Jim Rich: Primary Campaign Manager
Further adding to Jim Rich's troubled reelection campaign for chairman of the 10th congressional district is the revelation that Mr. Rich took sides in a House of Delegates primary inside the 10th. Mr. Rich served as official campaign manager for Kay Hayes, a party activist who unsuccessfully took on then-Mayor Clay Athey for the newly created 18th district seat. While a congressional district chairman running a primary race would be suspicious on its own, Mr. Rich's support did not stop at strategic advisory or official endorsement, but he also contributed financially.
Not surprisingly, Hayes was viewed as the more liberal of the two candidates, and Mr. Rich and his entourage have a record of opposing conservative candidates and officeholders whenever possible. While he has backed the much-loved Congressman Frank Wolf and the party ticket nominally, he has consistently opposed conservatives like Mr. Athey and the man who preceded Athey in representing that portion of Fauquier former Delegate Jay Katzen. Is anyone really shocked that Mr. Rich has stood idly by when conservative candidates face tough elections but kicks in high gear when he faces a legitimate challenger? For instance, Mr. Rich sent out three-page glossy mailer this week detailing his magnificent incumbency and support from one other congressional district chairman. If only Mr. Rich's competitive streak extended to other campaigns.
While this particular blogger has no real issue with Mr. Rich's ideology, do we really want a chairman who sits by and watches his district fall apart? We need a chair who has some youth and energy and most importantly a vision for how to turn this thing around. Let's hope Heidi Stirrup (who has those things I just mentioned) can pull this thing out on Saturday, but I'm not holding my breath.
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