On September 9th, Linas Kojelis, Chairman of the Petersburg Republican Committee (PRC), sent a report to the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV), announcing that the Petersburg GOP unit had met the challenge set by Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, Attorney General Bob McDonnell and the RPV last spring to all GOP city and county units to […]
On September 9th, Linas Kojelis, Chairman of the Petersburg Republican Committee (PRC), sent a report to the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV), announcing that the Petersburg GOP unit had met the challenge set by Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, Attorney General Bob McDonnell and the RPV last spring to all GOP city and county units to double their size by Labor Day. The report stated that the number of full, dues-paying members of the PRC had increased by 35 from 23 to 58, reflecting growth of more than 150%. Popularly known as the LG-AG-RPV Challenge, the membership drive included a cash incentive from the state party of $500 for smaller units, $1000 for larger ones. Reports to the RPV are due by September 12.
“I’m very proud of our entire team,” stated Mr. Kojelis, who explained that the culminating event for this membership drive was a picnic co-hosted by the Dinwiddie, Petersburg and Prince George GOP units on August 14th at Battlefield Swim and Racquet Club with featured speaker Lt. Governor Bolling. The new members were accepted at a unit meeting a week later, and additional applications continue to come in.
“Our unit members are very civically engaged in our city, and we believe the Petersburg GOP is one of the fastest growing organizations in town,” stated Mr. Kojelis. This April, 85 guests from the Tri-Cities attended the PRC’s annual Lincoln-Douglass-Mahone Dinner, reflecting an over 100% increase in attendance over the previous year.
Attorney General McDonnell, GOP candidate for governor in ‘09, applauded Petersburg’s Republicans, stating, “I am delighted that Petersburg has worked so hard and achieved success in more than doubling their party membership. This effort will be instrumental in spreading our positive vision of an America that is strong abroad, free at home, and dedicated to liberty and prosperity. It takes dedicated volunteers to get our message out. Strong volunteers are the backbone of the Republican Party.” He added that “Petersburg has had an uphill battle for Republican votes but winning the Challenge and expanding their membership shows that they are making serious inroads. In the Petersburg GOP I see the energy and enthusiasm that is the future of the Republican Party in Virginia.”
Mr. Kojelis stated, “Our unit is very realistic; the elections this November are going to be a great challenge because Sen. Obama is running as the de facto national “favorite son” for African-Americans, who make up 80% of our cities population and traditionally support Democrat candidates 9:1 over Republicans. But our members will raise the GOP standard high and we expect to campaign throughout all seven city wards this fall.” Republican candidates on Virginia’s ballots include Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin for President and Vice President, Gov. Jim Gilmore for U.S. Senate and Rep. Randy Forbes for the House of Representatives.
For many years, Democrat national and statewide candidates have garnered 80% of the city’s vote. “But Petersburg Republicans know that for these races, one GOP vote in Petersburg is the same as one in Chesterfield, Prince William or Virginia Beach, and we’ll work for each vote,” Mr. Kojelis concluded.