Last Saturday things changed in Fauquier, but not in the way that many believed it would. Bulldozers have not converged on the beautiful Fauquier landscape, the sky is still blue, and the birds are still singing in the trees (which are still there by the way). So what’s changed?
Fauquier Republicans now have a new Committee Chairman, and in fact an entirely new committee that is nothing like the committees of past decades. Greg Schumacher and his team won a significant victory, one that promises a new beginning for Fauquier Republicans.
Not only did Team Schumacher win the Chairmanship, they also secured well over 70% of the committee seats giving them a super majority to begin the next two years.
The old guard, led by former 10th District Chairman Jim Rich, ran their usual stale campaign based on the tired old theme that if their candidate (Harry Burroughs) was not elected, the bulldozers would arrive the next day, and the “Fauquier Way of Life” would disappear forever.
In contrast, retired Army Major General Greg Schumacher ran a principled campaign with a layered message that promised a refreshed Republican image based on transparency, inclusiveness, mutual respect, and unity, as well as re-energizing the committee around the common purpose of growing our Party and electing Republicans…you know, the things a Republican committee is supposed to do.
Apparently that message resonated with Republicans in Fauquier. Turnout was phenomenal with just over 1,600 voters casting ballots, and when the dust cleared on Saturday team Schumacher and their supporters had won a decisive victory.
The vote totals for Chairman were Schumacher 863, Burroughs 725. The official results for one of the precinct seats are still to be confirmed; however, preliminary reports indicate that Team Schumacher has secured over 70% of the seats on the new committee.
So what happens now?
The story will unfold over the next two years, but two things are clear: Greg Schumacher is his own man, and he is also a man of his word. He promised transparency and inclusiveness and we can be certain he will deliver on those promises.
Unlike the committees of the past, there will be no retribution visited on the losers. Chairman Schumacher and his team realize that for Republicans to succeed and for us to grow our Party in Fauquier (and grow it we will!) we need to include ALL Republican voices.
For too many decades, the FCRC has existed solely for the purpose of protecting the agenda of a few people in Fauquier, now it will exist to promote Republicanism and to make our county a bulwark against the growing Democrat wave swelling to the east.
For Fauquier to remain a county that regularly votes 60% Republican, a strong Republican Committee is necessary, and Team Schumacher is prepared not only to hold the ground we have, but to continue to make inroads into new territory where the past Republican leadership was unwilling to venture.
So as the storm clouds from the now infamous Burroughs mailer part, a new day is dawning for Fauquier Republicans, and the future looks bright!