By now, you've probably heard that after just 6 months, Ed Gillespie will leave his position as Chairman of the VA GOP, to serve as an advisor to President Bush.
Following is Ed Gillespie's email to Virginia Republicans ...
Subject: Republican Party of Virginia: From the Chairman
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007
I have some important news to share with you this morning.
As you know, Dan Bartlett recently announced that after 14 years of service to President Bush, he is leaving his current position as Counselor to the President to enter the private sector.
Dan is one of the President’s most trusted advisors, and his counsel has been invaluable. His departure leaves a critical void in the White House.
Like most, I was surprised when I learned this news. I was even more surprised to learn that President Bush felt that I was the person best suited to fill Dan Bartlett’s position.[# More #]
I was also very flattered by the President’s confidence in me, and when he invited me to the Residence yesterday to offer me the position, I was honored to accept it. The White House will make this public later today, but I wanted to let you know before that happened.
While I am excited by the opportunity to serve, I regret that doing will require me to resign my position as Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, a job I have loved.
Together, we have accomplished much in the past six-and-a-half months. We have already raised an amount equal to an entire year’s budget in past years, hired a growing staff of top-notch professionals, helped to foster a greater sense of unity within our Party, worked with our elected officials, candidates and units to attract new people to our cause, and developed a plan to guide us to victory in November.
Obviously, if seven months ago I had any idea that I would be asked to serve our President and our country in this new capacity less than a year after being elected to lead the RPV, I never would have sought the chairmanship.
I did so because I felt that revitalizing the Virginia GOP was how I could most directly make a difference for our commonwealth and, given Virginia’s growing importance in the national political arena, make a difference for our country.
It’s not easy to leave such a great organization and the many friends I have made in my brief tenure, but I have a unique opportunity to serve my country. And with brave Americans in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places making real sacrifices to serve, there was no way I could in good conscience have declined such an opportunity at this critical time in our history.
I will take it as a sign of some success if you’re disappointed by this announcement, but I hope you can understand my sense of loyalty to our President and our Country. I hope, too, that you’ll agree that the momentum the RPV has established in the first half of 2007 can continue regardless of who is serving as chairman.
The RPV will shortly notice a call for a new election. In the meantime, Mike Thomas has (once again!) agreed to serve as interim chairman. Under the strong management of Executive Director Charlie Judd, along with the commitment of the team of professionals he has assembled on Grace Street, I am confident that we will continue meeting our fundraising goals, registering new voters and growing our units.
Thank you for the support you have shown me during my all-too-brief tenure. I look forward to working with you for our party and our commonwealth again in the future.