Saturday, April 01, 2006

Kopko Wins

Like the last contested race for Prince William County Republican Chairman, this year's race was decided by a thin margin, with Tom Kopko squeaking to victory with a single vote.

Contrary to the efforts of some to characterize it as such, this was not a particularly ideological race. On one side, there was Brian Murphy, supported by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, Bob FitzSimmonds, and others. On the other, the victorious Kopko, endorsed by Delegate Jeff Frederick, and Supervisors Corey Stewart and John Stirrup.

Apparently, BOCS Chairman Sean Connaughton largely stayed out of the race. Indeed, he didn't even show up at the County Convention. One cannot help but wonder if he shows up only when he wants something (as in 2004, when he was running for the GOP nomination for Lieutenant Governor).

It was good to see an event where some of the old warhorses --- former Supervisor Tony Guiffre; Ruby & Riley Kroh; Dave Mabie --- who helped bring the GOP to preeminence in Prince William were there.

What this race was about seemed mainly to be the question of the competence of the leadership of the County GOP. And Kopko, whatever his faults (he has been savaged in some places), at least has come up with a plan to help build the GOP. Indeed, while I supported Kopko, I was very concerned that the passion necessary to defeat an incumbent was not there.

Brian Murphy, on the other hand, seemed all too willing to listen to that contingent of opportunistic Republicans who, if the Democrats were dominant, would probably be on the other side of the aisle. Perhaps that has changed --- I respect many of his most prominent supporters --- but you know the old phrase about "Fool me once...." As someone more glib than I said after the votes were counted, "Brian's main theme seemed to be 'Vote for Me; It Hasn't Been So Bad.'"

For what it is worth, thanks to the wisdom of the author of the County's Party Plan, Brian's ability to contribute in a leadership role continues; he remains a voting member of the Executive Committee as Immediate Past Chairman.

UPDATE: Well, OK, not really an "update." Charles Reichley, who must've been busily pecking away at his keyboard during the Convention or within minutes of adjournment, has a much more detailed discussion here, and it was up before my post. Charles includes a discussion of a dispute which modesty (ha, ha) forbade me from discussing. I corrected one small factual error, which Charles graciously acknowledges.

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