Let me start this post by saying that I had and have a great respect for all that Jerry Wood did for the GOP, both before and as the Chairman of the Sussex County GOP committee.
Some may feel that it is too soon to start talking about who will replace Jerry in that position, but since Jerry had made the announcement that he would not be seeking re-election due to health concerns, we would be having this conversation anyway. So with all due respect, I would like to talk about the up coming elections for the Sussex County GOP committee.
It is no secret that the Sussex GOP is an organization that has several differing factions, and even so, we were still able to elect Republicans to office here in Sussex. Due in some part to the quiet leadership of Jerry Wood.
So what should we be looking for in our next chairman?
Let me start with what I feel we don’t need in a chairman. We don’t need a fire-brand, we don’t need the type of person who runs around waiving their hands and calling people names like RINO. We don’t need a progressive-conservative who believes that it is acceptable to grow government, if, in their view the growth is of a “conservative” nature. And we certainly don’t need a chairman who is looking to run for office.
What we do need, is a person who has conservative credentials, a person who can relate to both the social and fiscal conservatives within the GOP. A person who has worked on campaigns and who understands how to get people elected.
I believe that our current vice-chairman, John Riley is exactly the type of person we need in the chairman’s seat.
I have known John for quite some time now, and have had the pleasure of working with him and have spent hours talking with him about the direction of the Republican party.
I know John to be a person of strong personal principles and values, who I would challenge anyone, to argue that John Riley is not a true conservative. The type of conservative that has the broad appeal that we should be promoting to the rank and file voters.
I know John to be a person who holds his personal faith very close, but who does not feel the need to impose his beliefs upon others. I also know John to be a person who understands, that the current fiscal road, that the state of Delaware and the nation are on, is a road to ruin. That is why I feel that John Riley would be an excellent choice for the chairmanship.
In the time I have known John, I have admired his calmness, a trait that I personally lack. John is able to communicate his feelings without losing his composure. He is able to disagree with a person, while still respecting their opinion. John is a person that I believe has the ability, as chairman, to bridge the gap that exist between the differing factions within the Sussex GOP, unlike others who might seek the position, who would do nothing but widen the gap.
In my opinion the role of the chairman is to recruit candidates, to raise funds, and to organize people to help with campaigns, and to lead by example. We have to ask ourselves, do we want a leader who will be the face of the county party who is known for ranting and name calling, or do we want a person that is known for being reasonable and level-headed?
I believe that John Riley is the type of leader we need, the type of leader who has paid his dues within the party by being a worker bee and who has also had experience in leadership roles in the past. I believe that John Riley is exactly the type of leader we need at this time, to unite the party, not a person who would further fracture the party.
It is 2013 and we cannot afford to waste anymore time arguing amongst ourselves, we need to fix our sights on the true opposition, the Democrats.
I have spoken with John in the past about my feelings about him taking on the chairmanship of Sussex, though I did not consult him, or warn him, about this post, sorry John to put you on the spot. Some people seek the leadership role, others have it thrust upon them. I am not sure whether John is seeking this leadership role or not, but personally, I would be honored to work with John Riley to build and grow the GOP so that we can once again have a real role in governing within this great state of Delaware.