Good Morning Albemarle Republicans!

Please forgive this long email, I am passing along some important information from our last business meeting on Tuesday, February 21st. As some of you know, while others may not, I was offered a position to become Legislative Counsel for Congressman Tom Garrett in late December. This came as a surprise, as I neither considered nor desired working in Washington DC — especially on Capitol Hill. Had I wanted a life on the Hill, I could have chosen that path after my undergraduate career at the University of Virginia, but I didn’t want this for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which was my belief that the DC environment represented the antithesis of what politics and America should be. It seemed that more recently than ever before, Washington ignored the will and plight of the People, to the detriment of our future and our liberties.
I realized years ago that our legal system and the administrative state have been manipulated in such ways that the scope and size of Government are threats that I wanted to fight. A majority of my young adult life has been striving to enter the legal profession to achieve those ends, and I will forever maintain my passion to hold the Government to its burden and protect liberty in my legal career.
With that being said, November 8th of 2016 gave us two things that, when taken together, changed my view of how I can make a difference in the name of limited-government.

First, President Trump’s victory provided a shift in the status quo unlike any other in my lifetime. Not only did we receive a shake-up in the White House, but also an awakened electorate, a renewed relationship between our branches of Government, and a limitation on the influence of special interests.

Second, Tom Garrett’s landslide victory gave the Fifth District and all of Virginia a representative with a proven willingness to go against the grain and stand up for the principles and people he represents. These two factors changed my view of Washington and presented a sliver of hope that things can get better. The offer to join Congressman Garrett’s staff gave me a unique opportunity to lend a hand in this fight for liberty and that is why I accepted the position to serve with Tom.
Since taking on this new role, I have had to make some changes. Rather than commuting to a law office in Richmond, I commute to a congressional office in Washington. I  sublet an apartment in Arlington and stay there several nights a week, but I continue to live in Albemarle, I continue to practice law (albeit with less cases), and I will continue to fight for our party’s candidates in pivotal 2017 races. Albemarle has been my home my entire life and it always will be. So many important issues must be addressed here locally, there is no way my passion or personality could allow me to leave the fight for a better County or Commonwealth. After speaking with our Executive Board, with family and confidants, and a lot of prayer, I chose to step down as Chair of the ACRC to facilitate a quick and smooth transition before the 2017 local campaigns get into full swing. I made this announcement on Tuesday at our Business Meeting and resigned immediately following adjournment. Sylvia Flood, our First Vice Chair, is currently serving as our interim Chair over the next 30 days, when we will have another business meeting to elect a new Chair for the duration of my term (March of 2018). More information will follow as it relates to that meeting.

I believe we had a very successful year together, as we doubled our membership, embraced new associate members, found a new headquarters, and assisted the Trump and Garrett campaigns in securing a victory. We now have several folks who are considering runs for local office, including one who announced yesterday, and I believe we will continue to grow and succeed this year and beyond. I truly appreciate all of your support and assistance during my time and I cannot wait to be just as active in the campaigns and the party moving forward. I always viewed the Chairmanship as more of a title than anything else, with action and results being the defining characteristic of leadership. I hope all of us can be just as active, if not more so, as our next cycle approaches.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing all of you again soon at our next breakfast, business meeting, or campaign events this spring. Thank you!

In Liberty,

Elliott Harding
(Former) Chairman of the Albemarle County Republican Committee
(434) 962-8465