More updating on Republican Advance
It took 45 minutes to return home yesterday from The Homestead ... and what a gorgeous drive it was over Warm Springs Mountain and in through the back of Augusta County -- my magisterial district of Pastures.
The annual Republican Advance offers an opportunity for Republican electeds and activists to come together to celebrate victories and analyze defeats. Many ideas were offered as meetings were held throughout the weekend. The optimism and enthusiasm of all who attended was contagious ... and I saw a determination in folks to advance and grow the Republican Party of Virginia in future elections.
It was one of the best attended Advances in RPV history with almost 600 people participating including 575 for the luncheon on Saturday when we heard from Senator George Allen, Attorney General Bob McDonnell, and the newly-elected RPV Chairman Ed Gillespie.
Breakfast earlier that day had featured Lt. Governor Bill Bolling and 11th District Congressman Tom Davis.
State Central Committee met Saturday morning and covered RPV business as well as the election of Ed Gillespie. Ed comes with a full array of credentials and past victories including his term as Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) during the 2004 presidential election when President George W. Bush was re-elected. He lives in Northern Virginia so has ties into an area of the state that has turned increasingly "blue" the past few years. Ed vowed to work hard to turn Virginia around from two recent statewide losses (Kilgore '05 and Allen '06), and reiterated his belief in a "bottom-up" organization where the grassroots volunteers receive as much gratitude as the financial donors. We look forward to working with Ed and seeing Virginia remain a "red" state for years to come.
Since The Homestead is located in the 6th District, we had many activists and electeds in attendance including Augusta Chairman Kurt Michael and Staunton Chairman Anne Taetzsch. Many elected officials were seen including Delegates Steve Landes, Chris Saxman, and Ben Cline, State Senators Mark Obenshain and Emmett Hanger, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, Attorney General Bob McDonnell, Congressmen Virgil Goode and Thelma Drake, and Senator George Allen. Past electeds included Governor Jim Gilmore, Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, and Lt. Governor John Hager. I took no notes so am trying to remember as much as I can to pass along.
A huge group of College Republicans (CRs) and Young Republicans (YRs) were there as well as the Mary Baldwin Republican Club from Staunton. I had the pleasure of sitting with them, as well as Delegate Ben Cline, at Saturday's luncheon.
Many Unit chairs and volunteers took time out of the Christmas season to attend the Advance. That dedication is what will help us remain the Majority Party in Virginia. It was an historic and successful weekend. Many thanks to the staff at RPV for another great event.
See previous posts here, here, here.