Floyd County’s GOP going after one of its own

Sheriff Shannon Zeman appearing in the TV ad supporting Mark Warner.
Sheriff Shannon Zeman appearing in the TV ad supporting Mark Warner.

Some of Floyd County’s Republicans are pissed at Sheriff Shannon Zeman for a video endorsement of Democratic incumbent Senator Mark Warner against GOP challenger Ed Gillespie.

They want to recruit Christiansburg Police Lt. Doug Weddle, who lives in Floyd County, to run against Zeman in the GOP primary.

Writes Floyd Republican Committee secretary Cline Hall in the minutes of the committee meeting of October 30th:

Mention was made of Sheriff Shannon Zeman’s TV endorsement of Senator Warner and the ethical side of it. All agreed that he had every right to vote for Warner, but should not as a Republican Sheriff have gone on TV to endorse him. Comment was made that a family member of Zeman may be in line for a Washington position. Otherwise, some said that Zeman should not consider running as a Republican in the next election. Some mentioned that Doug Weddle, who is currently a Lieutenant in the Christiansburg Police Force, may be considered as Floyd’s next Sheriff.

The minutes of the meeting refer to “some” Republicans and not all who want Zeman out. The “some” apparent think it is better to support a scandal-scarred political lobbyist over an incumbent Senator who has helped the county.

Those who want Zeman gone want him out because he considered the options in the Senate race and decided, as a citizen and as a Sheriff with a good record of service to the county, to put consideration of the needs of the county ahead of politics.

Others know Gillespie and what they know they don’t like. I dealt with Gillespie during my time in politics in Washington.  I could not trust him and avoided him, even though I worked, for a time, for national Republican committees and, for five years, ran what was then the largest political action committee in Washington.

Gillespie later became a lobbyist for Enron, the energy company that robbed supporters of millions, cheated employees and lied to the government.

To some, the only thing that matters in judging someone for qualifications for office is simply a to be Republican.

Those who urge dumping Zeman call such a consideration “the ethical side of it.”

Ethical side? Like truth, ethics is too often a disposable commodity in politics.

When partisanship rules any party, Republican or Democrat, service to the people is lost.

2 Responses to Floyd County’s GOP going after one of its own

  1. For extremists, like those now running the Republican Party, service to the American people is secondary to ideological purity and groupthink. Hoorah for Sheriff Zeman for doing the right thing. Unfortunately, he is likely to learn that “no good deed goes unpunished.”

  2. This is a good example of why a public office like Sheriff isn’t well served by political labels or parties. There is nothing “Republican” or Democratic” about being a good sheriff (or Commonwealth’s Attorney for that matter). That being said, the fact that Gillespie lost by so few votes probably plays a hand in this. If Warner had won 65% of the vote like he did the first time he ran I doubt this would be an issue.