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

1 comment:

Lee said...

Sorry, Tucker. This Saturday past, December 13, 2009, you bore out my objection (based on a deep sense) to your serving in the first place. You were buy-able and have been bought. How much did you gain from declairing that last Saturday's vote would be by secret ballot?

Tells me a great deal about South Side Politics!

Lee Vanderhoef
Albemarle County, VA