Wednesday, April 23, 2008

George Allen Endorsement

I won't even try to write and introduction for this endoresement;
(Click image to enlarge)

Unhappy Units In 5th District

Some Unit Chairs are not happy with the tactics being used by my opponent and a few of his supporters.
Mr. Judd,

I would like to file a formal complaint with RPV regarding Tim Boyer's repeated attacks to discredit our Unit Committee and our properly seated delegation. Mr. Boyer's fraudulent and destructive actions should disqualify him from active participation in the Republican Party of Virginia.

Mr. Boyer has obviously concluded his campaign for 5th District Chairman will fail. In light of this discovery, he has chosen to deploy tactics to try to unseat delegates from counties who have endorsed Tucker Watkins. Although Mr. Boyer has no factual basis to attack these delegations, his repeated attempts to disenfranchise 5th District votes are not only counterproductive to our overall Republican goals, but are in direct opposition of the Principles of the Republican Party.

Clearly Mr. Boyer's actions have shown he is not only unqualified to hold the position of 5th District Chairman, but he has displayed qualities which clearly show his desire to destroy the very County Units which he proposes to lead.

I, and other Unit Chairmen are having to defend ourselves and our Units from Mr. Boyer's fraudulent attacks.

I would like RPV to take action against Mr. Boyer's efforts to disenfranchise Nelson County's Delegation Votes, as well as other counties throughout the 5th District.

Thank you,
Shelby H. Ralston
Nelson County Republican Committee
And this from Keith Drake;
Rebuttal to False Claims Regarding Albemarle Mass Meeting
Candidate Tim Boyer Refuses to Set the Record Straight

Making false claims about how a local unit conducts its Mass Meeting--without regard to whether the information is correct--unfairly casts doubt on the reputation of that unit. When the person making such false claims is a candidate running for party office, that behavior is shameful.

Tim Boyer--candidate for 5th District Chairman--has made false statements of fact regarding the Albemarle Mass held March 17, 2008. You can read his entire, unedited email below.

Mr. Boyer claims some delegate applications arriving at the 7 p.m. deadline were not accepted, thereby raising the question that some potential delegates may have been excluded. This statement is untrue--all applications received on March 10, 2008 (the date of our delegate filing deadline) were accepted without objection or condition, and only one (not several) were received via fax at 7 p.m.

He also claims two delegates were accepted at the Mass Meeting without having pre-filed any application. Also untrue: no delegates were considered who had not pre-filed. Mr. Boyer should know his statement is false--since he was in attendance at our meeting!

You can see Mr. Boyer's specific, incorrect claims and my responses below.

In Albemarle, we try very hard to be fair to all parties. As such, as the Permanent Chairman of our Mass Meeting, after hearing the report of our certified slate of delegates, I specifically asked if there were anyone else who should be considered as a delegate ("going once, going twice..."). I did so to ensure we had not inadvertently missed anyone. No one responded.

In an email to me, Mr. Boyer indicated his questions regarding Albemarle's conduct were merely "a response to unfounded accusations against *my* campaign." No accusations against Mr. Boyer were made by me, nor on behalf of the Albemarle Republicans.

Mr. Boyer has been provided ample opportunity to set the record straight, but apparently has chosen not to take advantage of that opportunity. Making false claims about activities here in Albemarle serves no useful purpose. Such behavior shows a profound lack of integrity, and is not representative of the type of person we need leading us in the 5th District.

Keith C. Drake, Ph.D.
Former Chairman, 2001-2008
Permanent Chairman, Albemarle Mass Meeting

Specific False Claims by Mr. Boyer

The following excerpt is taken directly from my email to Mr. Boyer on Sunday, April 20, 2008, at 4:00 p.m. Previously, I had requested of Mr. Boyer that he provide the basis for his claims of fact, which I knew to be untrue. He did not provide that information, merely replying instead that his statements were in defense of attacks on his integrity. I will be happy to forward to anyone the entire, unedited email thread--simply reply to this email.


From: "Keith C. Drake" >>

To: Tim Boyer

Cc: Albemarle GOP Chairman >>

Subject: Re: FYI

Date: Apr 20, 2008 4:00 PM

Dear Mr. Boyer:

In your original email, you represented you were "put(ting) the facts out before everyone" that "There were two counties this year where events occurred that prevented folks from being delegates."

Regarding Albemarle County, you made the following statements of fact:

1. "Several folks faxed their applications in at the last minute,"

This statement is false.

In fact, at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 10, 2008, only a single application was received by fax at the location specified by the Albemarle Mass Meeting call. The transmission of that fax began just before 7pm, but finished just after 7pm. It was my judgment to accept that application. I have three witnesses who were with me at that time who can confirm this information (we even had a brief discussion about what we all thought was fair). They will confirm that your statement
"several folks faxed their applications at the last minute." is false.

2. "(Their applications) were not accepted because the faxes were still coming over the machine at 7 pm."

This statement is false.

In fact, since there were not multiple faxes -- as you claim -- there was no possibility to not accept them. Again, I have three witnesses who can confirm this information.

3. "Two folks asked to be elected as delegates, although they had failed to pre-file their applications at all"

This statement is false.

Two people pre-filed their application one day late, on Tuesday, March 11, 2008, and those were the two that were accepted at the mass meeting by unanimous consent. I have a separate witness who can confirm the receipt of those applications well before the mass meeting.

Open Letter To All 5th District Republicans

Dear Fellow Republican,

Being the Chairman of the Fifth District Committee is a great honor and a great responsibility. It takes a commitment of time and resources. It takes experience and the willingness to travel many times over long distances to get the job done. I have done it in the past and want, with your help, to do it again.

We will have challenges his year and next like we have never faced before. With Virgil’s extremely liberal opponent raising more money than anyone in the past, we will face attacks of negativity in volumes that we have not ever seen before. Add to that the tens of millions that Mark Warner will reach into his own pocket for and the possibility that Virginia may be a contested state in the national election and this is a year that could be, without proven committed leadership, a disaster.

2009 could be even more challenging. It will be the year that the Democrats believe they can retake the House of Delegates. I have no question that they are looking right now for someone to oppose and defeat many of our members of the House of Delegates, We cannot let that happen.

In the past ten years while I have been chairman, the Fifth District has been recognized as one that finds and elects solid conservatives to Congress and the General Assembly. I am proud to have been a part of making the Fifth District be recognized as one of the most conservative in Virginia. I have worked to find candidates and am working now to find ones to get more seats in our hands in the fifth district. I have been humbled over the past several months when I have been traveling in the district with the outpouring of support from over thirty current and past unit chairmen and republican leaders who have offered me their vocal support. I hope you will join us because together we can do a great deal more than we have even dreamed of before

Together we have found and elected excellent legislators and through them advanced our Republican agenda. Unlike other parts of Virginia, we have not lost a single seat we have gained in twenty five attempts by the Democrats to defeat our legislators. We have won races in Senate and House districts, never giving one back.

The job of the fifth district chairman is one to get things done. I have worked since I returned from Viet Nam in 1971 in every election and always supported the Republican candidate. For my work I have been recognized as the most outstanding volunteer in Virginia by the Republican Party of Virginia. That award was really one we all earned together.

Frank Atkinson, the best author of books about political history in the past five decades in Virginia, inscribed in the last book he wrote about our history from 1981-2006 , “To Tucker Watkins One of the heroes of this book. Thanks for your dedicated leadership in behalf of Senator Allen, Our Republican Party and our proven principled principles of honest, limited government .” In the book I was humbled at be given credit along with one other person to be the principal people who made it easier for Congressman Goode to become a Republican. There are many others who helped make that happen and I and everyone in this district will always be in your debt.

Through networking with people all over Virginia, I have been able to assist financially in every election we have had a Republican running.
We have gotten hundreds of thousands of dollars of assistance from outside he district. I have hosted a number of events at my home to raise money so that we could assist in local races in addition to the larger ones, something that few congressional districts do.

I have never missed a meeting of the state central committee nor the executive committee, not a convention either state or national, not an advance, nor a gala since being elected chairman. I have averaged over thirty five thousand miles on my car every year going to GOP events. With today’s gas prices that isn’t going to be cheap for the next two years.

I have been fortunate to be asked over the past ten years to take a number of leadership roles within our party. I was selected as the Chairman of the Resolutions committee in 2004 and we wrote the most conservative platform that the Virginia GOP had seen in years. I will serve on that committee again this year and I will only support a strong conservative platform. If you have ideas for items to be included, please contact me.

I don’t like being negative toward an opponent but when there have been clear misstatements of facts in his letter to you, I think you need to know.

Tim says if elected he will have more experience than others elected to be the district chairman. He points to his fifteen years of activity and very short time as a Vice chairman of his local unit.

I started helping republican units in 1971. By 1998, when elected chair, I had thirty seven years years, almost twice what he offers. I now have forty seven years. I had been elected to lead three statewide civic organizations before running for chairman and was recognized by one as one of their most outstanding leaders when they named one of their awards after me.

The only person elected district chair with less experience than Tim would be Donivan Edwards, someone Tim supported. Every other chair I have known since 1971 had vastly more experience.

He says he wants to take the party back to winning again. AGAIN ? The Fifth District has been the most winning district in Virginia in the past ten years. In 2007, I personally assisted in every campaign where we had a challenger and was named as one of the biggest winners in Virginia. Tim was at meetings where assistance was asked for and he never assisted a single contested legislative campaign in any way even those that were close to his home.

He talks about not injecting himself into local unit affairs. He and his brother have a long history of doing exactly that, traveling from county to county to try to oust local chairmen. I have never done that. I work with who the county wants as their leader, not who trying to insert someone who pleases me. Ask those in almost every county that borders on his own if this is true. Right now he is even trying to find some technical way to disqualify people who have been elected by their units to come to our 5th District convention. Doing that will make it impossible to build a district wide team and I call on Tim and Rick to stop and apologize publicly today for these actions.

I am pleased to have over thirty present and past Chairmen and recognized Republican leaders supporting me. You will see emails from all of them in the next few days I am even more pleased that Senator Allen and Jerry Kilgore have also endorsed me and you will see those in the next few days also. That is the foundation for a very strong team for the future

We are not perfect in the district right now. But I have plans to take us to the highest levels in this country. These plans come from talking to the units about what they want, not what I want to impose on them.

  1. Recruit opponents to oppose Ward Armstrong and Roscoe Reynolds. I have already started doing this and have met with potential financial backers in Martinsille and Henry County.
  2. Get better voter information in legislative districts where we are most likely to be challenged in 2009. I am already working with members of the legislature and committed College Republicans to team up and make this happen.
  3. Know all newspapers and bloggers who cover our area so we can get our message out. I have already met with a number of the media in a number of counties. I have attended every blogger conference and all the conservative bloggers know me well.
  4. Get software in place for every county to manage their membership and allow them to work smarter. I have already been working on this project with highly qualified software writers fin our district for several months now.
  5. Network with even more people statewide to bring more assets in to fifth district. I was in DC last week to meet with leaders and was at the shad planking the next day. This is already being done
  6. Assist every unit with a welcome package for new members. Many new members just do not understand what is going on when they join us. Not only do we need to sign up new people but we must keep them. I designed such a package for new members of a statewide civic organization that is still used today twenty years later. I already have the format down
  7. Bring regular quality training into the district. I have been a certified trainer myself and have attended classes given by the Leadership Institute and many others. I get requests to train every year from organization I have been involved in. I am still going to classes and will attend one this Friday. Not a future idea but already being done.
  8. Assist local units in planning events to make them more successful. I was the national promotions manager for the 1988 convention of the United states Junior Chamber of commerce. I have been planning and executing events large and small for over thirty five years and have hosted many district picnics at my home. I have already made plans for future events
  9. Do more cross unit team building in the district. We have taken district trips to see DC and other places in the past and will again. They have brought together people who didn’t know one another at all for the good of the District. We have great assets that we need to share. I already have talked to people in Dc to make a greta trip possible.
  10. Work with our allied groups. I have already attended meetings and spoken to every College Republican Unit in our district and work with the leadership of the Virginia Federation of Republican Women. I have already spoken to many of their units and have already attended a number of their state wide meetings.
When the question comes up about who is truly ready to hit the ground running, there is only one person who is already running and who, with your help, make us an even better district than we are. I am not asking for time to get to know people, I know them. I am not asking for time to get programs started, I have already started. This is not a time to stop and train anyone, especially when our opponents are better funded and organized than ever. We just don’t have the time to spare.

I ask for your support and hope you will join the over thirty present and previous chairmen and recognized leaders who are supporting me.

With the spirit of building rather than tearing down, we can dream and achieve those dreams. I had dreams ten years ago about how we could have successes that others thought impossible. Together, we have made almost all of them come true. Together, united, we can reach out, find great candidates, fund them, elect them, and move a solid conservative agenda forward.

If you want to quickly become a member of this mission. Please let me know with a return email. It can’t be done by one but one can lead a team. I ask for your vote to let me return to lead the best district in Virginia.

Tucker Watkins
2091 Black Walnut Rd.
Randolph, VA 23962
434 222-9888 cell
434 454-7131 home

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

From The 4th District, Jason Gray, Chairman

Jason Gray is the current 4th District Chairman. We have worked together for a number of years now on the Executive Committee of the State Central Committee to bring more assistance to local units and the grassroots. He has been a longtime worker for Conservative Republican Candidates all over Virginia.

Dear Tucker,

I am pleased to support and endorse you for Chairman of the 5th Congressional District.

As the current 4th District Chairman, and long time State Central member, I know what it takes to be a successful chairman. The ability to bring people together and the ability to work with others is critical as a district chair; you have these qualities and more. Having a positive view of our party with the foresight to see and the courage to address and fix problem areas speaks to your capacity to serve the 5th District as its chair.

Your wealth of experience and knowledge of the district will serve Republicans well, not only in the 5th District but statewide.

I look forward to working with you and wish you the best of luck!


Jason V. Gray
4th Congressional District Republican Committee

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dr. John Donaldson, Campbell County

Dr. Donaldson has been a long term leader in the Fifth District. He is known for his bedrock conservative principles and his hard work over many years. He was a missionary to China for a number of years. As a professor at Liberty he trained young leaders in conservative principles that will make our country stronger for years to come. I am proud to have his support.

From the Desk of John W. Donaldson

Former Campbell County Chairman

I was recently informed and surprised that Chairman Watkins was being opposed for the Fifth District Chairmanship by a young man from Campbell County. Watkins has considerable support from those in Campbell County for his leadership in candidate searches, encouragement to those choosing to run for public office, and equitable attention to concerns from both wings of the Republican Party. I decided to make some comparisons for my support of the candidates and would have encouraged greater participation from Campbell County to the Fifth District Meeting than the local candidate’s family representing our interests. My comparisons:

Chairman Watkins

The Challenger


1. Instrumental in successful candidate searches for public offices.

2. Participant & leader to State and National Republican Conventions

3. Previous 5th District Chairman who devoted an inordinate amount of time and personal expense to perform the assigned role

4. Has served on election committees for state, national, and gubernatorial candidates.

1. Vice-Chairman of Campbell County Republican Party.

2. Worked on Rick Boyer’s election to Campbell County Board of Supervisors


1. While I served as Chairman and a member of the Fifth District Committee, bias or persuasion to a particular point of view or candidate was not evident.

2. He sought candidates who could win and encouraged the local units to do the same.

1. As part of the Vice-chairman’s expected role in Campbell County Republican Party membership is a primary responsibility. Membership has declined.


1. If Campbell County Republican Party held a meeting, Chairman Watkins made an effort to attend, often attending several different county meetings in an evening

1. For the past year, attendance at the Campbell monthly meetings has been sporadic.


1. Has faithfully communicated political insight into election statistics.

My conclusion: Chairman Watkins' experience and contacts, both to political candidates and to local units, are critical for Fifth District Representation. In the past, he has shown an inordinate amount of time devoted to what most of us would consider an avocation. I, and I do not think I speak only for myself in Campbell County, would select Chairman Watkins for the Chairman of the Fifth District.

Bill Wheaton, Lynchburg Ledger

Bill has been along time conservative observer and commentator about politics in Virginia. He moved to Campbell County several years ago and immediately became active in the unit. He writes a regular column now for the Lynchburg Ledger about politics in Virginia.

When I moved from the 11th to the 5th District four years ago, Tucker Watkins was one of the many new political activists I met. I have come to know and respect his political expertise, both on policy issues and in grass roots organization. He has provided exceptionally good leadership in the 5th District and has the confidence of many conservatives such as myself. I am therefore very pleased to endorse Tucker Watkins for re-election for Chairman of the 5th District Committee.

Bill Wheaton

Campbell County
Lynchburg Ledger Columnist

More Endorsements From Young And Old

I am again humbled at the support I have received yesterday when doing some calling around and doing a number of emails. I had a number of unsolicited offers to write endorsement letters and you will see a number of them this week. They are from the people who are involved now, who are the workers who work every election year after year doing the things that have made the 5th district known statewide as a place transformed from Democrat rule to one of the strongest GOP places in Virginia.

I have gotten great comments on the type of positive endorsements written so far and today is no different. But I want to add a little something different today. Four years ago, I chaired the resolutions committee for the State Convention of the Virginia Republican Party. We had some of the best thinkers in the conservative movement serve on the committee and we came to unanimous agreement on a solid set of resolutions in just over a half hour. We did not quibble over the placement of commas but wanted a solid vision of where we as Republicans stood. So today, after the endorsements, I am going to include a couple of those resolutions. I will again serve on the committee this year so if you have comments on the resolutions and think they should be changed or put in again, please let me know. As once was said in a famous song "If you don't stand for something you don't stand for anything.".

There are two blogs who have endorsed me in the last several days. I hope all of you know what they are because they are important ways to communicate with the grassroots and get around the old media who, as we know, often does not tell our conservative story. They are the grassroots media of today and I have been to every bloggers conference held in Virginia. I have learned a lot from the bloggers and I hope you will start reading them as I do. They can be brash and outspoken, they can be harsh, but they are the thoughts of people who care about our party and are not afraid to be out front in our cause. They are the Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannitys of the written world. I like to compare them to the pamphleteers of Revolutionary war times who led us toward a path of independence and freedom.

From Liberty University, Annie Celoto

The first endorser today is a young lady who I have gotten to know as someone who really cares about our party, our state and our country. Wise beyond her years, she has not only led the largest College Republican Unit in Virginia at Liberty University, but she has worked in a legislators and now a congressman's office (No not Virgil's). She motivated the CR's at Liberty to really get involved at every level of campaigns and every campaign in Virginia sought out the help of her chapter. When they were asked to help, Annie delivered, in every way the campaigns needed. This is another grassroots person whose name you will surely hear from in the future. Her endorsement means a lot to me.

Tucker Watkins has been an outstanding voice for the Republican Party. His ability to reach out to all ages of persons will serve as an invaluable tool when leading the 5th District. He's very resourceful and has a strong desire to help one succeed, he is a team player. I served as the Chairman for the Liberty University College Republicans - the largest College Republicans in the state - and Tucker Watkins reached out to the club by assisting us with the growth of our club, all the while giving us opportunities to become more involved. His passion for service was exemplified through this! His integrity and deep understanding and knowledge is sorely needed to help with the growth of the Republican Party in that state of Virginia. Please join with me in supporting Tucker Watkins!

Annie Celotto

Chairman, Liberty College College Republicans

ED Early- Charlotte County

I have known Ed for many years. He has served as chairman of the Charlotte County GOP for over twenty years and has served on the State Central Committee for a number of years. His county has regularly returned good numbers for Republicans running for office. It is encouraging to me that Ed, one of the seasoned veterans in our organizations, joins Annie, one of the youngest, in supporting me.

Tucker Watkins has worked tirelessly all around the Fifth District for the Republican Party and Republican candidates. He is a man who can get the job done. I support his ability and efforts to lead the party on its winning course in the future. Please cast your vote for Tucker Watkins for Fifth District Chairman at the Fifth District Convention on Saturday, April 26.

Ed Early
Charlotte County Chairman 20 +years
State Central Member 8 years

Bob Cranston

One thing one always knows about Bob is that always speaks his mind. He served our country for many years in the armed forces and has been awarded some of the highest recognition for his service that is given. He has served in leadership role after leadership role both in Bedford County and in the 5th District. He has stuck it out when being a Republican was not a popular thing and cares greatly about the future of his home unit and the 5th District.

Tucker Watkins is the only Republican in the Fifth District qualified to Chair the Fifth District Committee. He has a superb winning record, and counts among his friends most of the Republican leadership of the Commonwealth. His opponent touts his position of Vice Chair of Campbell County the reason for any successes that Republican Committee may have had. Gene Smith is the Chair of that County. All successes on his watch are certainly attributable to him.

Also Tucker's opponent calls himself a Reagan Republican. Has he not heard of the Great Communicator's eleventh commandment to not speak ill of a fellow Republican? Tim and Rick Boyer have spent their whole career in speaking ill of, and tearing down those who oppose them. It is ironic that those who wish to keep a winning Republican Party in the Fifth District must also resort to such tactics to defend their winning ways. Reagan would turn over in his grave!

Let us really be honest about it. For what ever reason Tim and Rick Boyer are of the ultra right wing of the party. They think that they should be in control of the Party and everyone else should fall in line and do their bidding They label those who don't agree with them as RINO's (Republican in name only)., and do everything thing they can to force them out of the Party or deny them positions of leadership. There is a fallacy to this thinking. All Republicans subscribe to the Republican Creed. Most Republicans have a deep faith in Christ, support legal immigration, lower taxes, limited government, a strong national defense and are pro-life and pro-marriage. Why then does Boyer discriminate so strongly against those who seek cover in the Republican tent? Invariably, in general elections, Republican candidates who have subscribed to the ultra right phenomenon have gone down to defeat. Think about it. It just cannot and won't be done without the energetic support of ALL Republicans. And that's an indisputable fact.

In spite of the fact that Boyer states we need to get back to our winning ways, WE DO WIN. Some have short memories of the Fifth District accomplishments under Tucker Watkins. When George Allen lost in the State, the Fifth District gave him a great majority. We delivered for Bill Bolling and Bob McDonnell. I don't want to repeat all those great accomplishments of the Fifth district in Tucker's letter. Please read it and you will soon see who we need as the next chairman. His facts are indisputable.

And by the way, what does the Fifth District Chair have to do with policing the scandals in Washington? Tim said he is going to do it. We intensely regret the negative tone of this missive. We don't like our politics to be like this, but we have to counter the half-truths and. plain fluff in Boyer's letter. We are concerned for the Party when individuals with practically single issues can round up people who have no basic interest in the Party and show up at Mass Meetings with just a name for whom they are asked to vote. These people have never been seen at a Republican meeting and will never be seen again for two years. The result can be poor Unit leadership and a lack of grass roots hard working party members. Also we see nothing in Boyer's letter about the War against terror. We should strongly support our President and our troops in harm's way. I am surprised that Boyer does not.

Please, for the sake of our Party cast your votes for, and support Tucker Watkins. He is a Viet Nam Veteran, receiving the Bronze Star, a Patriot, A great Republican and a great leader.

Bob Cranston, current 5th. District Vice Chairman and former 3 term Bedford City/County Chairman

Jack Watts- Franklin County

I met Jack Watts a number of years ago when he was the Vice chairman of Franklin County, Jack has been heavily involved in civic organizations for many years and added that training to his leadership skills in making the Franklin County GOP a winner and a fun place to be.


I am happy to hear that you are running for the District Chairmanship again. I really enjoyed and appreciated your leadership and assistance when you were the District Chairman during my Chairmanship of the Franklin County Republican Committee.

You are well known and respected through out Virginia and our district achieved greater impact and gained more respect as a result of your enthusiasm and leadership. We got a lot done too!

I look forward to your return as Chairman.
Best Wishes,
Jack Watts
Past Chairman,
Franklin County Republican Committee

Now for the Blogger part

I hope you will again understand these are young people who can be outspoken at times. I don't actually know who this writer is and I don't hand select every candidate. I have lots of help finding good people and I hope you will help me with that in the future.

The Contemporary Conservative

Gotta call it like you see it. After taking a brief break of about nine months, Tucker Watkins, the longtime Chairman of the 5th Congressional District, is again seeking the office of Congressional District Chairman. Tucker previously held the job for ten plus years and he is stepping back into the arena. Presently, there are no other GOP Congressional District Chairman that can singularly reach out to the blogosphere, recruit effective conservative candidates for various local, state, and federal offices, raise money, effectively motivate grassroots activists, train his unit chairmen to do everything they need to do, and he can school damn near everybody on the RPV State Central Committee on any topic. He has sufficient b**** and backbone to back up what he says under any circumstances.

Tucker's hand selected candidates have whipped those selected and supported by Minority Leader Ward Armstrong, Governor Kaine, Governor Warner, Delegate Brian Moran, Attorney General Mary Sue Terry, former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer, Senator Chuck Robb, Senator Creigh Deeds, Leslie Byrne, et. al. When folks step in the 5th Congressional District for battle, they better bring their A game and a lot of luck to take out the silver haired wolf (who passed the eligibility age for Social Security ten years ago). Tucker has gone toe to toe with the best the liberal Democrats have to offer. At the end of each round, it has been Tucker with his arm victoriously raised in the arena. Tucker Watkins is an old school ass kicker who has the ability to exceed expectations by doing things the old way--building a team, setting goals, and following through, while providing the necessary resources (training, financial, etc.) to empower others for success.

He is a Vietnam veteran, a fiscal and social conservative, and one of the hardest working District Chairman that RPV has ever had. He is the same man on Sunday morning as he is on Saturday night. His principals are unshakable and his political instincts are innate. His political acumen and brutally effective Sun-Tzu influenced strategies are only eclipsed by the congenial "aw shucks country boy" persona that most outsiders use to define him to their peril. RPV, and the 5th Congressional District would be well served with Tucker Watkins back in service to the party. Folks underestimate his skill and abilities to their detriment.

The 5th Congressional District Convention of the Republican Party of Virginia will be conducted on April 26, 2008 at 10:00AM at Hampden-Sydney College. Please attend and vote for Tucker Watkins for Chairman.
I am also pleased to receive the endorsement of the publisher of the Blog, "I'm Not Emeril", Alton Foley. Alton is also the Vice-Chairman of the Henry County Unit.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Endorsements From Shelby Ralston, Keith Drake, Kathy Ferguson, & John Putney

Over the past years while traveling all over the district, I have done a great deal of thinking about what it takes to be successful as a district chairman. I have come to believe we are like a big patchwork quilt, with many different patches, from grassroots volunteers, great candidates,unit leaders, financial resources, allied groups, and RPV to mention just a few. A district chair must be able to work with people from many backgrounds and who may have divergent ways of looking at things to achieve common goals. He must be the strong thread that binds together, understanding the long term goal. He must with those who are elected from the units, not try to decide who should be elected. It is not a job where you try to impose your will on others but to understand all the pieces and bring them together for a higher goal.

Yesterday was truly special when two of our own were elected to statewide office in the VFRW.

Brenda Campbell has been one of the hardest working volunteers for many years in Virginia and worked on the campaign of Republican icons as Jesse Helms in North Carolina. She has worked her way up the ladder in the VFRW, working for many years in many positions so she would have a strong foundation to be President. She has traveled all over our nation for the national organization and I know the VFRW will do well the next two years with her proven leadership.

Theresa Zick is just beginning on that ladder but if what I hearing from other is true, it won't be the last we hear from this lady. She has a wonderful ever present smile and values that will make us all happy.

The endorsements that you have already seen and the ones you will see the next few days are special to me is that they are the people who know me best, those friends who have been in the trenches all over the district, working hard to elect every republican nominee. They have done the really hard work in every election. They know how we have worked as a team to get things done and are ready to continue to do so in the future.

First for today is Nelson County's Shelby Ralston;
Shelby stepped forward when things just weren't going well in her county and has wonderful roots in the community. She has worked hard to elect Republicans on the local level in a tough county for us and there is no question that the future is bright in Nelson with her leadership. She is a delight to work with.


Thomas Jefferson said, "We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate."

Participation... it's the glue we all seek as GOP committee leaders. Participation, to show our conservative voice in American has not faded, but grown in commitment. Participation, from people who will not just talk about participating, but who will take action and lend a hand when the call comes. Participation... there is no better word to describe Tucker Watkins.

As I have told many friends, Tucker is "The VISA Man"... He's everywhere you want to be. Each time I have spoken with Tucker, he is either coming from, or on his way to, a Republican gathering, meeting or event. Whether it be a local picnic, an official meeting or White House Gala, Tucker is the most involved person I have met in the GOP. Tucker's network of political friendships and dedication to our Republican Creed are key components to our 5th District's success.

Tucker has my vote of confidence without hesitation. I sincerely hope Tucker will have your vote on April 26th, to officially step back into the 5th District's Chairman shoes, which he so perfectly fits.

Shelby H. Ralston

Next comes Albemarle's Keith Drake - A name that strikes fear in liberals-rated the most feared conservative in Albemarle and Charlottesville

When Keith became the chairman of our largest GOP unit in the fifth years ago, he was ready to take organization to a level only few imagined.

Working with Rob Bell for years, Keith knew a lot about how to get things done and has never stopped innovating to make things even stronger and better. He has worked with Republicans all over Virginia to make other units stronger and more able to win elections. He has been a major force in keeping a handle on taxes and spending in his county, and millions have been saved because of his involvement. We will miss Keith as a leader in our district but the taxpayer group he founded will always be a strong ally for our common goal of smaller, leaner more efficient government that is closer to the people.

Dear Fellow 5th District Republicans:

As someone involved in Republican Party leadership for the past decade under Chairman Tucker Watkins, I enthusiastically endorse Tucker for election as
our next District Chairman. Over the years I have worked with Tucker, I have found no one more dedicated to the preservation of core conservative

Under Tucker Watkins's leadership, the 5th District has made very significant gains in terms of Republican seats in the House of Delegates and in many
local offices. Tucker has worked tirelessly on behalf of those candidates. He's not distracted by media attention (purple band-aids notwithstanding),
personal accolades, or party bickering. He simply gets the job done, shuns credit, and moves on.

Despite a district larger than the state of New Jersey, Tucker seems always to attend our events in Albemarle--quite a hike from Black Walnut Farm. He
never asks for time on our agenda (although we always offer), he simply shows up, listens, and offers sage and humble advice.

In addition to his tireless travel and efforts, Tucker's distinguishing characteristic is his wisdom. His advice to me has always been gentle, yet
firm, often showing a more wise approach to a challenge. Tucker has served as a role model to me, and I would not have enjoyed the support and success
I've had over the past ten years in Albemarle County had it not been for the mentorship of Tucker.

In these challenging times when some Republicans seem to have lost the rudder, we need Tucker Watkins as our next District Chairman, to guide us
all on a steady conservative course.

I urge 5th District Republicans to support Tucker Watkins, and I whole-heartedly endorse him. A vote for Tucker is a vote for core
conservative values, and for a Chairman who relentlessly promotes them.

-- Keith

Keith C. Drake, Ph.D.

former Albemarle County Republican Chairman (2001-2008)

HD58 Legislative District Chairman
SD25 Legislative District Chairman

Kathy Ferguson;

If you live in Franklin County and you see her caller ID show up on your phone, you know the odds are she is working on another campaign and is again recruiting volunteers for Republicans. She joined with Nathan Pick to work all over the district in the Allen Campaign traveling to events a hundred miles from her home.

She worked hard to get signatures for Fred Thompson this past year year, getting over 400 from the neighbors around Smith Mountain Lake.

She was a stalwart last year when we had a tough race in her House of Delegates District, working event after event with the candidate and never giving up, even when others said we couldn't and wouldn't win.

My name is Kathy Ferguson. I am a resident of the fifth district of Virginia, and for the last few years I have been a grass roots volunteer working in several political campaigns. I was the proud recipient of the RPV’s Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award for the fifth district in 2006.

Working as the Franklin County coordinator for the George Allen campaign, I had many opportunities to see Tucker Watkins in the workplace. Wherever I traveled throughout the district, Tucker was there working to make sure that everything went smoothly.

Again, I worked closely with the Charles Poindexter for Delegate campaign in 2007. Things looked very bleak at first. We had problems that seemed to have no solution, and we were predicted to lose the election. Tucker Watkins came to work with us, and things immediately began to turn around. He quickly organized our kitchen cabinet and gave the campaign the focus and direction that it so badly needed. Tucker’s networking abilities were immeasurable. He always knew the people in the fifth district to contact for the campaign’s needs – contributions, etc. His keen political savvy saved the seat ! In my opinion, Tucker Watkins is an invaluable asset to the fifth district and the Republican party of Virginia. I enthusiastically support Tucker for our Fifth District Chairman and look forward to his leadership in the upcoming elections.

Kathy Ferguson
Moneta, Virginia

John Putney;

Putney is a name that is beloved in Bedford and other parts of the house district that John Putney's uncle has served so well for so long. John has a long history in Virginia politics, working as an Aide to Senator Kevin Miller, as George Allen's northern Virginia representative, for one of the largest political lobbying firms in Virginia, and now in private practice helping a number of local governments. He is a committed conservative and a friend.

April 8, 2008

I had the honor and privilege to serve as Senator George Allen’s Northern Virginia Regional Director. For those three years, I was fortunate to serve with Tucker Watkins, my counterpart on staff for the Southside region of the Commonwealth. Instantly, I learned and, over time, observed that Tucker had the complete confidence and respect of the Senator’s staff, his staff and supporters, and, most importantly, the Senator himself.

Upon moving back to Bedford, where I was born and raised, I witnessed that same respect and appreciation for Tucker. This time, however, it came from area elected officials as well as City and County Republicans, not only for his work for Senator Allen, but also for his contributions to Congressman Goode, his staff and supporters.

Tucker knows the people of the 5th District, understands the disparate issues associated therewith (as well as those throughout the Commonwealth), and has the requisite experience to serve again as our 5th Congressional District Chairman. I support him 100%.

-John K. Putney
603 Westview Avenue
Bedford, Virginia 24523

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Steve Kendall

Steve Kendall - I met Steve soon after he moved to Nelson County. I knew his son though his son's hard work in a number of campaigns and work for conservative candidates. I watched Steve take one of our harder counties, build a true grassroots organization, involving more people at events than many believed would come out to a GOP event in the county. Nelson was considered one of the really hard places to have events and get support. I will always owe Steve for his hard work. BTW, we also have a great new leader there now who you will hear from shortly
Dear 5th District Friends:

As Republican chairman of the 59th House of Delegates Legislative District and past chairman of Nelson County Republican Committee, I strongly endorse Tucker Watkins for chairman of the 5th District.

My son, Quintin Kendall, who was campaign manager for George W. Bush’s primary in Virginia, was executive assistant to Congressman Tom Bliley, was advisor to Jim Gilmore in his bid for governor, and was Mark Early’s campaign manager in his bid for governor, has told me Tucker Watkins was the best district chairman in Virginia.. Quintin knows Virginia politics!

Many of the RPV field reps for campaigns over the past 10 years have told me what a great asset Tucker Watkins was both in helping them personally and the campaigns for which they worked.

The job of a district chair is to find and elect candidates, support state wide candidates and offer aide and support to local units.

Tucker Watkins has a long list of district wide candidates who he recruited and were elected. So many, in fact, he changed the face of the 5th District to reflect solid Republican;

Tucker Watkins was a major factor in Congressman Goode becoming a Republican.
Tucker Watkins was a major factor in Delegate Watkins Abbitt changing from a Democrat to a key Republican ally in the House of Delegates and who is a member of the Republicans caucus.
Tucker Watkins has driven 100's of thousand s of miles, secured 10's of thousands of dollars, and personally worked thousands of hours for candidates across the Commonwealth.
His success and dedication are unquestionable!
Tucker Watkins has personally helped me and my unit to an extent that far exceeded all logical expectations. He has done the job!

Let the job description be your guide when you vote for District chairman not personalities nor innuendos nor past differences.

Nobody will do a better job than Tucker Watkins. I earnestly urge you to vote with me for Tucker Watkins for 5th District Chairman.

Yours, Steve Kendall

Gary Lowe- Chairman Greene County

I first met Gary a few years ago when attending the Greene County Pig Roast. It is a great event and I have only missed the years when it was held the same day as a State Central Meeting. Getting Bush signs was not an easy project but we came together as a district and saved a ton of money for local units as they just were not available unless you purchased them. We were one of only three districts in Virginia to have joint congressional/presidential signs. Gary has worked hard to deliver for every Republican candidate. I am glad to call him a friend.


Wanted to give my two cents worth on the 5th District Chair Race.

Had the pleasure of meeting Tim Boyer at our Mass Meeting this month. Very impressed with his enthusiasm and message about building the grass roots. From what I have read and heard it looks like Tim has been very involved in Republican politics for a long time. I wish our paths had crossed earlier than just this month. We need more people like Tim in our Party.

I have also had the pleasure of knowing Tucker Watkins for the last four years as Chairman of the Greene County Republican Committee. I am equally impressed with Tucker's enthusiasm and his message about building grass roots. I have seen first hand how involved Tucker has been in Republican politics. Since our paths have crossed, four years ago, Tucker has come to Greene County to help us on many occasions. Everything from getting us Bush yard signs, when no one else could, to speaking at special breakfast meetings, committee meetings and our annual Pig Roast started 29 years ago that introduced a young politician named George Allen to the good folks of Greene County to represent us in the House of Delegates.

From my point of view Tucker has been there when I need him. Tim is a new acquaintance and seems to be a great conservative and I agree with a lot of things he says BUT my allegiance is going to be with a friend that has gone through the test of time.

I wish new friend, Tim Boyer, the best of luck and hope to get to know him better in the future but I am going to support my old friend and proven leader, Tucker Watkins, at the 5th District Convention for Chair.

Gary Lowe

Chairman Greene County

Friday, April 18, 2008

Brenda Campbell Soon To Be President Of VFRW

I am at the Federation of Republican Women's Annual meeting. We in the Fifth have a lot to be proud of today because two of our own will be elected to statewide office. Brenda Campbell will be elected President and Theresa Zick will be elected corresponding secretary. The VFRW members do great work in our district and I have come to their convention for a number of years now. They can be depended on to do many long term projects and are a vital part of our team. Once people used to think that the VFRW was just for minor tasks. That was stupid in my book. The depth of knowledge and dedication to our cause make them a vital part of any campaign's success. (Picture to follow)

Pat Barksdale & Nick Fowler

Pat is a district chairman's dream come true. She has been recognized as the best unit chair in the District for her incredibly hard work. If there is any kind of civic event in the county, there is a GOP table there. When Bill Bolling and Bob McDonnell have come through the county, she has close to a hundred show up every time. There are people involved that never thought they would be and chairmen from surrounding counties regularly attend. She knows how to build a team, encourage her team and do great work.

Dear Friends,

I am Pat Barksdale, chairman of the Halifax County Republican Unit and I want to take this moment to endorse Tucker Watkins for the Chairmanship of the 5th Congressional District. This convention will be held April 26th at Hampton Sydney College.

Halifax County is very fortunate to have Tucker, a member of our unit, works tirelessly for every event that we have including working the polls in Clover (his precinct) on every election day.

Tucker was our former 5th District Chairman and I can’t tell you how important it was to me to have Tucker come as a special guest to our meetings and inform our members of EVERYTHING that was going on in State, District, and National Politics. Tucker makes it his business to stay informed and shares his knowledge with the 5th District.

He has helped me out so many times with my questions on how to conduct special meetings. Tucker knows all of this stuff!

And believe me it is important that you don’t make mistakes and get disqualified down the road for doing something incorrectly.

Thank you for any consideration you can give Tucker Watkins. Feel free to call me with any questions.

Pat Barkdale

Nick Fowler- Nick came to the chairmanship of the Danville GOP with a great deal of experience in other organizations and vast numbers of contacts we have expanded the breadth of the party tremendously with Nick's leadership.

Nicolas W. Fowler

166 Westminister Court

Danville, Virginia 24541