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Local Republican chairs throw support to Scott Sayre

Posted by Stephen on May 5, 2007

In the midst of all that is happening in Waynesboro regarding throwing tax payer dollars at private enterprise and luxuries like theatres it’s easy to forget that there is an impending Republican primary vote for the 24th district Senate seat here in the Valley. The Republican nominee will be running against Arine Sime in the general election.

On Wednesday, May 2nd, several local chairs for the Republican Party publically endorsed Waynesboro native and Buena Vista businessman Scott Sayre.

The Augusta County Republican Executive Committee led the way, with 24th District Republican chair Dr. Kurt Michael then announcing the additional endorsements from an overwhelming number of local Republican committees.
 
“We have a long list here of Republican leadership who support Scott Sayre,” said Dr. Michael.
 
Michael spoke on behalf of the Executive Committee, saying, “Scott is a fiscally responsible Republican who will work to bring about true tax reform. It is time for new leadership in the State Senate and Scott Sayre is the man to bring about that change.”

“There is only one true Republican running in the June 12th Republican Primary for the 24th Senatorial District and that is Scott Sayre!” said Keith Drake, Chairman of the Albemarle Republican Committee, in a prepared statement read by former Albemarle GOP Vice-Chair Bernie Greer in Drake’s absence.
 
“Scott Sayre is a businessman with lots of experience and has fresh ideas that I know will serve us well in Richmond,” said Mike Meredith, Rockingham County Republican Chairman.  “We worked very hard to elect Mr. Hanger in 1995 and told him we expected him to do what he promised us he would do when he got to Richmond.  Unfortunately, I am here 12 years later opposing him and supporting his opponent, Scott Sayre.”
 
Meredith added that comments made last week when Hanger said “that elected officials were more significant than members of the local Republican Party,” have cemented his position.  Hanger has since stated that the comments were taken out of context, but to these Sayre supporters, the comments were inflammatory and have added fuel to a campaign quickly growing in intensity.

Hanger’s explanation has not satisfied local Republican leaders. Chris Darden from Waynesboro and Anne Taetzsch from Staunton rounded out the Republican Chairs who stepped forward to endorse Scott Sayre. Darden said in a letter to his committee members that although he planned to remain neutral throughout the primary, Hangers comments last week changed everything. “For me, right now, it is a question of whom am I most responsible to support- the establishment, or the volunteers who help create the establishment.  I believe the volunteers are my main responsibility.”
 
David Kiser, Chairman of the Highland County Republican Committee identified those same concerns in a prepared statement read to a room of volunteers in his absence.

“The Highland County Republican Committee favors and is going to support Scott Sayre in the June 12 Republican Primary for State Senate in the 24th District because we need a more positive attitude in the 24th District and we need to get back to grassroots representation.”

Additionally, there was growing frustration expressed by Republican leaders directed toward Hangers support for in-state college tuition for undocumented immigrants in the Common Wealth.

Meredith explained his dissatisfaction with the incumbent stating, “Emmett has fallen away from the Valley conservative values that he espoused when he first ran for office, joined the Richmond bureaucracy in supporting the largest tax increase in the history of the Commonwealth, and if that wasn’t enough, he also supported a bill which gives illegal immigrants the opportunity to obtain in-state college tuition benefits.”
 
Scott personally thanked all of the members for their support, pointing out that “If you ever want to see how campaigns are won, you have to look to the grassroots members who work so hard to elect someone who upholds their values.  Elections are about change and choice.  The people tonight said they are ready for a change and I am providing the choice.”

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.

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