Friday, March 02, 2007

Goodlatte evening in Bridgewater

6th District Happenings

I had the pleasure of joining Congressman Bob Goodlatte last night, along with over a hundred supporters, at the beautiful home of Connie and Carter Melton. It was a messy night with pouring rain and fog but that didn't stop folks from coming out.

Carter Melton is the president of Rockingham Memorial Hospital, and he and Mrs. Melton live at Mapleton Farm south of Bridgewater. Their historic home offered a beautiful yet comfortable setting for such an event, with an overflowing buffet table, a dessert side-table, and a large choice of beverages.

Mr. Melton introduced Bob Goodlatte by talking of the years they've known one another, and the Congressman presented a gift of a silver engraved tray to his host. After welcoming and thanking everyone, and offering remarks about the new Congress, he introduced his guest and turned the floor over to him.

The Congressman's guest was Congressman Adam Putnam from Florida, a young 32-year-old up-and-rising star within the Republican Party. He was personable, likeable, and funny as he relayed to the crowd his story of running for Congress (after first convincing his dad who is now "a political animal"), his awe as he ventured for the first time into the Capitol for swearing-in, and his first contact with snow, something the Florida native had never seen before working in D.C.

Much laughing and mingling went on throughout the evening and there were many Republicans from the Harrisonburg and Rockingham area, but also from Augusta County and Staunton. I know I won't remember everyone but here are a few of them:

Mary Ellen Goodlatte, Chaz Evans Haywood, John Root, Emmett & Sharon Hanger, Jim Bailey, Chuck Wilson, Sheila Jennings, Jan & Bill Saxman, Molly Koon, Laura Bell, Mary & Scott Sayre.

It was interesting because Senator Hanger was working the same room as his challenger, Scott Sayre. This is going to be a match-up to watch as we head to the Primary on June 12.

I enjoyed talking at length with Chaz about his candidacy for Harrisonburg's Clerk of Court election coming up in November. Chaz is well known throughout the area because of his work with Congressman Goodlatte and Senator George Allen. He and I go back a number of years and have crossed political paths numerous times. The first time I met him I asked if he was Chris Saxman's brother -- they looked so similar. He's a hard worker so I'm thrilled he's running for public office. You may want to check out his Chaz for Clerk website.

The College Republicans with me said they had a great time, and I was able to introduce them to Republican folks I knew. Our young people are the future of the Republican Party so I am happy to mentor those who are interested and willing to learn more and become involved.

The Congressman and Mrs. Goodlatte were heading to Richmond after the event so we wished them safe travels as we left and headed back to Augusta County.

Thank you to the Meltons for a gracious evening.

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