WJCCRC Members and Supporters: As vote tallying comes to a close and election results are certified on Monday the 13th, I want to express my and the WJCCRC Leadership Team’s heartfelt appreciation to our members and supporters for enabling us to compete in every 2023 electoral race. We had a terrific presence at the Early Voting and Election Day poll sites to inform voters of their choices, which helped result in victories for 13 of our 17 state and local candidates!
I also want to express heartfelt appreciation to our candidates themselves, for their sacrifices to ensure our Conservative values and interests were represented in the 2023 elections. The WJCCRC was one of only three out of the state’s 125 Republican Committees to field candidates for EVERY electoral race, and 10 of our 17 candidates were first-timers! Their and their families’ willingness to run enabled us to maintain our conservative presence on the JCC Board of Supervisors (BoS), the WJCC School Board (SB), with our Constitutional offices, and on the City and County Soil & Water Boards. While we had sought to win a conservative majority on the BoS and SB, the voices we have gained replacing our outgoing elected Republicans will bring renewed energy and passion to the positions.
Hearty congrats as well to the top of our tickets going 4 for 4! Danny Diggs’s state Senate victory was the only statewide Republican pick-up, while Amanda Batten, Ryan McDougle, and Chad Green’s victories ensure that ALL of the WJCC are represented by Republicans in both the State Senate and the State House.
The Committee made significant strides in 2023 to support and elect Republican and Republican-endorsed candidates – something we can all be proud to have been a part of. Persistent WJCCRC fundraising since 2022 enabled the Committee to meaningfully underpin our local candidates' campaign efforts. The voter engagement panels conducted by our Education Team helped develop our School Board candidates. Upgrades to our Early Voting tent presence -- which clearly identifies us from a distance as Republicans -- motivated our tent supporters and demoralized the Dem Party tent volunteers (based on their own emails and efforts to copy our offerings). Finally, we allocated funds to support our first-ever digital Get Out The Vote (GOTV) effort to deliver Sample Ballots via SMS to over 10,000 WJCC voters. Now, election results are not finalized until Monday afternoon. The City still has not formally submitted its 774 provisional ballots; mostly same-day voter registrations by William & Mary students. The County also has 800+/- mail ballots that have not yet been returned by recipient voters. Any of those postmarked by election day and received by next Monday morning will also be counted, along with the JCC’s ca 200 provisional ballots.
Given the propensity of W&M students to vote Dem, the final margins of Republican victory at the state level will narrow. This foretells the challenges we continue to face, with the voter participation rates via absentee ballots - which Dems have been emphasizing use of for some time - exceeding the voter participation rates we harness via Early and Election Day voting.
So let us rejoice in that our dedication and hard work likely prevented the JCC from going blue, like the City, but recognize we are no longer a red County. We will review the 2023 election results further at the November 15 Committee meeting (6 pm, WRL Library Theater), but then let us recharge through the holidays before focusing on the three elections we have upcoming in 2024.
Well done WJCCRC, well done!!
Tye Lageman WJCCRC Chair