Exclusive: Newly-elected Prince William GOP chairman on making county competitive again, being a black conservative leader

Tim Parrish rallies a crowd in support of 287(g). [Photo: Uriah Kiser/Potomac Local News]

Parrish

Tim Parrish is the newly elected leader of the Prince William County Republican Committee. He was elected during an “unassembled” convention on Saturday, June 27, where committee members drove their ballots to multiple polling places to include the Prince William County Government Center on Prince William Parkway, and the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building in Woodbridge.

Parrish, an honorably discharged U.S. Marine, beat fellow candidates Carol Czarkowski and William Johnston for the job. He will replace William “Bill” Card.

A single man with extended family in Florida, Parrish was last stationed at Quantico Marine Corps Base before leaving the Marines. He became drawn into the county’s Republican committee during the campaign of D.J. Jordan, who, in November 2019, made an unsuccessful bid for the 31st House of Delegates seat in Dale City, and portions of Fauquier County, that is now held by Democrat Elizabeth Guzman.

Parrish talked to Potomac Local News about his win and answered a series of interview questions.

PLN: Prince William County political bellwether county. John McCain (2008), Barack Obama (2008 and 2012), Mitt Romney (2012), and Donald Trump (2015) all campaigned in the county during their respective presidential campaigns. Now, the county has trended for Democrats in the most recent statewide, and presidential elections. And there’s a lot of talk about, especially from guys like Rich Anderson, who’s running to be the Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, who want to make Prince William competitive again. How do you do that?

Parrish: We have to take our message to our communities now and let those communities know how our conservative values… that message resonates with their own personal values. And so I think that when you do that, that is how we’re going to start to see the party engaging the community a lot more. And you’re going to start to see the competition get back to the game where people actually are having to work very hard to win these political seats.

PLN: We hear so often, from so many people that from both sides of the Republicans, those who support Trump and those who do not, that say “you have to be more inclusive” if you’re going to bring more people into the Republican Party. You have back down on some of your hard-line stances and embrace more moderate positions if you’re going to attract more to the party. What is your path forward to engaging new would-be party members?

Parrish: Well, I will tell you this. You’re right. Politics is about people and it’s not about what makes you comfortable or what makes you happy. What I would say is that the [Republican Party of Virginia] has outlined our creed very clearly. Some of the things you believe in individual freedom, strong national defense, the right to life, those types of things. And those things are how we will drive our party will be underneath or the guiding principles of the Republican creed. Everything else that people they attempt to add based on their personality is irrelevant. What we have to do is follow our creed and follow our Constitution, and then we have to trend with the constituency that is being represented. That’s what our government has done for years, since its inception. And that’s what we have to continue to do in order for us to win.

PLN: So many candidates that run for statewide office concentrate on the southwest portion of the state where the electorate is solidly Republican. Many ignore Fairfax County, Hampton Roads, and other more populated areas because seats in these areas are so tightly held by Democrats. But with the population numbers dwindling in those blood-red counties in the southwest, and more than half of the state’s population expected to live between Fredericksburg and Washington, D.C. by 2040, according to Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia, how do you open up a county like Prince William? How do you make it competitive again? Doorknocking? Advertising? Courting youth? What are you going to do?

Parrish: Well, I think that there are a few things. One thing that we have to do is to unite the party altogether. We really saw the Republican Party kind of get fractured based on differing ideas. We saw some of the party responding aggressively to the governor’s infanticide movement. We have to unite behind our set of values, take those values into the community and let the constituents know… get them to understand how our values resonate with their personal character.

PLN: Can you articulate some of those values?

Parrish: When we talk about individual liberty, we have to go to our community and tell them what that means. When we talk about respect for human life, we have to go about our communities and let them know, particularly we know that Prince William County is a very Latino-heavy community, has a lot of Hispanic community members, and a lot of them are people of faith. And so we go and talk to them about life. We have to let them understand that when we talk about the right to life, from the womb to the tomb, ensuring that that people have long, prosperous lives, that’s one of our values. And we have to get them to understand how that resonates with them. We talk about a strong national sense, what that means for our communities. When we talk about free enterprise and how we believe in strong businesses. The Republican Party is the pro-business party. We have a lot of entrepreneurs in our county, in our communities, how do we resonate our message and our values with their personal values. That is the key part to the Republican Party making these races competitive again.

PLN: Finally, this country is literally on fire over race. You have a presidential candidate, Joe Biden saying, essentially, if you don’t vote for me, you’re not black enough. Many who read this may be surprised to see a black man is now the head of the county’s Republican committee. Do you think that that matters? Do you think it might work to your advantage?

Parrish: I think that it will have some bearing. I think it’s going to open some eyes and people are going to see that, you know, that our values in the Republican Party are not based on race. They are simply based on people that believe in the pro-business model. People that believe in our values have a strong national sense, and life, and adherence to the Constitution. I don’t think there is any advantage or disadvantage to me being a black Republican leader. But I do think that it will lend some credence to us wanting to get into our minority neighborhoods and communities and talking to people. But beyond that, I don’t think that there is an extreme advantage or disadvantage to me being a black leader within the conservative movement.

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