After decades of serving on the Republican State Central Committee, Vice Chairman Mike Thomas, the establishment darling and lobbyist for McGuireWoods, has decided he will not again for the position.
Another mainstream Republican and former chief of staff for Eric Cantor, Kristi Way, has jumped in to fill the void. From her announcement:
|>>>>I am writing today to let you know I am running for First Vice Chair. As a lifelong Virginia Republican, I believe in the ideals of our Party and have spent many years in the trenches alongside many of you, fighting for our candidates and our conservative values.|
My earliest political memories come from putting up George Allen for Delegate signs in my home county of Albemarle, and working the Scottsville precinct alongside my Dad, beginning when I was 6 years old. I’ve put up yard signs, made phone calls, knocked doors, walked in parades and worked the GOP booth at more county fairs than I can count.
I’ve been a CR and a YR. I’ve been an officer in the Henrico GOP Committee and in the James River Republican Women. I have served on State Central as a representative from the 7th Congressional District.
I had the honor of a lifetime serving the people of Virginia’s 7th Congressional District as Chief of Staff for the Majority Leader of the US House, Eric Cantor. I’ve truly been blessed with opportunities far beyond my capabilities and I’ll spend the years ahead working hard to make sure the next generation has even greater opportunities to serve.
I have spent most of my life working for our Party and our candidates, and I would be honored to continue my service as your First Vice Chair.
As I’ve spoken with many of you over the last few days, a common theme has continued to surface–we just want to win again! Me too! In fact, we HAVE to win again. I’ve had a front seat to some historic victories, as well as some crushing defeats. I speak from experience in saying that winning is better! We have a lot of work to do and a lot of ground to recover, and we all have to unite by working together and focusing our time and energy on beating the Democrats!
If we are serious about winning again, we need to start operating like a next-generation political party. This means working with our local units to recruit, train, and support candidates that match the districts in which they run. It means growing our unit committees, reaching out to new voters and improving our party infrastructure.
Winning requires a sustained effort to register new voters, engage in the diverse communities of our Commonwealth, significantly enhance our digital efforts and grow our database so we can reach more voters.
While I have a number of ideas for helping the RPV achieve its full potential in contributing to victory, I have also been active long enough to know that, in an organization with the amount of experience that members of the State Central Committee have, there certainly are even better ideas for getting us across the finish line. I want to hear your ideas and I want us, together, to pick the best and get started. With all of us working together under the leadership of our new chairman Rich Anderson, it’s a great time to focus forward, roll up our sleeves and get to work.
I look forward to speaking with each of you in the coming days about how we can work together to revamp our party into a winning organization again and earning your vote of support.
Ben Slone, the 7th district unit chair, is rumored to be running. He is a solid conservative who could help bring the party together.
Personally I am hoping Mike Schoelwer will run. He and Chairman Rich Anderson would make an outstanding team on State Central Committee. The Grassroots might finally have some say in what happens in our party.
UPDATE: I have it on good authority that Mike Schoelwer IS running for Vice Chairman of State Central Committee. He is a creditable candidate with a path to victory. He and Chairman Anderson will make a great team.
I am also hearing a lot of pushback against the candidacy of Kristi Way. One problem, among others, is her long time association and work for former 7th District Congressman Eric Cantor.