Friday, June 27, 2008

Standing ovation for outgoing Augusta GOP Chairman Kurt Michael

Dr. Kurt Michael

Standing ovation by everyone in the room for Kurt's leadership the past 5+ years.

Thursday night's Augusta County Republican Committee meeting was held in a packed, standing-room-only room where every chair was occupied. The event was the election of a new chairman after former chair Dr. Kurt Michael stepped down following the contentious mass meeting and follow-up appeals that upheld his election as chairman. However, in the spirit of pulling the Party together, he stepped aside to make room for a new leader.

After hearing remarks praising Dr. Michael and thanking him for his five-plus years as chairman, the entire roomful of people broke into applause and rose to their feet in honor of the man who had led them from a skeleton committee of 12-15 members with little infrastructure to a strong committee with 74 members and an infrastructure that includes District Chairs, Precinct Captains, and other volunteers in place.

Kurt Michael (left) talks with Bill Shirley (right) at celebration afterwards at Dairy Queen.

He had been the driving force in recruiting and working to elect Republican candidates in Waynesboro, Staunton, and Augusta County. He had listened to the community and helped in issues such as WRE, the Marriage Amendment, and adult business zoning ordinances.

He had built up and led the monthly SWAC-GOP breakfasts to include statewide speakers who brought in dozens of local Republicans, providing a platform for Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, Attorney General Bob McDonnell, former Virginia governor and current senate candidate Jim Gilmore, former RPV chairman John Hager, former RPV communications director Shaun Kenney, conservative attorney Pat McSweeney, and many others including the SWAC area electeds.

He had worked to help recruit poll workers ... get out yard signs ... made phone calls from GOP headquarters ... taken candidate petitions around his neighborhood ... carried out literature drops ... helped to decorate GOP floats for the 4th of July, Veterans Day, and Christmas parades ... worked the fair booth at the county fair.

He had conducted numerous mass meetings over the past five years for candidates, and he prepared and carried out too many regular meetings to remember.

He had spent countless hours working the phones talking with candidates, volunteers, and other GOP chairs from the area.

And now he was being honored for all his hard work by the Augusta County Republican Committee members ... people from the community who knew the work he had done, recognized the sacrifice, and were thankful for it.

You have been very much appreciated. Thank you, Kurt.

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