If We Had Only Known

   Like so many people in our lives I didn’t take the time to get to know Jerry Wood, if I had only known that his time was so short, I might have taken the time to find out more about him personally.

  That being said I won’t now attempt to say that I knew him well at all, at least not on a personal level.

  I first saw Jerry at Sussex County GOP meetings that I was attending as a visitor, at that time Jerry was just another of the older gentlemen across the room. My first conversation with Jerry was at a meeting to organize volunteers for Christine O’Donnell.

   On a personal level what I remember most about Jerry is that he was one of the quiet ones at meetings, but when he did have something to say it was usually of a positive nature, always it seemed with an eye towards moving the GOP in a more conservative direction.

  I only knew Jerry for a short time, however it was a very challenging time for the GOP in general and for the Sussex GOP in particular.

  As I have said Jerry was working for Christine O’Donnell at a time when that may not have been the most popular thing to be doing, but Jerry, like myself and others, must have felt it was the right thing to do.

  Jerry’s most stand up act for the Sussex County GOP was when he threw his hat in the ring to become the chairman of the GOP Committee after Glen Urquhart was forced to resign to run for office.

  At the time Jerry took over the chairmanship, the committee was having some serious growing pains, and there was a lot of in-fighting. I do believe that it was Jerry’s election that brought some stability to the committee, though some felt he may not have been aggressive enough to handle the multiple personalities of the Sussex GOP. I would say that he did the best he could with a most dysfunctional family.

  One of the largest challenges that Jerry faced was the state senate race for the 19th district. The primary was contentious and through it Jerry attempted to allow the system to work. Of course what followed was a complete shock to everyone. With the accusations made against the GOP nominee Eric Bodenweiser, the general election win for the GOP candidate was called into serious doubt.

  Jerry played a large role in first convincing Mr. Bodenweiser to suspend his campaign, and then to completely withdraw his name from the race, thus allowing Brian Pettyjohn to petition to have his name added to the ballot.

  Jerry also worked with others to see to it that Brian Pettyjohn’s name was added to the ballot and thus making it possible to win the 19th district for the GOP, which we did. This would not have been possible without the hard work of Jerry Wood and others. It was this type of devotion to the Republican Party that Jerry demonstrated many times in the short time I knew him.

 I will remember Jerry Wood as the quiet gentleman across the room, the guy with the wry, subtle sense of humor. I will remember him as someone who stood up and took on the mantle of leadership when few wanted the job.

  It is often said at times like these that we should keep Jerry in our prayers, but I believe that Jerry is beyond the need for prayers, for he is with our Father. I believe that Jerry is praying for all of us now.

  Jerry, I wish I had taken the time to get to know you better, if I had only known.



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