Fairfax Republican Chairman Joseph D. Ragan has delayed for at least one week his plans to seek additional county representation on GOP district and state committees and is being urged to soften his approach by fellow Republicans who disagree with his views.
Ragan had said he would discuss Fairfax's role in the state organization at a county Republican meeting Jan. 11. When less than half of the commitee members showed up, the discussion was dropped from the agenda.
After the meeting, Ragan admitted that he was getting some criticism on his views. "On the whole it is turning out all right, but a lot of people don't like the problems to be up front," he said.
A planned meeting for Jan. 12 with Republican state central committee chairman George McMath on the matter was also postponed. Ragan said he hopes to meet with McMath before the next state central committee meeting even though the full county committee did not discuss the matter.
Ragan had charged that Fairfax County was seriously underrepresented on party committees and that he would seek to increase the number of county Republicans on the party's committees.
"For the amount of Republican votes the county delivers, it should have more say in state and local party issues," he declared.
Ragan had asked Thomas Davis, vice chairman of the county committee, to look into legal precedents for possible court action if other methods fail.
One of those who voiced criticsm of Ragan was former County GOP chairman David Foreman. He said. "There are ways to change the party from within. Threatening to sue is just not good politics."
He said he not only disagrees with Ragan's approach but added that Fairfax is already adequately represented on the state committee and that the formula for determining the makeup of the district committees is a good one.
Ragan is also being urged to move more slowly by people who agree with his views, according to Davis. "One reason is that there is a lot of work in the county that takes precedence over the state problems," he said.
McMath said that he was more than willing to discuss Ragan's problems and to work something out if possible.
"However, any changes in committee structure would require a change in the party plan," he said. "The plan can only be changed by two-thirds of the vote of the state central committee or at the state convention."
McMath wouldn't comment on Ragan's proposals because he had not yet talked with Ragan. "I don't know what he wants yet."
Ragan said he will decide whether to take his plans to the state central committee or the state convention in June after the meeting with McMath and after talks with the county executive committee.