Jim Rich’s Farewell Letter
Just received a copy of this:
Dear Fellow 10th District Republican:
I wanted to let you know directly from me about my political plans for the future. After 20 years of service as congressional district chairman (I believe that I may be one of the longest serving district chairs in the history of the Commonwealth), I will not seek reelection to that position.
Prior to the district chairmanship I served 3 terms as Fauquier County Chairman. For over 30 years I have been a precinct chairman. Beginning in 1984 and every 4 years thereafter, I have served as a delegate or alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention and in 1988, I served on the Platform Committee. One of the most memorable times was in 1976 when I was a press aide and advance man for Governor Reagan who was making a run for the presidency. I have lost track of all of the races and candidates I have supported over the years.
It has been an honor and privilege for me to have held leadership positions in our great party. I believe that our principles of limited, Jeffersonian government, freedom and opportunity as set forth by our Founders are the best hope for America. Ever since I was old enough to read serious publications and literature, I read biographies of all of the greats: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Patrick Henry, Robert E. Lee, Churchill, Reagan, John Adams, among others. They inspired me to believe that if I could do just a small part to promote freedom and limited government, it would be a worthwhile endeavor. All of the hours on the phone banks, at the polls, going door to door, attending meetings and chicken dinners have all been worth it. Additionally I have had the opportunity to work with many great people who love their country. It has been a very special opportunity to work closely with one of the most dedicated, principled and honorable Member of Congress—Frank Wolf.
This is a great time to be a Republican. We have reason to be proud of the big victories in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts. The American people are rediscovering concepts of federalism, limited government, the importance of our free enterprise system and sensible frugal spending policies. We have many hard working volunteers in the 10th District and we have played our part in these recent victories. The 10th District provided landslide victories for Bob McDonnell and the statewide ticket with many of our units at the top of statewide lists for highest McDonnell percentage, winning margin and Republican shift. Statewide, we increased our margin in the House of Delegates by 6 seats. 3 or half of those winning seats came from the 10th District with the election of Tag Greason, Jim LeMunyon and Barbara Comstock. The 10th District pumped thousands of dollars into key 2009 races. 10th District Loudoun County GOP Chair Glen Caroline was named outstanding unit chair in the Commonwealth and Fairfax County was named the best unit statewide. Our units are well organized and headed by effective and hardworking chairs.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported in a January 19 article written by Gerald F. Seib that Wall Street Journal/NBC polls clearly show America is a conservative or center right country: 34% are conservative, 38% are center and only 21% label themselves as liberal. In Virginia about 30% of the people are Republicans, 30% Democrats and 30% Independents. When we nominate conservatives like Ronald Reagan, Bob McDonnell and Frank Wolf who can communicate our philosophy along with concern for kitchen table quality of life issues such as jobs, education, transportation, we win big. As we stay true to our core principles, we must work with center right Independents. The latter don’t vote for party label. They look beyond the label to look at the contents. Wasting time with circular firing squads trying to force an artificial 100% unanimity within our base will lead to certain defeat at the polls. Remember President Reagan’s 80/20 rule. Let us understand that our role as party officials is to elect candidates to office. Only they can cast the votes necessary to ensure freedom and opportunity. Let’s reach out to Independents with the confidence that our message of freedom and opportunity will be well received if articulated well. The politics of addition will lead us to retake the Congress in 2010 and the White House in 2012.
Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to serve and for all of the hard work that so many have given freely. A chairman is nothing without wonderful allies and volunteers who care about America and our Commonwealth.
I am optimistic about our future and will continue working for our great cause of liberty. My optimism for the future of the 10th District is also founded on the knowledge that we have a very well qualified, thoughtful conservative ready and willing to lead in the 10th District and the Commonwealth—Dave Schmidt. I strongly endorse Dave as the next 10th District chair. He is a limited government Jeffersonian, a successful businessman, a hardworking Republican who has put in years of service for our cause including strong support for 10th District activities and events. He knows how elections are won as he himself has won a seat on the Leesburg Council. Dave has always supported Congressman Wolf and Republican stalwarts like Ronald Reagan and Bob McDonnell. Most important, he is a man of character. Please give Dave your favorable consideration. See you on the campaign trail.