By MIKE WILLIAMS
Local Republicans gathered recently in Dublin to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Pulaski County Republican Women’s group.
Ninth District Congressman Morgan Griffith was the keynote speaker for the evening and led a group of current and former Republican state officeholders in attendance including Delegates Jason Ballard and Marie March, State Senator Travis Hackworth and former delegates Nick Rush and Annie B. Crockett-Stark.
Jake Petzold represented Gov. Glenn Youngkin at the event.
Sabrina Smith Cox presided over the event as president of the Pulaski County Republican Women.
Ballard and Hackworth presented certificates of recognition to several longtime leaders within the women’s group and to the group itself on its 65th anniversary.
Those recognized included Cox, Sybil Atkinson, Pulaski County Board of Supervisors Chairman Laura Walters, Elinore Farmer, Faye Henegar, Angie Hall, Mickey Weikle, Alice Buford, Barbara Layman, Pat Smith, Sarah Drummond and Dot Lancaster.
Petzold said he was at the group to recognize “some very special women who have made this group what it is.”
“Truly, I believe without some of the women in this room, the governor would not be governor today,” Petzold said.
He read a letter from Governor Glenn Youngkin, honoring the Pulaski County Republican Women.
“Since 1957, the Pulaski County Republican Women have been instrumental in helping conservative candidates across Southwest Virginia,” Petzold read. “Notably, your club worked tirelessly for former Governor John Dalton’s campaign to become the Commonwealth’s 63rd governor and supported former Delegate Annie B. Crockett-Stark’s run for the General Assembly. And it was through your resolute actions that Laura Walters was the first female elected to the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors, and now the first female chair of the board.”
The governor’s letter also recognized the work of the group to help support the election of Kim Matthews as the county’s Commissioner of Revenue.
“I cannot thank you enough for the support and enthusiasm you gave to my campaign last year,” the letter continued.
“As one of the oldest Republican Women’s Clubs in Virginia, you have made the Commonwealth a better place to live, work and raise a family. Virginia is blessed by the tremendous commitment and advocacy you have shown to elect conservative candidates. Thank you for strengthening the spirit of Virginia,” the governor’s letter continued.
Petzold presented certificates of recognition on behalf of the governor to Atkinson, Pat Smith, Layman, Lancaster, Weikle, Henegar, Farmer, Matthews and Crockett-Stark.
Crockett-Stark called all those recognized “unsung heroes,” and said others in the room were also deserving.
Petzold also had special recognitions for three of the group’s members – Hall, Walters and Cox – who served as co-chairs of the local Youngkin for Governor effort.
Each received one of a very limited number of charcuterie boards the Governor and First Lady made for the inauguration along with Challenge Coins for each.
Griffith, who was first elected as Representative of the Ninth Congressional District in 2010, formerly served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and was the first Republican in Virginia history to serve as House Majority Leader.
Griffith said he is excited about this year’s election for Congress, and that he is not taking anything for granted.
Also during the evening, Ballard presented former delegate Nick Rush with a commendation approved by the Virginia General Assembly for his decade of service to the New River Valley.