Archive for March, 2010

26th District Update

Well, it’s official–and really has been for days now–that Tony Wilt, President of Superior Concrete, will seek the Republican nod for the special election in the 26th District. Word is that Wilt was the only candidate who seemed to be really working the crowd at last week’s Lincoln Day Dinner, and sources tell me that he’s already lined up key activists and is actively working the party vines. The smoke has definitely cleared, and I think we can downgrade a few candidates. Other than John Elledge, no one else on my initial list seems to be making much noise. It should be noted, however, that at least one potential candidate, Ted Byrd, has a difficult call to make, as the Republican Mass Meeting is coming up in which he would most likely seek re-nomination for City Council.

An important note: the timing is still very much up in the air on this. What we do know is that it will not be in May or June, due both to the timing of Matt’s exact resignation (which also means Lohr will serve in the reconvened session) and state code prohibiting primaries and special elections being on the same day. What will be interesting to watch is if Governor McDonnell calls the election before November–this could give us some hint as to a) if the two special sessions on government reform and transportation are in the works and b) what his support looks like in the House on these issues. Right now, though, the House is not where the big questions are–it’s the Senate where any proposals by McDonnell live or die. The fact that Delegate Sam Nixon was also picked off signals that McDonnell probably isn’t all that worried about the House, but from the looks of it there likely won’t be any Democrats for him to be able to pick off in exchange for cushy appointments–not with the current political atmosphere being so black and white.

According to the DNR, Democrats in the County have gone with a caucus, and the city seems likely to follow. My money for the GOP? Convention. But after my list of potential contenders in the 26th, you might want to look elsewhere for your political betting insights….

Call to Shenandoah County Republican Convention

This has been posted to but not to, so I am providing this as a public service to any Republicans in Shenandoah County interested in getting involved with the local committee. I’ll have a full analysis up later on some interesting (but not surprising, once I explain the math) developments regarding the size of the committee, as well as a look ahead to the event.

Comments? Questions? Angry harangues? Leave it the comments, but remember: I didn’t write this. I only voted for it (and it wasn’t worth the fight to change this year).


As Chairman of the Shenandoah County Republican Committee, pursuant to the Plan of Organization of
the Republican Party of Virginia, and as recommended and directed by the Shenandoah County Republican
Committee at its regular meeting on Thursday, March 11, 2010, I, Michael Monahan, do hereby issue this
Call for Precinct Mass Meetings and a County Convention to be held as follows:

Precinct mass meetings will be held in the sixteen precincts of Shenandoah County at the following
locations on

Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Orkney Springs – Fire/Rescue Building
Forestville – Community Center
New Market – Rescue Squad
Conicville – Fire Hall
Mt. Jackson – Town Hall
Columbia Furnace – United Methodist Church
Edinburg – Fire Hall
St. Luke – Parish Hall
Woodstock  – Circuit Courtroom
Fort Valley – Fire Hall
Cedar Creek – Community Center
Mt. Olive – Methodist Parish Hall
Toms Brook – United Methodist Church
Lebanon Church – Community Center
Strasburg – Town Hall
Signal Knob – Town Hall

The purpose of the precinct mass meetings is to elect delegates and alternate delegates to the Shenandoah
County Republican Convention to convene at Central High School in Woodstock, Virginia, or its alternate
site on

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 7:30 PM

The purposes of the convention are:

1. To elect a Chairman, Precinct Membership, and six (6) District Chairmen of the Shenandoah
County Republican Committee, in accordance with the Plan of Organization of the Republican
Party of Shenandoah County, Virginia, and for the transaction of such other business as may
properly come before the Convention; and

2. To elect 85 delegates and 85 alternate delegates to represent Shenandoah County at the Sixth
Congressional District Convention of the Republican Party of Virginia to be held at Towns
Alumni Center at Liberty University, 1971 University Blvd Lynchburg, VA on Saturday, May 22,
2010 at 10:00 a.m.  The purposes of the District Convention shall be: to elect a District Chairman,
to elect three regional Vice Chairmen, and for the transaction of such other business as may
properly come before the Convention.

Voluntary Registration Fee

A voluntary registration fee of $1 is requested of each delegate and alternate delegate to the County
Convention, but it is not required to participate in the convention. A voluntary registration fee of $20.00 is
requested of each delegate and alternate delegate to the Sixth District Convention, to be paid when the
certification is filed with the District Chairman. All fees are subject to the limits and prohibitions of the
Federal Election Campaign Act and are not tax-deductible.

Allotment of Delegate Votes

The convention shall be composed of delegates and alternate delegates from the respective precincts they
represent.  Representation shall be based on a percentage of the total number of Republican votes cast in
each precinct in the last Presidential and Gubernatorial elections combined.  Each precinct will be allowed
one (1) delegate vote and one (1) alternate vote for each seventy-five (75) Republican votes cast, or a major
fraction thereof.  Each precinct shall be entitled to at least one (1) delegate vote.  Up to five (5) delegates
may be elected for each delegate vote, but no delegate shall have less than one-fifth (1/5) of a vote.
Pursuant to Section H (3) of the Plan of Organization of the Republican Party of Virginia, each precinct
delegation shall vote full vote at the convention unless otherwise designated by the electing members of the
precinct at its mass meeting.  Precincts shall be entitled to vote as follows:

Orkney Springs – 9 Delegate Votes and 9 Alternate Votes
Forestville – 10 Delegate Votes and 10 Alternate Votes
New Market – 27 Delegate Votes and 27 Alternate Votes
Conicville – 23 Delegate Votes and 23 Alternate Votes
Mt. Jackson – 17 Delegate Votes and 17 Alternate Votes
Columbia Furnace – 10 Delegate Votes and 10 Alternate Votes
Edinburg – 23 Delegate Votes and 23 Alternate Votes
St. Luke – 16 Delegate Votes and 16 Alternate Votes
Woodstock – 33 Delegate Votes and 33 Alternate Votes
Fort Valley – 12 Delegate Votes and 12 Alternate Votes
Cedar Creek – 2 Delegate Votes and 2 Alternate Votes
Mt. Olive – 18 Delegate Votes and 18 Alternate Votes
Toms Brook – 16 Delegate Votes and 16 Alternate Votes
Lebanon Church – 14 Delegate Votes and 14 Alternate Votes
Strasburg – 27 Delegate Votes and 27 Alternate Votes
Signal Knob – 11 Delegate Votes and 11 Alternate Votes

Vote Total:  268 Delegate Votes and 268 Alternate Votes
Delegate Total:  1340 Delegates and 1340 Alternate Delegates

Candidacy Filing Requirements

Candidates for the election for the position of Shenandoah County Republican Committee Chairman shall
file a written declaration of candidacy by mail or in person to Mrs. Amanda McDonald Wiseley, Secretary
of the Shenandoah County Republican Committee by Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm to Amanda
Wiseley, Secretary of the Shenandoah County Republican Committee, 183 East King Street, Strasburg,
Virginia 22657. Postmarks shall not be considered.  Only those who so file may stand for election at this
Convention.  Should only one person file for chairman under these requirements then he/she shall
automatically be declared elected as chairman. No nominations shall be accepted from the floor of the
County Convention, unless no candidate files for the position.
Qualifications for Participation

All legal and qualified voters of Shenandoah County, regardless of race, religion, national origin or sex,
under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, who are in accord with the principles of the Republican
Party and who, if requested to express in open meeting, either orally or in writing as may be required, their
intent to support all of its nominees for public office in the ensuing election, may participate as members of
the Republican Party of Virginia in the Convention. All individuals desiring to participate in the
Convention may be required to present some form of identification such as a voter registration card,
driver’s license, or other positive identification.

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Walking for Lymphoma

Casual readers of this blog may not know it, but I am a three year cancer survivor. In the fall of 2006 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I actually chronicled my diagnosis and treatment at a previous blog, Big O versus the Big C.  Many times people think of cancer as an “older person’s disease.” However, some forms of cancer tend to strike younger people much more often–Hodgkin’s is one of them. It used to be a near fatal disease–however, due to huge advances in treatment and follow up care, the current five year freedom from progression rate is about 90%. However, this has created its own set of problems, as young survivors have the whole world in front of them yet face their own limitations brought on by both treatment and the disease. Some of us face problems that people our age aren’t used to–like continued pain, clotting issues, fatigue, and memory issues.

One organization going a long way to help on both the research front as well as the survivorship front is the Lymphoma Research Foundation. In the past I have supported ACS and LLS, but lately I’ve moved towards LRF because they have a very efficient fundraising operation (over 85% of their fundraising goes back into programs). Additionally, they support my oncologist at UVA, Dr. John Densmore, through grant money.

To help support their programs and mark three cancer free years, I will be completing a 5k walk in Rock Creek Park, Maryland on May 16th. I know that times are tough, but your small donation can go a long way to help fight this disease and provide much needed support to an under-served part of the survivor community.

5k is that daunting, but as I said the disease has presented some issues for me, as well as my car accident back in September, so I plan on doing some training to be able to complete the walk problem free (and make sure I don’t have terrible blisters from unprepared shoes). You’ll be able to track my progress here at the blog–however, if you’d like to support me financially, click here to donate.

Thanks for taking a moment to read about this endeavor close to my heart. We’ll return to our regular political coverage shortly, so don’t go into withdrawals on me 😉

Categories: Personal

Goodlatte Coming to Edinburg

…..before he comes to Mt. Jackson, but hey, you take an audience with your Congresscritter when you can get it. Before he comes to the annual Lincoln Day Dinner next Friday, Congressman Goodlatte will host a dutch treat luncheon next Monday at Creekside Plain and Fancy from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $15. You can pay at the door, but you need to RSVP with Clay Sutton by COB tommorrow, Thursday, March 18th.

Congressman Goodlatte is of course a firm no vote for the Democratic health package, but certainly all of our representatives need to hear from us, particularly in these trying economic times as they try to hold the line on both taxes and spending. I likely won’t be able to make it, but I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to bend the Congressman’s ear and support his upcoming bid for re-election.

Goodlatte’s visit comes on the heels of his endorsement of Shenandoah County Republican Vice-Chairman Jeremy McCleary in his run for the mayor of Woodstock.

26th District Update–Potential Candidates

March 17, 2010 9 comments

Well, it looks like Rockingham and Harrisonburg is settling in for its first special election since 2008 and the first one for the General Assembly that I know of (feel free to chime in if anyone has history on this). The timing is still very tentative on all this, as under state code it is the Governor that calls special elections for the House of Delegates, unlike with local vacancies where all sorts of timelines are dictated by law. Before anyone accuses me of jumping the gun, let’s face the facts:

  1. This special was triggered by a happy event, not tragedy, and Delegate Lohr has made clear his intention to leave the House
  2. Rockingham and Harrisonburg have very active and vocal committees
  3. Given the redness of the county, there are a large number of Republican elected officials who could conceivably run, to say nothing of former officials and candidates.
  4. Given recent performance by the Democrats in Harrisonburg, this seat will be viewed as at least somewhat in play by DPV, particularly given that redistricting will likely move the district inwards towards Harrisonburg and take away some of the most Republican territory in the district

If you still think I’m jumping the gun, forgive me. Sometimes you just can’t help yourself when it comes to intra-party intrigue. So what will the process look like? Well, from my reading of state law, primaries CANNOT be held in the event of special elections, so the nominee is going to be chosen using one of three party-run mechanisms: a firehouse canvass (which is essentially a primary except run by the party and generally not for the full 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. timeframe of public primaries), a convention (in which Delegates are elected by the units {in this case Harrisonburg and Rockingham} and the number of Delegates elected by each are determined by the unit’s relative strength in the District), or a mass meeting (in which all Republicans may participate but again is run for a much shorter period of time and according to the rules of parliamentary procedure). I think a mass meeting is highly unlikely given the district comprises two units. We may see some wrangling over the method itself–however, the vote on the method will fall to just two men–Dave Huffman, Rockingham County Chair, and Tracy Evans, Harrisonburg City Chair. A nominee must be selected either a) within five days of the writ being issued if the election is to be held less than 35 days from the time it was issued or b) no less than thirty days before the special election. The method of nomination may very well dictate who gets in and who doesn’t given that some methods will clearly not favor some candidates.

We will have continuing analysis of the district throughout the week, including the interplay of deeply red Rockingham and purplish Harrisonburg, along with the effect redistricting will have on the district as well as the campaign. However, for the time being I want to start by discussing the candidates in play. Again, this may seem to be jumping the gun, but let’s be honest–the jockeying has already begun. Additionally, the announcement comes just days before the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Lincoln Day Dinner sponsored by the combined Republican Women’s Club, so there will definitely be some jousting going on by that time. Below the fold is a blow by blow for the names floating around. For right now we’ll start with the Republican side for one simple reason–I know the players.

Read more…

BREAKING: Lohr to become Ag Commissioner, Leave House

Just was alerted to this by a friend of mine who works in the General Assembly–nearby Delegate Matt Lohr (R-26) has been appointed as Commissioner for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Lohr has not yet resigned from the House and will not take the job until May 1st. However, from the tone of his letter (click read more below for the complete letter) he has decided to resign (and almost certainly has to under state law), meaning the move will surely trigger a special election in the district, which comprises Harrisonburg and parts of Rockingham County.

Lohr is a familiar face to those in the Valley, including Shenandoah County, as he often appears on WHSV, the main station for the area. Lohr previously served as a statewide FFA officer and runs his own family farm and pick your own pumpkin patch. I’ve worked very closely with the Delegate on several campaigns and worked with his staff during his first year in the House (he and Delegate Gilbert were both members of the class of 2005). Lohr is definitely an excellent pick for the position, as he brings both extensive knowledge and passion to the position. His letter to supporters is below the fold.

Of course, even with this happy news for the Lohr Family, this does mean that a special election will be triggered in Harrisonburg and creates practical political concerns. The seat went heavily for Lohr in the fall, scoring 73% of the vote and even carrying the city proper, which was the first time a Republican Delegate candidate had since 2001. However, Democrats currently control city council, and they won in 2005 (Kaine only), 2006 and 2008. The city makes up a slim majority of the district, so it could be in play. Still, the overwhelmingly Republican nature of the district makes me lean towards making this a likely Republican hold.

The field may already be cleared, but names to watch as the election develops, on the Republican side:

Chaz Evans Haywood, Clerk of Court
Tom Mendez, City School Board
Mike Meredith, former GOP Chairman
John Elledge, former LA to Delegate Glenn Weatherholtz
Tracy Evans, former city council candidate and City GOP Chair
Kerri Wilson, former City GOP Chair and City School Board Member
Pablo Cuevas, Board of Supervisors member

On the Democratic side:

Kai Denger, Mayor
Gene Hart, Democratic nominee in 2009
Lowell Fulk, Democratic nominee in 2003 and 2005

Wild cards (independents):
Rodney Eagle, 2003 State Senate candidate and former Mayor
Carolyn Frank, 2005 Independent Candidate for Delegate and Councilwoman
Myron Rhodes, local political gadfly and blogger

We’ll track this story as it develops. This may even be enough intrigue to convince me to attend the Rockingham-Harrisonburg LDD this Friday.

Read more…

Notes from SCRC

March 13, 2010 4 comments

(County Convention, 6th District News below the fold)

As promised, I have something to write about. Well, it may not be of interest to the Virginia Blogosphere at large, but there are some tidbits that play into outside races, and in the interest of picking back up local political coverage, here it is. This was the first meeting in nearly seven years that I did not have to speak at, and I must say: I certainly understand the tedium that can build in the cheap seats now.

First up were various reports from Chairman Mike Monahan and the other officers of the committee. Not much there, other than the expected kudos for electioneering activities and our victories in November. Of note–the Committee will be hosting its Annual Lincoln Day Dinner two Fridays from now, March 26th, at 6:15 p.m. at the Yellow Barn Complex at Shenandoah Caverns. Congressman Goodlatte, Delegate Gilbert, and Senator Obenshain will all be there–however, we’ll also be hearing from Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, as well as RPV Chairman Pat Mullins. I suspect we’ll also be seeing our candidates for Congressional District Chairman. Tickets start at $20 and details are available here. (Full disclosure: I am both a sponsor of the dinner and also purchased ad space to promote this modest venture of mine)

Read more…

Back in the loop

March 11, 2010 1 comment

I know its been quite a long time, but fear not–I haven’t gone away. I’ve quite rather enjoyed my little sabbatical away, but I feel its time to write (and film) again. Political season is gearing back up, so check back here in the next few days for more political posts. I’ve got thoughts on other issues too, but again, I need to write once more, so check for all that.

Coming up soon: Video from the Lincoln Day Dinner in Shenandoah County, and (possibly) film from the next County Republican Women’s meeting, as well as plenty of news about upcoming inter-party and local political fights, and the occasional thought on teaching.