Minneman to head Virginia College Republicans

Former U.Va. CR chair elected by state chapters


Third-year College student Elizabeth Minneman, the former chair of the University College Republicans, was elected state chair of the College Republican Federation of Virginia at a convention last Saturday.

“I hope to continue to grow the Federation and build one of the strongest federations in the country,” Minneman said.

Members of the 31 chapters of College Republicans at Virginia institutions met during the weekend at an annual convention in Richmond. Delegates to the convention were allocated based on chapter size. Because the University has one of the largest CR chapters in the state, it had one of the largest delegations.

Minneman headed a ticket with students from across the commonwealth, with candidates coming from James Madison University and the College of William & Mary, among others. The University College Republicans sponsored Minneman and her ticket.

“[The election] was not contested, because the entire ticket was recognized as so strong,” second-year College student Kate Gaziano said. Gaziano is the CRFV deputy communications officer and also served as Minneman’s campaign manager.

As chairman, Minneman will oversee the CRFV executive committee and will also work with the Republican National Committee. She will play a large role in overseeing other CR chapters in Virginia, and work to help grow existing chapters as well as create new ones.

Minneman said she plans to engage in more direct campaigning efforts and form working relationships with the Republican candidates and the Republican Party of Virginia.

“As the U.Va. chair, I made an effort to reach across the aisle and get students politically active,” she said.

Members of the chapter have spoken highly of Minneman’s service.

“[Under Minneman’s leadership], our chapter has grown significantly,” said fourth-year College student Peter Finocchio, former vice chairman of the College Republicans. “We’ve done a lot more to engage the student body around Grounds, and we’ve done a lot of bipartisan stuff. There couldn’t have been a more qualified person for this position.”

Minneman officially resigned from her position as University CR chair Saturday, leaving Finocchio as acting chairman. A special election has been called to fill the vacancy. Finocchio said he hopes to become Minneman’s permanent replacement and does not expect a contested election.

Even with Minneman’s move to the CRFV, Finocchio expects a bright future for the chapter.

“We plan to reach out to the University to have more of a relationship with the student body,” Finocchio said. “There has already been discussion for the possibility of setting up a debate, public forum or philanthropy, while working to increase our presence around Grounds and continue to be one of the strongest chapters in the commonwealth.”

Published February 10, 2014 in FP test, News

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