Allen talks about uniting local GOP

Story by Chris Graham

Valley Republicans have been at odds with each other this year. George Allen is trying to do his part to mend the fences between the warring parties.
“I’d like to try to get everyone united after these intrasquad scrimmages – and we’ve had a heck of a one around here, the Emmett Hanger/Scott Sayre race,” the former governor told The Augusta Free Press last week.

Allen didn’t take sides in that dustup between the moderate incumbent Hanger and the conservative challenger Sayre over the 24th Senate District Republican nomination.

Allen himself made headlines by choosing sides in the race – endorsing Hanger in the June primary.

“Both outstanding people, just great people – and I know both of them. But it’s important, though, that once the intrasquad scrimmages are over, everyone unites behind your team and whomever is selected to be your starter for that position. That’s important,” Allen said.

The focus for Valley Republicans in the here and now, according to Allen, is to get the moderate and conservative wings of the party “flapping together in the same direction again.”

“The way it’s done – and I’ve been able to do it in the past – is to unite them on the issues. Not on personalities, because that’s peripheral. The most important thing is ideas – issues, solutions that can unify people behind something, whether it’s the abolition of parole or high academic standards or welfare reform or lowering taxes. There are certain things that should be able to unite all Republicans,” Allen said.

“We are a broad and diverse party, and it is sometimes hard to get all those wings flapping together in the same direction. But my view is that the way you unify folks is with ideas that inspire and motivate not just Republicans, but independents and sound-thinking Democrats as well,” Allen said.

Chris Graham is the executive editor of The Augusta Free Press.

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