From Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Jack Wilson: 2019 After Action Report

Like you, I was profoundly disappointed with the election results last Tuesday.

Based on the hard work of you and other volunteers, the tireless efforts of our candidates and the Republican voter enthusiasm I saw from the absentee ballot and early voting numbers, I allowed myself to be optimistic on Election Day – but it wasn’t to be.

Alternatively, the Democrats didn’t get the “blowout” they had long predicted. Republicans held the Democrats to a one-vote margin in the Virginia Senate, while in the House of Delegates a 6 to 1 spending advantage and millions more in dark money and liberal interest group funds were poured into California-drawn gerrymandered districts.

In short, the Democrats didn’t win the election on an agenda – they bought it with George Soros’ money. As a result, Virginia Democrats have no mandate for their radical political agenda; merely an outrage machine directed at the one man in the White House, President Trump, who is stopping them from doing to America what their reckless policies have done to California.

So where do we go from here?

The media will echo a Democratic-driven narrative of surrender. We will reject that narrative. As a political opposition, our charge is now to tenaciously counter every piece of legislation these so-called “progressives” will force on working class Virginians – and we will.

After reflecting on this past election and my first full year as chairman, what is clear is that the old way of doing things simply isn’t working. Virginia Democrats hold all five statewide seats, they hold both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly, and with a sympathetic liberal media on top of their own paid-for ecosystem they will do everything in their power to beat us down and keep us there.

Voter Registration Means More Republican Voters

First and foremost, we must continue the hard, slow but vital work of registering our voters. The Democrats have stolen a 14-year march on voter registration and are reaping the rewards. The only way to get more Republican votes is to go find and register more Republicans.

It is an issue of simple mathematics. The Republican National Committee and the Donald J. Trump for President Committee have recognized this as a top priority for Virginia as well as all targeted states in 2020. The Democrats have been registering progressives to vote in Virginia for over a decade, and that work clearly bore fruit on Tuesday.

Either we expand our tent to include the folks who believe what we believe and welcome that new blood into the Republican Party of Virginia, or we continue to concede elections to the Democrats for the next two decades.

Quit Apologizing; Take The Fight To The Democrats

Second, we must refine our message to voters in the Commonwealth by going beyond being the so-called Party of No.

This cycle the message seemed to be No! to infringing on the 2nd Amendment, No! to repealing our right to work laws and No! to late third trimester abortions. Now, don’t get me wrong, those are all vital issues on which we must stand firm.

Our Republican base has a right to expect the Republican Party of Virginia and our candidates will stand up in defense of our 2nd Amendment, right to work, and our pro-life values. But along with that goes a bold vision of freedom to independent and swing voters focused on issues such as transportation, education and health care. The government cookie cutter might be the most straightforward method, but it is more often than not the clumsiest, most brutal and unthinking method of them all.

Just as important, we must stop treating minority communities as appendages to the Republican Party; in fact, our minority communities should be our strongest voices. The Republican Party was founded on this very premise, and it is a heritage we never have nor ever will surrender.

In short, we must go beyond our our comfort zones and reach back to the Republican Party that trusted individuals – and not government – to build prosperity for our children and grandchildren. That is the sort of hopeful and optimistic conservatism that gave us the coalition of electoral success for nearly 30 years. Those voices still exist; they deserve our encouragement!

Reinvest In Our Party Infrastructure

Most of all, we desperately need to reorganize, restructure and refocus the Republican Party of Virginia.

The simple truth of the matter is that Democrats have not defeated Republicans in Virginia over the last decade: Republicans have defeated Republicans.

We need to stop begging our elected officials for funds and refocus the RPV into the independent voice of the grassroots volunteers who spend the time and effort on the ground in support of our values and candidates.

We must remodel the Republican Party of Virginia into an independent, co-equal and strong partner of the caucuses and candidates as opposed to serving as a net drain on their resources.

The answer for this is very simple. Unless our members are invested in the Party, we are never going to become the independent voice the grassroots of the Republican Party of Virginia work so hard to maintain. Our unit chairmen deserve better, our district committees understand better, and most importantly those carrying our battle standards as candidates for public office deserve better from Grace Street.

On this front, I have an ambitious plan to rejuvenate our fortunes that will require a small commitment from each and every single Virginia Republican who still believes in free markets, free minds, and a free society. More on this at the Advance (and I hope to see you there).

Overview

The Republican Party of Virginia did not reach where we are overnight; recovery will take time and effort. Yet we have a basic moral duty to preserve and fight for our liberties in the face of a Democratic majority, one that was bought with liberal out of state and dark money interests – and whose first official act was to elect a lobbyist as Speaker of the House.

Next year we will have the opportunity to re-elect President Trump and Vice-President Pence, unseat Mark Warner from the U.S. Senate and grow our numbers in the U.S. House of Representatives. We will challenge each and every Democrat for the sole reason that they deserve to be challenged, as they are either complicit or active in the continued efforts to undo the results of the 2016 election and harm the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

Just 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Democrats are today championing the cause of socialism and failure right here in Virginia. They are going to sell us an agenda they never ran on, precisely because they know that Virginia voters would have rejected it had they done so.

Over the next few weeks I will outline various plans to address the issues we face. I hope you will join with me in rolling up our sleeves and getting to that hard work of rebuilding our RPV and taking the fight for our shared conservative values to the Democrats and to all the voters of Virginia.

I hope to see you all at the Republican Advance at the Homestead on December 6-8 where we can discuss moving forward.

In Victory,

Jack Wilson
Chairman
Republican Party of Virginia

Posted in News & Updates

VOTE TODAY!

It’s Election Day 2019! There are elections statewide today.

Vote at your regular polling place. (Look up your polling place here.)

Polls open at 6:00 am and close at 7:00 pm. (If you are in line by 7:00 pm, you will be allowed to vote.)

If you requested an absentee ballot but did not mail it, you MUST physically deliver it in person to your county/city elections office by 7:00 pm tonight for it to count!

Posted in News & Updates

Election Day is next week – are you ready?

Election Day 2019 is now just one week away. Every General Assembly seat and many local offices are up for election. Have you made plans to vote?

If you qualify to vote absentee, Tuesday 10/29 is the last day to request a mailed absentee ballot! You can request it online here.

In-person absentee voting remains open through this Saturday 11/2. Most local jurisdictions have expanded hours and additional locations in the final days. See the post below for information from your county/city.

Finally, if you want to volunteer to help our local candidates, please use the links on the right side to get in touch with your county/city GOP.

Posted in News & Updates

Absentee voting is now open!

Absentee voting for the November general elections is now open!

If you qualify to vote absentee, you can now request a mailed absentee ballot or vote absentee in person.

VOTE BY MAIL

You can request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you online at the Department of Elections Citizen Portal. Enter your information and then click “I want to apply for absentee voting” and follow the steps to request your mailed ballot online. (Alternatively, you can print and mail a paper application.) You must request a mailed absentee ballot by October 29th. Your completed absentee ballot must be received by 7:00 pm on November 5th, so it is highly recommended that you mail it no later than 11/2.

VOTE IN PERSON

You can vote absentee early in person at your county/city elections office.

» Information for Alexandria City residents
» Information for Arlington County residents
» Information for Fairfax County residents
» Information for Falls Church City residents

Posted in News & Updates

In Memoriam: Helen Blackwell

We mourn the passing of Helen Blackwell, a lifelong Republican and former member of the 8th District Republican Committee. Please find below her obituary and details on funeral services this upcoming weekend.


Helen Blackwell

Helen (Reddy) Blackwell, lifelong conservative activist and leader, passed away on September 8, 2019.

Mrs. Blackwell was a tireless champion for her principles. She served as the Virginia State Chairman of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum for 25 years and, for many years, wrote a regular, national newsletter, “News and Notes” for Eagle Forum. She was also director of the Virginia Conservative Alliance and the Voting Integrity Project, of which she was the original chairman.

A dedicated political activist, Mrs. Blackwell was elected chairman of the Arlington County, Virginia Republican Committee three times and was the Republican captain of the Lyon Village precinct in Arlington for 41 years. She served on the State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Virginia and was a Delegate from Virginia to a Republican National Convention.

Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore appointed Mrs. Blackwell to the Board of Visitors for James Madison University; she served in that role from July 1999 to June 2004.

Mrs. Blackwell was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She attended one year at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and received her B.A. in History of Art and M.B.A., both from Louisiana State University, where she was the co-founder and secretary of Students for Conservative Government. She spent a year of post-graduate studies in art at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana). She was a volunteer docent for many years at the National Gallery of Art. Since 1972, she resided with her family in Arlington, Virginia. She was an active member of Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church and the Eleanor Wilson Chapter of the D.A.R.

Mrs. Blackwell was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother. She is survived by Morton, her husband of 47 years, her sons Charles Attaway and William Blackwell, her daughter-in-law Wendy, and two grandchildren, Isabel and Paxton Blackwell.

Visitation will be held on Friday, September 13 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Advent Funeral & Cremation Services (7211 Lee Highway, adventfuneral.com) in Falls Church.

The funeral service will be held on Saturday, September 14 at 11:00 am at Columbia Baptist Church at 103 West Columbia Street in Falls Church. A graveside ceremony will follow immediately at Columbia Gardens Cemetery at 3411 Arlington Boulevard in Arlington.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Leadership Institute or to Columbia Baptist Church.

Posted in News & Updates