Lori Urban in December succeeded Andrew Loposser as chair of the Arlington County Republican Committee. The Sun Gazette recently asked her some questions about the state of the party and what 2022 might hold.
2021 was a good year for Republicans at the state level, albeit not so much locally, in terms of election results. What is the mood of the Republican rank-and-file as the new year kicks off?
Arlington Republicans are excited, hopeful and motivated! The hard work we did to support our statewide candidates and House of Delegates candidates reminded us that we CAN make a difference for Virginia. We’re looking forward to channeling that energy and enthusiasm into races up and down the ballot in 2022.
The election of Joe Biden in November 2020 seemed to motivate local Republicans to put aside intra-party differences, much as happened with local Democrats after the defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016. Where do you think the local party is most unified, and on what issues are there divisions?
Nothing unifies a group like winning and seeing the changes that Gov. Youngkin put into place on Day 1. We are unified in support of Glenn Youngkin’s pro-parent policies. We are unified to help small business. We are unified to grow opportunities in Virginia.
Candidate recruitment has been an ongoing challenge for Republicans at the local level. What steps do you plan to take to find credible candidates willing to take the plunge, and how can the GOP raise the funds to be able to connect with the electorate?
Arlington Republicans recognize our local candidates face challenges. We encourage Republicans to run for office, push would-be candidates to candidate-training opportunties, and support those who decide to run for office. We are fortunate to have a great training organization like the Leadership Institute in Arlington, and we will help cover some of the training costs for our candidates. Additionally, Arlington Republicans will spotlight our candidates at community events.
What made you first interested in joining the Arlington GOP, and what kept you involved as you rose through the leadership ranks?
I believe in liberty. I believe in parents and their right to raise their children the way they see fit. I believe in economic prosperity. I believe government should stay out of our way as much as possible. The Republican Party is the best vehicle to promote my values. As a mother of three young men, I want to protect their opportunity to achieve their American Dream.
What is the biggest misconception among Democrats and independents about Republicans?
The Republican Party believes in equal opportunity for all. I am proud the Republican Party’s legacy was founded to end slavery. I am proud the Republican Party supports women – we were the party to enact a woman’s right to vote. We were the first major party to advocate equal rights and equal pay for equal work. I am proud a Republican president appointed the first woman to the U.S. Supreme Court in Sandra Day O’Connor.