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Manassas GOP Convention Candidates

By Greg L | 24 January 2008 | Manassas City | 33 Comments

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.

City Council 

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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  1. FHL said on 24 Jan 2008 at 5:57 am:
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    If City of Manassas residents want a City Council with differing views about issues, who can come to decisions weighing all the issues, then you will NOT want to vote the way Greg is proposing. Do you want a “cookie cutter” City Council or do you want independent thinkers who can address all the issues from every perspective? If the answer is yes then Steve Smith, Mark Wolfe and Jonathan Way would be the best choices from this pool. Nominating any others will result in a City Council that will not always use good reasoning in making decisions that will effect City residents. In addtion, the others have no real mission or vision for the future.

    Since I have been a City resident for more than 40 years, I care about who makes the decisions for my City. I do not want a single minded City Council.

  2. anonymoustoo said on 24 Jan 2008 at 6:44 am:
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    I’m a PW County resident who obviously won’t be voting, but in lean fiscal times it would seem prudent to choose candidates with broad views and a tendency not to waste taxpayers’ monies on indefensible lawsuits. I second FHL’s choices.

  3. TDB said on 24 Jan 2008 at 2:58 pm:
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    I’m proud to say, I’m one of the 600 and will NOT be supporting Mr. Smith.

  4. had enough said on 24 Jan 2008 at 4:50 pm:
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    Being an “independent thinker” is another way of saying he votes like a liberal, not a Repulican. The city needs some new real” Red” blood, I am tired of business as usual in this town. Vote Core, Wood, Wolf, I will be.

  5. Leo K said on 24 Jan 2008 at 5:16 pm:
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    Love “had enough”: A member of the herd of nonthinkers.

  6. Becky Dee said on 24 Jan 2008 at 5:16 pm:
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    Councilman Jonathan Way is conservative and has a voting record to back this up. He has demonstrated that he’s committed to republican ideals ever since his appointment to council and has been one of the more hard working republican elected officials. I will definitely be voting for Councilman Way tomorrow. Other conservatives should consider him as one of their top choices as well, he deserves the support.

  7. Batson D. Belfrey said on 24 Jan 2008 at 5:19 pm:
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    Steve Smith hasn’t held true to a single thing he ran on when he was elected previously. He claimed to be fiscally conservative, but is the biggest spender on council.

    Being a criminal defense attorney, Smith defends many illegal aliens accused of criminal offenses. No wonder he voted against 287g. If his clients keep getting deported, there goes all of his repeat business.

    Worse, Smith is no leader, and is certainly no “independent thinker”. I challenge anyone to name one single initiative on which he has taken the lead? If he is passionate about anything, where’s the action? Zoning? Harrover. Vendors? Aveni. ensuring firms contracting with the city are using legal workers? Way. Tax rates? Crime? Hell, funding for the fine arts? What has Steve Smith done to lead? What has he done to make the city better? Nothing…Zip…Zilch…NADA!

    Wolfe? I can’t vote for him. Don’t know him. Don’t know his politics. Never seen him out in front of anything. Never seen him carry water for a single candidate, work on any campaign. He’s never come to my door and told me what he stands for. He’s never asked me for my vote. Core, Wood, Way…I’ve seen them out in front on lot’s of issues.

  8. Leo K said on 24 Jan 2008 at 5:20 pm:
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    Aveni??? Tell me what this guy has done for Manassas. I’m a Way fan and think he’s actually a thoughtful non-ideologue. Now that the Save Manassas has basically ruined Manassas’ reputation and economy, we don’t need more Avenis.

  9. Had to Say said on 24 Jan 2008 at 6:11 pm:
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    Leo K- Help Save Manassas didn’t ruin Manassas’ reputation, the illegals overcrowding nieghborhhods did that. That wonderful sign in Old Town did that. The sub prime mortgages that illegals were able to abtain and now are abanding thier houses did that! Help Save Manassas and some of the candidates that are running are trying to bring back the quality of life that residents enjoyed before all of this started to happen.

  10. Had to Say said on 24 Jan 2008 at 6:14 pm:
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    ooop’s, I mean obtain and now are abandoning

  11. FHL said on 24 Jan 2008 at 6:25 pm:
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    I agree with you Leo K. Help Save Manassas has ruined the reputation and the economy of Manassas. We do not need anymore Aveni’s or Jackson Miller types on council and we especially do not need 3 Help Save Manassas members on Council. Core and Wood are both neck deep in Help Save Manassas.

    I personally do not want that group to have any input into what happens in my City. If they are elected then three and I suspect a 4th closet Help Save Manassas fan will represent the City. If that happens, hope we got lots of dough to pay the legal bills.

    Speaking of Smith not supporting 287g, there was a reason. Did you not know the 3 Chief’s of Police in Manassas, Manassas Park and PW County did not support 287g and explained why they did not support it? Have any of you talked with or know any police officers who are gang officers? Have you asked them why they do not or would not support 287g? Maybe you should. I think Councilman Smith listened to the wise counsel of our law enforcement officials.

  12. FHL said on 24 Jan 2008 at 6:27 pm:
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    Hey Had to Say. The sub prime mortgage issue is a nation wide issue and was not caused by the hispanics in Manassas. Evidently you never listen to any financial advisors, CNN, MSNBC or any local news channels. Pick on the mortgage companies who qualified people for loans they could not pay.

  13. Batson D. Belfrey said on 24 Jan 2008 at 7:02 pm:
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    “Have any of you talked with or know any police officers who are gang officers?”

    Yeah…Jackson Miller, who once ended up on an MS-13 hit-list. I think he knows more about 287g than Steve Smith. The only thing Steve Smith new about 287g was there is a “2″, and “87″ and a “g”, that and it means that a lot of his clients would get deported.

    “The sub prime mortgage issue is a nation wide issue and was not caused by the hispanics in Manassas. ”

    Perhaps, but it wasn’t recent immigrants from Sweden over-crowding homes, and abandoning their mortgages in the middle of the night either.

    “I personally do not want that group to have any input into what happens in my City.”

    FHL, too bad we live in a democracy, where citizens of a like-mind can band together to influence policy. If you don’t like it, move to Cuba. Sounds like you would fit in nicely.

  14. Longtimeresident said on 24 Jan 2008 at 7:57 pm:
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    Jon Way will get my vote! He seems genuinely concerned about the problems that the residents of Manassas City have. Also I praise Mr. Aveni for his work with the city residents. They certainly helped us when the other council members did not seem interested. No vote for Mr. Smith!! What has he done for us??????

  15. proud hsm member said on 24 Jan 2008 at 9:23 pm:
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    Not sure about Way. I heard he wanted Chris Finnie to be his campaign manager! She had a Rishell sign in her yard! Wood and Core are certainly Republican. I want to like Wolfe, but as with others he is an unkwown to me. Smith is trouble I agree. Aveni is not running this time but I would support him and so would my neighbors, we called him and he helped us with an overcrowded house situation. We need more of that and less of independent thinkers to save this place.

  16. CitizenofManassas said on 24 Jan 2008 at 9:48 pm:
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    Hmmm, HSM has been around for less then two years, illegals have been an issue in Manassas for a much longer time. But, lets blame HSM for why the quality of life in Manassas has gone down. Makes sense to me.

  17. Had to Say said on 24 Jan 2008 at 10:37 pm:
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    HSM has not even been around one year yet. GO CORE! GO WOOD! Maybe the other’s aught to vist the hood. They might see how the community has gone down hill.

    BTW- most police officer’s (off the record) want something done about the illegal’s in the area.

  18. VRC said on 24 Jan 2008 at 11:29 pm:
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    Way rarely takes a firm position on anything. He seems to be more interested in being obstructive. He runs around telling everyone he is conservative but I have serious doubts.

    Core and Wood are no-brainers!

  19. Poor Richard said on 24 Jan 2008 at 11:48 pm:
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    Agree with VRC that “Core and Wood are no-brainers!”
    Those with no brain will vote for them.

  20. Rick James said on 25 Jan 2008 at 6:48 am:
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    My votes will be for Core Wood & Way. Core and Wood because I know they will be tough on illegal aliens, Way and Core because I know they will take a hard look at the budget will only raise taxes as a last resort,. Wood because I think she’ll be the hardest working councilman because I think she thinks she has to prove herself as the only woman on council. Wolfe will never cut funding to the arts since it is the arts-types who support him Smith has never been in favor of cutting anything and has opposed lowering tax rates.

  21. Mando said on 25 Jan 2008 at 9:01 am:
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    FHL seems to represent the “enlightened” block of voters.

    I gotta laugh anytime someone states HSM has ruined anything ***especially*** the economy. What makes it even better is when FHL states the illegal alien and mortgage problem have nothing to do with each other in PWC in the same thread he states HSM has RUINED the economy.

    I guess HSM has put a damper on the black market economy in PWC. So maybe there is merit to your point… kinda like antitrust laws ruining the black market economy in China.

  22. Big Dog said on 25 Jan 2008 at 12:29 pm:
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    Good article in yesterday’s MJM about the convention.
    It included:

    - “Manassas City Councilman Jonathan Way considers
    himself a man of principle but also a man of moderation
    who knows how to get things done.”

    - “The last convention was regrettably a trashing
    (your opponet) event. I don’t like that and I won’t
    do it. I’d rather have the other candidates speak to
    their own positions and accomplishments rather than
    critique me”.

    - “… not all of being a city councilmember is
    flamboyant posturing. You have to have susbstantive

    Way to go Way!

  23. anon said on 25 Jan 2008 at 1:15 pm:
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    Way is talking about Maureen Wood who trashed Councilwoman Judy Hays in order to get the nomination 2 years ago. Wood lost the general election. (And also lost twice before as an independant candidate for City Council when she ran against Republicans, begging the question “Does Manassas want Maureen Wood? or is Wood just not listening.) If Wood wins nomination again, and wins the election, she and Way will have to work together. I anticipate Wood will trash Smith.

  24. Batson D. Belfrey said on 25 Jan 2008 at 2:41 pm:
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    anon said on 25 Jan 2008 at 1:15 pm:

    “….I anticipate Wood will trash Smith.”

    Is it trashing someone if you truthfully point out where you disagree with the votes an incumbent has cast, or the positions they have publically stated? I think not. That is what the nomination process is about. You inform the party voters what your positions are, and how they differ from your opponent. Smith, or any incumbent for that matter should be prepared to defend his record. Obviously there are many who disagree with the positions he’s taken. If Wood points this out in a way that isn’t a personal attack, then it isn’t “trashing” Smith. Example:

    Legitimate: ” Dealing with the impacts of illegal aliens in our community who commit felonies is an important issue for me. I support local law enforcement participation in the 287g program. 5 out of 6 City Council Members voted in favor of the City implementing 287g. One did not, Steve Smith. I disagree with his position, which is one of the reasons I am running.”

    Trashing: ” Steve Smith voted against 287g because he is a criminal defense attorney, and this would hurt his business”.

    See the difference?

  25. manassas city voter said on 25 Jan 2008 at 2:49 pm:
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    I did not hear Wood trash Hays at the last convention. I did hear her list some of Judy’s votes and say she would have voted differently. This is not trashing an opponent, but is talking about issues. There may be people who want candidates who do not talk about issues, but who just toot their horn about how well they get along with the old guard in Manassas. We will be more informed about our choices if issues are talked about.

    I plan to vote for Core and Woods tomorrow. Both seem to be aware of the issues that now face Manassas and ready to listen to the voters. I also will probably vote for Way, while it appears he was selected to replace Miller by those who thought he would not rock the boat, now seems to be listening to the concerns of citizens.

  26. anon said on 25 Jan 2008 at 4:06 pm:
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    Way used the words “a trashing”.

  27. sh said on 25 Jan 2008 at 7:27 pm:
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    We as voters have the right to critique the City Council. Criticing does not constitute trashing if it is about issues. I would like to think that Way would like his whole voting record to be transparent. Those who disagree with the record have the right to make known how they will vote differently. It may be that a candidate may not like to have his record srutinized, but how a man or woman votes on the Council is the real measure by which he or she should be judged.

  28. cdubbs said on 25 Jan 2008 at 10:03 pm:
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    Best of luck to the Manassas Convention Delegates. Hope it doesn’t turn into the crooked sham that the 51st delegate convention turned into. Take it from someone who was there.

    Some advice for the delegates… if there are more votes than delegates something is probably not right. Also if there are more bodies than registered delegates allowed into the polling station, something may also be wrong. And Lastly you may want to stay away from candidates endorsed by the PWC GOP. Not a sermon, just a suggestion.

  29. JimmyV said on 25 Jan 2008 at 10:35 pm:
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    So do you think a grocery clerk with a GED is qualified to handle a couple million dollar budget? You want to vote for someone who has run against the Republican party more than once in the past? Big mistake.

  30. CitizenofManassas said on 26 Jan 2008 at 7:32 am:
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    I want people on the Council who does not support and defend illegals.

  31. Big Dog said on 26 Jan 2008 at 7:44 am:
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    Nobody running is pro illegal.
    The question is do you want excited leaders who shout,
    wave their arms wildly, and run into a minefield of
    lawsuits - accomplishing nothing except costing Manassas
    millions - or smart thoughtful leaders who will work
    with the available state and federal programs to actually
    achieve the best possible result?

    The votes to really combat illegals will be for
    Way, Smith and Wolfe.

  32. Big Dog said on 26 Jan 2008 at 12:45 pm:
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    The winners at the GOP meeting this morning were:
    Hal Parrish - Mayor
    Jon Way, Steve Smith, and Mark Wolfe - Council

  33. Local Gal said on 26 Jan 2008 at 6:22 pm:
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    Big Dog,
    Did you really like hearing Mark Wolfe say Manasssas wasn’t a great place to live in 1990 when he came to town? Who the hell would you go ahead and move here then?
    How ANYBODY who was living here at the time(1990) could actually vote for someone that would slam the very city he now wants to represent is beyond my wildest dreams.
    I say any delegate that was living here in 1990 and voted for Wolfe today is an absolute DISGRACE! There were plenty of delegates at the convention that fit the bill.
    Way to go!(sarcasm)
    Well, as far I can tell the city already has a DEMOCRAT ticket. I’ll be voting for the real Democrats or an Independent in May.
    Thanks for making my decission so much easier!

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