Unity and moving forward in a positive manner are two goals Augusta County’s new Republican chairman has for the committee.
Dave Bourne was elected to a two-year term on March 14, beating challenger Anne Seaton and replacing former chair Rebecca Simmons, who did not seek re-election.
When the opportunity to run for chairman arose, Bourne said he saw a chance to bring “peace and honor” to the committee.
“I know myself as an honorable person. I’m straight down the line with the rules, and I know I would steer that way,” said Bourne. “I thought I could bring a level of integrity back to the committee that it maybe hasn’t seen for a little while.”
The 53-year-old Staunton resident first became involved in the county’s Republican committee a year ago while seeking the Republican nomination for delegate in the 20th House District. John Avoli of Staunton claimed the nomination in the primary, and went on to claim the House seat.
However, Bourne said that being a candidate himself last year has made him better suited for his position as chairman.
“When I was running for the nomination for delegate, I never realized how much is involved when you’re running for office. They need a whole lot of support. By being a candidate, I learned the needs of a candidate,” he said.
In addition to uniting the committee and supporting candidates, Bourne also hopes to make the committee a welcoming environment.
“What I want to strive to do is make sure that we’re not trying to attack people’s characters in any way. We want to lead with respect,” Bourne said. “I want it to be somewhere you look forward to going to. I want to run a very fair and transparent committee, and all Republicans are welcome.”