Change I Can Believe in (What I’m Doing)


I live in Fairfax County, Virginia. I am a member of the Fairfax County Republican Committee and am assisting my precinct captain (whilst kicking and screaming) to win in our county-wide elections this fall. After attending several county meetings and exchanging emails with my PC, I decided to get involved. While my (somewhat) eager attempts to join the big boy club were ignored, a letter to editor of a local e-newspaper caught the attention of members of the county executive committee and the campaign manager of the candidate the LTE was written in support of. After exchanging several other emails with my district chairwoman, I was offered the position of Vice-District Chair. Mind you, I’m just a guy who wrote a LTE (which, BTW, was edited by the campaign manager before publishing). I offered my support to my precinct first and that is my focus, for now.
My precinct lies at the very western edge of the county. We have one of the largest rolls of registered voters (4800) in the county (although we have no apartment complexes and very few townhome communities). While waiting for my PC to provide a copy of the voter rolls of the precinct (and I’m working on my district chairwoman to give up the entire district’s), I went to the Commonwealth’s Board of Elections page in order gauge the effectiveness of my PC.

Looking at only the numbers – in terms of voter turnout – over the last the past few election cycles, I began to notice a pattern.  As expected, off-year election turnout is rather low. But when comparing good years like 2009 to the worst of years, like 2006, my numbers don’t change much. For instance, in 2006 – a terrible year for Republicans in general and George Allen specifically – 910 voters pulled the lever for Senator Allen (1235 for Webb).  In the next off-year election cycle, 2009, only 924 voters turned out for Bob McDonnell (now Governor) (858 for Deeds).  One would think that the general elections would prove to turn out many, many more Republicans, yet in 2004 John Kerry won the precinct with 1482 votes to G.W.B’s 1462 (yeah, it was that close) and 2008 was slightly worse with only 1255 votes for McCain to Obama’s 1684 (perhaps ~200 registered Republicans voted for Obama? Reverse Operation Chaos?).

I think it is possible to increase voter turnout in November of this year.  Assuming that I get some help from like-minded neighbors, I think it would be rather easy to get a general election turnout for an off-off year election.  I think a reasonable goal, though, would be 1100 Republican votes.

Oh, and if I put all of this effort into this, I would very much like to challenge my PC at the very earliest possible time. Are there any Virginians here who may know when that time would come next?

Crossposted at PROCINCT and RedState.

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Matt Genkinger
Husband, Father, US Army veteran (deployed in support of OEF and OIF), Constitutional Conservative, Precinct Committeman, Iowan by birth, Virginian by choice

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August 10, 2011 10:48 pm

Thanks for posting Novacon! Welcome to UP!

I’m not sure of the timing in VA but we have some regulars here who are also in VA, they’ll be along shortly.

Cold Warrior
August 10, 2011 10:57 pm

Novacon, Bravo! Thank for sharing your experiences. I believe the answer to your timing questions can be found in your county committee’s “plan:” I skimmed it and it looks like your state committeeman are elected to four year terms but you local committeemen are elected to two year terms. Study the plan and then seek out other conservatives to get the answers to your questions. Or direct them to your county chairman. Thanks for getting into the real ball game of politics. If we all focus on getting more conservative voters to the polls, we’ll do okay in 2012.… Read more »

redneck hippie
August 10, 2011 11:21 pm

I attended my first ever Republican Party meeting today. The prior Chairman of the County Central Committee resigned between the time I finagled an invitation to the meeting and attended it. His replacement is an impressive man & after hearing him speak, I feel somewhat better about prospects for Republicans in our county in IL. He actually said he wants Conservatives in the party. Good step in the right direction. The PC ranks are filled for my township (from what I gather at the meeting, an open slot is pretty unheard of.) The gentleman behind me has been a PC… Read more »

August 11, 2011 12:07 am

Sounds like you’re making good and quick progress NovaCon and welcome to UP.

I’ve written about my own experiences and if you’d like to compare notes.

August 11, 2011 6:34 am

Those numbers are indeed shocking and btw I will be more then happy to walk the neighborhoods with you in this election cycle, just send a note to Perry and he will send you my email address, lets make 2012 a HUGE sendoff for Barack Obama and the Democrat Party in Virgina!