Mike Messier, candidate for Sheriff of Prince William County, likes to tell voters that he’s a life-long Republican. With evidence that Democrat Lee Stoffregen is supporting his Republican primary campaign and rumors of him sending out letters on Mike Messier’s behalf, I thought it might be interesting to see what this “life-long Republican” has been up to. Something tells me that Messier is something other than what he presents himself to be.
Mike likes to participate in General Elections, although sometimes he’ll miss one or two, such as he did in 2005. He doesn’t seem to be too interested in primaries, such as the one in which he is a candidate. He participated in the 2005 Republican primary, but none before that. I don’t have data on the 2006 election cycle, but can’t imagine he would have skipped it while enaging in a campaign. It does seem a little funny that he will be asking voters to come out and support him in a primary that he typically wouldn’t participate in himself.
As far as supporting Republican campaigns, he’s been pretty much AWOL there, also. Until he started running for Sheriff it doesn’t seem that he’s ever contributed to a Republican campaign on either the state or federal level. We do know that he was active in a few campaigns, however. The only problem is that all his campaign activity seems to have been on behalf of Democrats.
In addition to being Lee Stoffregen’s Chief Deputy, Messier was the campaign manager for Lee Stoffregen’s Democratic campaign the first time Stoffregen ran for office. During the 2003 elections, Mike Messier was out collecting petition signatures for Lee Stoffregen as well as actively campaigning against Gainesville Supervisor John Stirrup, and other Republicans. When Messier started his campaign for Sheriff in 2004, one third of his campaign account was provided by Lee Stoffregen. So if Messier thinks this is how a “life-long Republican” delivers on his pledge to support Republican candidates and demonstrate his belief in Republican values, the Prince William County Republican Committee may beg to differ. I certainly do.
My take is that Messier intended to run as the Republican opponent against Stoffregen, and regardless of who won the same set of folks would end up running the Sheriff’s office, with Stoffregen and Messier switching between the Sheriff and Chief Deputy roles as necessary. Messier’s relatively recent allegiance to the Republican party may have been nothing more than a necessary element in an attempt to corrupt the democratic process by controlling who would show up on the ballot. Glen Hill destroyed any such plan before it could be fully realized by defeating Stoffregen, Stoffregen was later indicted on charges of corruption, and his political career is now appears to be in ruins. Were it not for Glen Hill, the Sheriff’s race probably would have been a choice between a crook and his sock puppet.
Has Messier realized the errors of his ways and now committed himself to Republican ideals, or is this the same old Lee Stoffregen crony? Unless he intends to be forthcoming about his past as a Democrat activist, I’m deeply suspicious of his motives and intentions.
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