Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Why didn’t Vince Onorato get the GOP’s support?
Why didn’t the Spotsylvania Republican Committee throw its support behind former supervisor Vince Onorato when he announced he was going to challenge Gary Skinner in a three-way race with fellow Republican D.J. McGuire.
Vince wasn’t a Republican for his first foray in local politics. When he ran in his first term he was an independent and eventually joined the GOP ranks. When Skinner ousted him after one term, Onorato said he would never run for election again. The race wasn’t close.
A year later he announced he would challenge Skinner as an independent. A few months after his announcement, he failed to hand in all of the required paperwork to the registrar’s office.
Why did the local GOP choose newcomer D.J. McGuire over Vince Onorato?
Spotsylvania County Republican Committee Chairman Bryce Reeves said Onorato didn’t seek the support. Instead he alienated himself from the party.
"I think he’s tired of politics," Reeves said. "This is tough, man. I have been doing this for a year and a half now and I am immersed in it. It can wear on you. I just get tired of all the name calling. Let’s just get out and solve some issues."
Onorato was asked to be a precinct captain for the presidential race and around that time he had sent a scathing e-mail to another GOP member, Nancy McNamara, in which he apparently denounced the entire party. He called everyone in the party "sell outs."
Reeves is trying to rebuild the party after poor performances in the 2007 elections in Spotsylvania County. Only Jerry Logan won as a GOP member, and he was not contested. Reeves came to a party that had no money left and its credibility was in question.
"I am trying to get the party to a different level," he said.
The problems that have pitted Republicans against Republicans for what seems like forever continue to divide the party.
For example, the Spotsy GOP’s Second Vice President Herb Lux told supervisors at the VRE public hearing that they cannot join VRE because the Constitution does not specifically say the county can.He said during the meeting that the GOP Committee passed a resolution denouncing the county joining VRE. During that hearing, two other members of the local GOP approached me and said that no resolution was passed. Reeves confirmed that no resolution was passed. Reeves said he has GOP members who love VRE and members who don’t like it. He said he is not going to cause trouble for those who like VRE, because they still adhere to the GOP crede and principles.
Herb Lux also wanted all GOP-endorsed candidates to take, and pass, a test on the Constitution taught by himself, and his good friend Claude Dunn.
Reeves described the situation as "New Age Republicans" vs. ultra conservatives.
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