party faithful because he realizes that he is about to suffer the judgment of Virginia Republicans on August 15th.
- After two years in office, he has visited few of our 126 local Republican units. He only visited the largest in Virginia in response to visits I made in the prior month. He has never visited the monthly business meeting of the Prince William County Republican Committee—my home unit and one of the largest in the state.
It gives me no pleasure to say these things—but our state party has been led by someone who has presided for two years over dysfunction and defeat and just today uttered a major falsehood to our convention delegates.
The Great RPV Turnaround of 2020 starts on August 15th. I ask for your vote to serve as your RPV Chair—so that you again have a voice in your party.
Let’s fight and win.
Rich Anderson is a native Virginian, grassroots Republican volunteer for the last 12 years, retired 30-year Air Force colonel (1979-2009), former member of the Virginia House of Delegates (2010-2018), and candidate for RPV Chair (2020). He and his wife Ruth, a retired 21-year Air Force lieutenant colonel and former member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, live in Woodbridge. They have been married for 34 years, are the parents of three children, and have seven grandchildren.