Bill Card won the chairmanship of the Prince William County Republican Committee today by a pretty comfortable margin. Both candidates ran excellent, upbeat races and are to be commended for their dedication to the Committee and commitment to help it succeed. There’s no indication at all that there will be any residual animosity and every sign points to Bill Card continuing the legacy of Lyle Beefelt of being an honest and capable broker.
Lyle’s tenure as chairman is one of the rare instances where a Chairman has been consistently successful. He finishes being as highly regarded as when he first ran, the committee has been winning elections pretty consistently, and there’s been nearly zero distractful interpersonal drama over the past four years getting in the way. Four years ago I heralded Lyle’s election as the opportunity for a competent technocrat to demonstrate the model of what committee leadership should look like and can now point to his two terms as the perfect example of what happens when a chairman correctly narrows his focus to the mechanics of party operations, steers clear of promoting candidates in primaries, and consistently supports Republican nominees and elected officials.
Bill Card is a perfect successor here. He’s been quietly working hard, steering clear of all drama, and is focused on the success of the party. No better example of this was the way he handled John Stirrup’s endorsement late this past week. While Stirrup expressed frustration with Tom Whitmore listing an endorsement from him that wasn’t actually given, Bill forwarded Stirrup’s endorsement message without that portion. If he’s going to wisely calm the waters even when doing so might eschew an opportunity to gain some advantage, I’ve little doubt when his own skin isn’t personally on the line his actions will be careful, thoughtful, and focused on the long term.
Tom Whitmore deserves enormous credit here too, for taking his loss with grace and not being deterred at all from his dedication to the Committee. Everyone I spoke with expressed concern that Tom remain as engaged in the future as in the past to the point one observer wondered whether an office could be established called “Party Operations Chairman For Life” for his benefit. Although he didn’t win the Chairman’s race, there is deep and broad respect for his efforts and dedication and no one wants him to go away.
The most interesting part of this unavoidably loooonnnngg convention (three congressional districts are in the county, all electing state central members, national convention delegates and so on) was predictably Bishop E. W. Jackson’s speech. I don’t know if he’s got a shot at winning the Republican nomination for U. S. Senate, but someday soon he’s going to win an election somewhere and utterly electrify whatever body he becomes a member of. I hope he dispatches Harry Blevins in the Senate of Virginia if he comes up short this time. I’ll have a video of that speech posted shortly.
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