As we approach the party canvass this Saturday its important to keep firmly in mind the ramifications of the decision we Loudoun Republicans face. This is not a matter of simple popularity, it’s a matter of selecting as our Chairman for the next 2 years the individual with the necessary skills and experience to effectively lead us in the public debate and public struggle to elect our candidates to office. It’s about electing a Chairman who displays the vision and capability to increase the public awareness – nationally and locally – of the effectiveness of Republican ideas and the accomplishments of Republican elected officials.
The decision before us comes down to which of these two candidates, Candace Strother or Mark Sell, best meets these requirements. It’s instructive to look not only at their words but their actions. Please recall that I’ve already stated this isn’t about conservative values. Both candidates are solidly conservative and suggestions to the contrary should not be taken seriously. I’ve already written about Candace Strothers’s qualifications and you should take a moment to have a look at that post if you’ve not already done so. Let’s look further.
Both candidates recently wrote letters to the editor addressing the impending tax increases by our Board of Supervisors. But while both spoke against the increases, note that Candace Strother took the opportunity to highlight the good work done by the 2 Republican Supervisors where Mark Sell did not. A good Chairman never misses the chance to mention the efforts of GOP elected officials. Especially in the current BoS environment, any good deeds done by Republicans don’t get called out for public notice. The Commitee leadership must take care of that and that appears to be second nature for Candace.
When speaking to the BoS on the same issue, both spoke against the current Democrat majority’s penchant for simply raising taxes at any opportunity. But while Mark Sell’s commentary amounted to pulpit-pounding and railing at an opponent-led Board to not do what Dems seem to always want to do, Candace Strother framed her comments by highlighting the clear direction of the electorate’s feelings on the matter. She made certain to remind the Supervisors of the most recent general election and made a point of highlighting what that meant regarding the Board’s decisions. A good Chairman takes the opportunity to spotlight where our opponents are weak and to hold out their decisions to the public so it’s obvious when they are out of touch with Loudoun’s citizens. Candace recognizes that the commentary by citizens at these public hearings are directed at the public as well as at the Supervisors. Party leaders know to make sure the message gets to both sets of recipients.
I would note that her comments were mentioned in news articles, notably at the Washington Post which is hardly a GOP-sympathetic paper. A good Chairman makes sure the message is worth repeating, even by our opponents.
In this information age, using the same communications approaches used 10 or 15 years ago doesn’t cut it. Social media, dynamic content such as blogs, and the like are no longer luxuries or showy gadgets. They’re requirements for getting the message out and convincing our fellow citizens that our ideas are the best approaches. A good Chairman embraces new approaches and new technology to give themselves and the party they lead the edge in the marketplace of ideas. Candace’s entire effort in running for the chairmanship has demonstrated that she understands this and is comfortably using the tools we’ll need to engage with the electorate both here in Loudoun, in our neighbor counties, and in Virginia as a whole. This is a matter of using the necessary tools to connect and draw strength from our local, state and national fellow Republicans.
Mark Sell is a great guy and a wonderful Republican. It isn’t about whether he’s conservative enough or Republican enough. It’s about whether he’s leader enough and, given his showing thus far when real leadership was called for, the best candidate to lead the LCRC is Candace Strother.
Please join me this Saturday, March 6, at the party canvass. Please join me in electing Candace Strother as Chairman of the LCRC.