It came as little surprise to learn that several candidates for local office; Toni Williams (Jackson District), Jessie Shupe (Louisa District), Tony Brasswell (Commissioner of Revenue) are running as Republican’s. According to the CV, all three of these candidates were “endorsed” by the Louisa County Republican Committee at their May 22 mass meeting, in addition to Donnie Lowe (Sheriff) who had previously announced that he would be running as a Republican.
Unlike the other candidates for local office who have to collect signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot, candidates nominated through this process are guaranteed a spot on the ballot for the November election once the Party submits their nomination forms to the county registrar.
Like their 2015 mass meeting where they nominated Rusty McGuire for Commonwealth Attorney, roughly 50 people attended this year’s meeting. And like the 2015 meeting, the CV overlooked several crucial details about what took place at this meeting and the nomination process.
Starting with the fact that a small group of people, many of who do not likely reside in either the Jackson or Louisa district nominated Supervisor candidates from outside their own districts. They also failed to report that this meeting was not publicized, in the CV or on the Louisa Republican’s own FB and web pages.
Details, which help to obscure the reality that notifications about this meeting were limited to the Party faithful, with announcements about this meeting buried deep in the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV’s) webpage. While it’s long been said that the unofficial motto of the Virginia Republic party is “Keep it small, keep it all,” the real purpose of these mass calls is to allow local Party officials to control voters and their votes.
Speaking of controlling, when Donnie Lowe who is running unopposed for Sheriff was asked several months ago why he is running as a Republican, he reportedly replied “If I don’t they will run someone as a Republican against me.”
Nor is it likely that many locals will remember that is was Major Donnie Lowe who brought a large contingent from the Sheriff's office to the 2015 Louisa Republican’s mass call in an effort to keep Mike Silberman, who was running against Sheriff Ashland Fortune off the Republican ballot.
So it's debatable if he was being honest, or simply trying to conceal that he's always been an authoritarian ... I mean a Replican't. Nonetheless, these are comments, which indicate the lengths that local candidates and the Republican Party will go in order to solidify their grip on power.
Contrary to the Republican Party chair, Graven Craig’s disingenuous remarks in the CV, what took place the mass meeting was not the “natural progression of things,” it was a brazen attempt to press their thumbs on the electoral scales and turn Louisa County staunchly conservative, like Goochland County, which has “had Republican supervisors for at least eight years.”
Meanwhile, the Chair of the Louisa Democratic Committee, Gary Schatz’s observations about “all local races should be non-partisan,” and the recognition that “Not everybody can make it to a convention,” and [holding a mass meeting] “It’s not the fairest way to do it,” will likely be ignored by most of Louisa’s citizens.
While the CV may prefer to dismiss the fact that Duane Adams (Mineral District) 2017 Supervisors campaign received over $20 thousand worth of fliers paid for by the RPV, and that such actions were unprecedented in Louisa County as “conspiracy theories.” It should be interesting to see what they have to say when these local nominees start receiving support from the state Party and other groups.
Editor's Note: Weeks after the Louisa Republican Committee's mass call and nomination of candidate, three of the ®‘s prominent nominees, Donnie Lowe, Dan Brasswell or R.T. Williams don't have a Facebook or web page. From all indications they will be copying the tactics of their ® mentors; Senator Bryce Reeeves, and Supervisor Duane Adams, limiting their public exposure to select gatherings of the faithful, hoping to ride their Party's coattails to victory. While the other ® candidate, Jessie Shupe’s campaign FB page is so bare bones that it’s meaningless.
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