My name is Lee Carter and back in May of this year a friend of mine who is a conservative Bible believing Christian and a member of the 6th District Republican Committee told me that perhaps I should consider running for the Treasurer’s position on the committee since it was coming open. When I told him I would consider it closely he sent me an application with instructions. I decided to give it a shot since the worst thing that could happen is that I’d get a good look at how politics works. Did I ever! The instructions on the application form said that I must submit an original form directly to the Chairwoman who was Trixie Averill and a fax or email copy to the then secretary Kelly Keech both before five o’clock on June 11th. Before noon on the deadline day I called Trixie and asked if I could deliver my application to her on my lunch break. She was at home so she gave me her address and I met her in her driveway sometime around noon. She was very pleasant and of course inquired why I decided to run and more importantly who told me about the position. I was completely honest with her on all counts. Near the end of our meeting she emphasized to me that I had to submit my application to the Secretary via email or fax by five o’clock that evening.
When I returned to work, I did indeed work on getting the application to her before the deadline and as business goes, I didn’t get the opportunity to email the application immediately but I did hit the send button on my email with the attached application at 3:47, more than an hour before the deadline. After that I went directly back to doing my other business. As it turned out, at about six o’clock that evening I got a call from Kelly Keech informing me that she never received my application and thus didn’t meet the deadline. I of course informed her that I sent it via email at about 3-ish but she said she never got it. I asked her if she checked her spam filter and everything and she said she did. After I got off the phone, being extremely perplexed that she didn’t receive my email, I took a short drive back to work to find out what might have happened on my end. Indeed I did find out that the outgoing email server was not working, or perhaps a setting on my outgoing email properties was not correct. Nevertheless I quickly sent another email to her and this time to everyone of the 6th District Committee. I used a different email account this time and again I attached my application AND I attached a copy of the original email that I sent at 3:47 with the time stamp proving that I had sent it in on time. After that I called Kelly Keech back to tell her of the circumstances but I didn’t catch her so then I called Trixie and let her know of the circumstances. Though I didn’t catch her either I did leave her a message. Later that evening I found a voice mail on my phone from Trixie explaining that, regardless of my circumstances, my application would not be accepted because I did not meet the very specific instructions on the application.
The next day or two I called my friend and told him about the situation and he said he thought it was terrible for them not to accept my application when I had submitted the original on time and I had proven that I sent the email on time and that the Secretary had received my email application albeit about an hour after the deadline. After that I left it all to those on the Committee to sort out.
I was kept in the loop of some of the discussions regarding my application and there is one incident and statement by Trixie that really stands out. An individual named Carl Tate submitted an application to run for the position of Vice-Chairman. After some time and consideration he decided to withdraw his name from the running. His explanation was thus, “This entire process has been disappointing and a further reminder to me of just how divided this committee/district still is. I contacted the chairwoman of this district inquiring about running for vice-chair of this committee and asking about any pre-filing requirements. I was sent an email stating there would be no pre-filing requirements. Yet the very next day I receive an email, along with the committee, that outlines a set of pre-filing requirements. It is my contention those requirements were established to discourage individuals from standing for election. Something that is unfair and contradicts our stated efforts to grow our party. Further it has also come to my attention that those requirements have been used to block someone from standing for Treasurer, although the individual had delivered his application to the chairwoman. Again, something that is unfair and contradicts our efforts to grow our party. I became a member of the Republican Party over fifteen years ago. I have served at just about every level of the party – from precinct work and lit drops to two presidential appoints. And I actually looked forward to working for the party here at home in the sixth district. That won’t happen now. I am completely turned off by the petty maneuvering, the back-biting and the in-fighting I’ve seen over the past two years. What I have seen happen in this district is the reason people hate, not only politics, but the GOP. And I can see why some of your unit meetings barely attract quorums as opposed to the area tea party meetings where hundreds of activists come out.”
After Carl sent out this email, Trixie responded thus, “Pre-filing does not block anyone from participating in an election. We pre-file regularly to attend conventions, and to run for office. We had pre-filing for the Chair candidates for the 6th District. The requirements were clearly stated at the top of the form and were mailed to everyone on the 6th District Committee so that they could recruit candidates. The individual whom Mr. Tate references waited until the last afternoon to turn in his form to me, and then failed to have his electronic copy sent to the Secretary (as required) by the deadline. When all the other candidates (including one who had his own wedding to prepare for) got their forms in on time, to make and exception would, in my opinion, be grossly unfair to the others. As I said at the convention, and I’ll reiterate now, we have all had enough divisiveness in the 6th to last a lifetime.”
My own response to these statements of Trixie is that she said that the committee has too much divisiveness to last a lifetime. If that were really her concerns, she surely would have let my slight pre-filing hiccup pass rather than calling it “grossly unfair to the others” which really is a gross overstatement. She could have easily accepted my application as it was given to her and the other candidates wouldn’t have known anything happened. To me the real truth is she didn’t want opposition to Dexter Gaines, her own very special candidate to perform her own very special work as we now see.
But the story doesn’t end here. I was advised to attend the election meeting and that a couple other men were going to nominate me from the floor. So I attended that meeting to see how it would all come together. Though the minutes of the meeting were extremely brief and did not entail any of this event (probably for a reason) I have to recollect this information as best I can from memory and because of this lack of the detailed information, this will be brief. It was discussed how I applied and the Secretary stated that she did not receive my application by the exact time of the specified instructions and Trixie stated emphatically that I was therefore unqualified to run. Someone later attempted to nominate me from the floor and a Parliamentary rule was argued against such a motion and the motion ended without a discussion. Without my candidacy Dexter Gaines was able to run completely unopposed for the Treasurer’s position.
It is my contention through all of this experience that the majority makeup of the 6th District Republican Committee is a partisan and exclusive non-Christian political good-ol-boy network that does not represent the good people of the 6th district of Virginia. It is ugly self-serving politics as usual.