Saturday the Manassas GOP will select their candidates for City Councilman and Mayor in a convention that has signed up about 600 delegates, which is a rather large turnout. With so many critical issues facing the City, it’s no surprise that interest in this convention is running really high. To help delegates sort out the candidates, here are a few of my thoughts:
You unfortunately don’t get to pick a candidate here, since Hal Parrish is the only person who filed as a candidate for the Republican nomination. Hal isn’t a bad guy, but he’s one of those squishy “moderate” Republicans. Having a choice here would have at least forced him to clearly state his policy positions, which he might later be held accountable for delivering on.
I’m really going to miss Mayor Doug Waldron in this seat.
Steve Smith (incumbent): Smith is the only councilmember to have opposed the Section 287(g) Program in Manassas, and the rest of his voting record would similarly be something to make Republicans scream in outrage. His affinity for low taxes, discouraging the unlawful presence of illegal aliens, and encouraging compliance with zoning ordinances covers a full range between outright hostility and quiet disdain. He’s been an utter disaster on the council, and cannot be replaced too quickly. A vote for Steve Smith is nothing less than a vote for local amnesty policies for illegal aliens.
Jonathan Way (incumbent): After a bit of a learning curve after being appointed to fill Jackson Miller’s seat, Jon Way has matured nicely as a councilmember. While not every decision he’s made has earned my applause, he’s been pretty good, and has developed a platform on helping to control the illegal alien problem several months ago although there’s been no action on these initiatives so far. Jon would benefit from clearly defining his policy postions and actually following those up with concrete proposals, but so far when a good proposal has come to him he’s been supportive. He’s worthy of support.
David Core: Perhaps the most exciting candidate of the entire slate, David brings a solid and unapologetic conservative policy perspective, along with experience working on city boards. For those of you who like Councilman Marc Aveni (as do I), supporting David Core is a no-brainer. Core is a competent, hard-working and savvy community activist who would bring a reliable conservative vote to the council, and his election would significantly improve this board. Replacing Steve Smith with David Core would dramatically improve the council, and he would bring a reliable vote in favor of ensuring that illegal aliens don’t get taxpayer funds, that the billboard in Old Town is torn down quickly, and that problem areas in Manassas get some much-needed attention.
Maureen Wood: Maureen’s motivation here was to ensure that Steve Smith wouldn’t get a free pass, just as she ensured that the late Judy Hayes wouldn’t get a free pass last time around, which resulted in Manassas getting Marc Aveni and Andy Harrover elected to the council. The plan had been that Hayes would resign due to health issues, and the council would be able to appoint a moderate replacement, something that Wood managed to derail by going on the offensive about her inaction on the illegal alien issue during the last convention. Maureen has been very active in local and regional politics, and has forged strong relationships with elected officials in neighboring jurisdictions, which would help Manassas to effectively coordinate in regional efforts to ensure public safety, discourage the unlawful presence of illegal aliens, and improve the quality of life in the region. Her policies are as clear as David Core’s, and she would be a fine pick for a council seat.
Mark Wolfe: Mark has some experience on local boards and a strong Republican outlook on national issues, but his reputation for conservative policies at the local level have been continually troublesome. His recent statements in support of illegal aliens to the Washington Post, and the recollection of current councilmembers that the only time they would ever see Mark Wolfe was when he came begging for taxpayer funds for the local dance company is deeply disturbing. This is not a fiscal conservative that would be dedicated to voting for policies that would reduce city expenses during lean times, or which would discourage illegal aliens from unlawfully residing in the city. I can imagine that billboards by Mexicans Without Borders in Manassas’ historic district aren’t going to be a big issue for Mark Wolfe if he is elected. I like this guy, but his policies on local government seem to be all wrong.
So if you’re a delegate at the Manassas GOP Convention, your best bets are David Core, Jonathan Way, and Maureen Wood. Whatever you do, do not, and I repeat DO NOT send Steve Smith back to City Hall.
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