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    Virginia GOP taps Loudoun’s Whitbeck for chairman post

    John Whitbeck (middle) of Lansdowne is joined by former U.S. Senate candidate Ed Gillespie (left) and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) at a fundraiser in 2014. Courtesy Photo
    John Whitbeck of Loudoun County is the new chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia.

    The GOP's State Central Committee elected Whitbeck Saturday at a meeting in Falls Church.

    Whitbeck said his focus will be on bolstering the state party's fundraising efforts and bridging what has been a fairly fractured Virginia GOP in recent years.

    “As your Chairman I will take these successes to the state level. I will immediately create a new fundraising apparatus that will make us an independent force in Virginia politics, no longer dependent on elected officials for our functioning,” Whitbeck wrote on his ambitions. “I will finish the work of Chairman Mullins to solidify our database and finally bring us on par with our opponents once and for all. I will continue the work to bring new voters into the Party from communities that traditionally vote for Democrats. Most of all though, I will unite this Party toward one common goal – electing conservative Republicans to every level of government.”

    A California native who has lived in Loudoun for the past 15 years, Whitbeck is the majority shareholder and partner of the Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy law firm. He has served as a substitute judge for five years, an adjunct professor at George Mason Law School and the president of the Lansdowne Homeowner’s Association.

    Whitbeck succeeds Pat Mullins as the GOP chairman.

    The Lansdowne resident has twice sought public office, including most recently in the 2013 special election to succeed Democrat Mark Herring in the Virginia Senate following Herring's election as attorney general. The Republican lost that election by 15 percentage points to Democrat Jennifer Wexton. Whitbeck also waged a statehouse bid in 2011 when he vied for the Republican nomination in Virginia's House of Delegates 10th District seat. He lost the GOP primary that year to current Del. Randy Minchew.

    The Republican Party of Virginia also announced Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is expected to vie for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, will headline the party's Commonwealth Dinner in February.

    Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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