No More “Winning From Behind” Strategy

By Adrian Mungiu

For far too long the Fairfax County Republican Party has followed a “Winning from Behind” strategy. We lose every race against incumbent Democrats, lose a seat or two that was held by a Republican, and watch our margins of victory decrease while our margins of defeat widen—to the point where we did not even have candidates willing to run against many incumbent Democrats.

The time for change is well overdue. Everyone knows Einstein’s famous saying about the definition of insanity. The FCRC has not only pluralized it but institutionalized it—using the same methods to recruit, inform, educate, and mobilize that have proven inadequate at best over the last two decades. After losing—worse than before, every time—cursory thank you and congratulatory letters for running such a “good” campaign are issued to the public, the candidate fades away, the data gathered during the campaign disappears into a black hole, the volunteers scatter—usually without formal thanks-for-the-effort dinner or party.

The rebuilding of the FCRC should start with the first building block being laid as a new cornerstone for success. Slight adjustments around the edges will not do. Doubling down on outdated and ineffective methods of recruiting new members, retaining existing members, using volunteers, data collection, data archiving, candidate recruitment, and candidate training will not stop our slide much less turn us around. We don’t need to blow everything up, but we must start with a clean slate. Incorporating existing components of the FCRC might very well make sense and they should be kept intact, but not to the detriment of new ideas and concepts. It is time to build a successful management plan allowing/forcing the FCRC to perform better and our candidates and party to have more success.

We have some good people working and volunteering for the FCRC. They deserve leadership and management that allows them to be fully effective and take pride in the fruits of their efforts as quality candidates are fielded, volunteers trained well and shown appreciation, and election results are reversed from our now engaged base joining our efforts to bring positive change.

No more going through the paces and “Winning from Behind.” It is a direct result of “Leading from Behind.” We are losing, election after election, and falling further behind each time.  The Republican Party has lost ten straight statewide elections. The FCRC’s poor performance is a major reason. Republicans must be competitive in Fairfax to stop Democrats from dominating statewide elections. There is a sense of defeatism throughout Fairfax. Not only were many state Delegate and state Senate seats unopposed in recent elections, we did not run a candidate against Gerry Connolly in the 11th District. So nearly half a million constituents are “represented” by default. That means they had no voice; after all a vote with only one available candidate is not a vote, it is a coronation. And when it cames to elections, I’m pro-choice!