Saturday, April 12, 2008

Augusta: Kurt Michael represents the youthful future of the Party....

"Volunteers are the HEART
of the Augusta County Republican Committee."


The phone rang at my house all day Friday as dozens of people checked in after Thursday night's debacle of a mass meeting ... together Kurt and I probably fielded 50 calls and emails. They were friends who had been there to support us and were offering to help however they could. They are the grassroots.

Set-up for the Augusta County GOP mass meeting began Thursday afternoon at 3:30. Forty volunteers came out to the government center to move chairs and tables, register participants, and to help in other ways. They stayed around to clean up afterward ... "many hands make for light work."

Forty volunteers! There were people from Augusta but also Staunton and Waynesboro working together ... the SWAC community of new energized volunteers ... working as they have the past five years under the chairmanship of Kurt Michael.

Over a dozen young people came out to vote for "Dr. Mike," as he is affectionately known by the younger set ... young people who are the future of the Republican Party. Home school families turned out as well as friends and neighbors in the community.

By 9:30, as the evening dragged on, dozens of people who had young children at home had to leave. It was, after all, a school night. Many of those were Kurt Michael supporters who apologized that they could not stay longer.

The meeting room Thursday night was divided into two sides.

Kurt's side represented the youthful future of the Party, new people in the community, Teenage and College Republicans, those plugged into the new media, and those willing to fight the local energized Democrats. The Party has grown under Kurt's leadership as he has energized the community by inspiring them to come back to the Party ... get involved ... be a part of the team ... volunteer!

Emmett's side was the Old Guard which appeared to be headed up by Supervisor Chairman David Beyeler and Commissioner of Revenue Jean Shrewsbury. After losing in Waynesboro and Staunton, they were determined to not lose in Augusta.

Larry Roller was quoted as saying:
“The party faithful who were there were supporting their favorite son. Emmett was born and raised in Augusta County and was groomed for the job since he was in high school.”
But I thought we were voting for Chairman of the Party ... not for Emmett.

From Thursday's Staunton News Virginian:
While noting the connection between some of the candidates and the state senator, [Kurt] Michael said it is “Emmett Hanger vs. Kurt Michael.”

Emmett Hanger said Wednesday that this is not the case. “That’s what he wants to make it,” he said.
It seems clear this election was not about Kurt Michael being an ineffective leader. This election was about last year's primary.

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