The Jerry Wood I knew

I first met Jerry Wood in 2007. We had a meeting with a staff member of Mike Castle. Many conservative Delawareans, including myself, were concerned and upset with Mike Castle’s vote on the carbon tax in 2007. There were downstate Republicans at this meeting. We expressed concern that Mike Castle did not get it. His votes were killing him. After a somewhat frustrating exchange. Jerry Wood announced that if Mike Castle did not change his positions, then he, Jerry Wood, would primary Mike Castle. Up until this time, Jerry had said very little. Jerry’s challenge was not taken seriously. This was a mistake. I told the Castle crew that Jerry was very serious. I informed them that they were in deep trouble. I informed them that Castle was already losing the Republican base in southern Delaware. Jerry and I next got together in 2008. We toured Minneapolis. Jerry moved slower than I did. I am a bit impatient. Waiting up for Jerry, did not suit my temperament. But, Jerry was always of good spirits. I learned much about Jerry during those times. He had a very sharp mind. He had a great sense of humor. We talked regularly during the ensuing years. We did not always agree. Jerry was always honest about where he came from and I shared with him my heartfelt views. Our disagreements revolved around strategy and tactics. They were not disagreements about principles. I will miss Jerry. He was one of a kind. My father always told me that there were two kinds of horses. There were show horses and work horses. This is the way it is with people. Jerry Wood was a Work Horse.

17 thoughts on “The Jerry Wood I knew”

  1. Well, TW, you downstate republicans ultimately LOST a solid R Senate seat due to your stupidity. Castle voted R on every major issue. Coons is a milquetoast Dem.

    I’m an “unaffiliated” voter. I would have voted for Castle. I DID NOT vote for the witch/not a witch woman. You downstaters snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.


  2. Not the time Tyrone. We have had endless threads back and forth on that one. The subject is Jerry Wood, stay focused.

  3. If something positive was happening in the Sussex GOP, one could be sure Jerry’s hand was in it somewhere.

  4. Happy New Year. The best to Jerry’s family and friends.
    I knew Jerry on an informal basis but he struck me as a guy with core beliefs, not a get in your face guy but a “I believe in” kind of guy.

    The post is about Jerry but also about the Delaware GOP and the state of affairs past and present. Today, the De GOP is totally devoid of any sort of leadership in New Castle County and could use a guy like Jerry; quiet, determined and principled.
    Mike Protack

  5. Mike
    I agree completely with your assessment of the current state of affairs of the NCCo Republican Party.
    Jerry always reminded me on our late-night chats in his office, which were many during my long campaign for the county council position, that he represented all Sussex County Republicans.
    That is an example that NCCo Republican leadership might adhere to. I listened to Jerry closely as well as many others clustered around me during my campaign and learned much about the art of people and becoming a fair and able official that would represent all, regardless of Party, ethnic origin, sexual preference, age or gender.
    Jerry was one of a kind and towards the last, I knew my friend would be going to his permanent home soon but, even though his time as GOP Chair was short in time, he made an impact that won’t easily be forgotten.
    I will be attending his funeral in Clarksburg MD today to pay my final respects to a great American.

  6. I look forward to the vast sums of money Sussex County Republicans are sure to donate to the party. Their money will be much more pure than the moderate-tainted money that used to come out of New Castle County.

  7. Geezer
    The money donated in Sussex County will be used in Sussex County for the good of the Sussex GOP and electing candidates in SC.
    How was your Holiday? Happy New Year.

  8. Jon: True, but so what? Without money, the message, whatever it might be, never gets out.

    Don: HAd a great Xmas, thanks.

    Your spending plan is fine for Sussex, but it won’t get the job done in statewide races. There is no candidate so popular he or she can win a statewide race without a certain minimum amount of money.

  9. Geezer writes: “Without money, the message, whatever it might be, never gets out.”

    WITH money, the message will never get out, as long as the DEGOP is dysfunctional at running campaigns.

    Until the GOP confronts the ned to re-examine its understanding of how to win elections, and comes to some kind of consensus, MONEY IS IRRELEVANT in Republican campaigns.

    No amount of money will make Republicans choking each other at the throats, screaming at each other, and beating each other over the heads with campaign signs attractive to independents and winnable Democrats.

    No amount of money will help Republicans win if the GOP is pulled in opposite (or multiple) directions by conflicting theories, assumptions, and strategies.

    No amount of money will win elections if Republicans don’t study how to win elections.

    As Jerry Wood would strongly agree, it would be better to run a campaign with no money but a dedicated, UNIFIED, army of volunteers.

    First, campaigns do not consist only of money.

    Having sat with Jerry Wood and Nan Colella for about 6 hours reviewing the 2010 election – I still have the tape recording — I guarantee you that Jerry Wood understood that political campaigns are mostly NOT about money.

    Jerry and Nan documented how the GOP sabotaged Christine O’Donnell’s campaign even AFTER the primary, and I have never published that report.

    However, Republican establishment types pretty much universally have no clue about election campaigns other than simply BLOWING vast amounts of WASTED CASH on inept campaign consultants.

    Those who don’t know how to run campaigns are inevitably totally in love with wasting vast amounts of campaign cash on big-ticket items.

    So it is more important for the GOP to come to terms with its identity than to have money.

  10. “Until the GOP confronts the need to re-examine its understanding of how to win elections, and comes to some kind of consensus, MONEY IS IRRELEVANT in Republican campaigns. … it is more important for the GOP to come to terms with its identity than to have money.”

    What was the “consensus” back when Mike Castle was winning elections? As I understand it, conservative Republicans were unhappy with his positions all along. It didn’t stop him from winning, and it didn’t stop people from donating in the sums necessary to produce those victories.

    It has since developed that conservatives have gained more control of the party and, at the same time, the donations have dried up.

    I agree with you that money isn’t everything. But it’s not meaningless, either. Until you (and those who agree with you) show an ability to raise it, don’t be surprised at your failure to field appealing candidates.

  11. Geezer writes in #12: “It has since developed that conservatives have gained more control of the party and, at the same time, the donations have dried up.”

    If Jerry Wood was about anything it was volunteer

    Whether there are donations or not doesn’t matter because the donations you speak of were wasted.

    Remember, Geezer: The DEGOP insiders’ choice for US Senate in 2006 was Jan Ting. He was the guy championed by the people you are arguing shoudl have the whip hand in Delaware Republican politics:

    So how much did those people up in NCC donate or raise for Jan Ting?

    A whopping $212,766.

    Are you perhaps exaggerating the importance of Republican moderates in Republican elections?

    Christine O’Donnell raised (and mostly wasted) $7.4 million.

    These great and awesome money-bags you, Geezer, think should run the party raised $212,766 for THEIR favorite candidate Jan Ting.

    So you have a theory. But does your theory have anything to do with reality, Geezer?

  12. Oops, I got distracted and didn’t finish the sentence:’

    If Jerry Wood was about anything it was volunteer efforts and hardwork in the grassroots, not wasting money by writing big checks to fat cat campaign consultants and campaign vendors.

    If Jerry Wood was about anything it was the opposite of trying to win electiosn with a big check book.

  13. Your theory is that donations “dried up” after and because of increased conservatie leadership of the DEGOP.

    But $212,766 was the high water mark of moderates back in 2006.

    So it looks like you are, once again, dreaming of the “good old days” that maybe never existed, Geezer.

    Anti-conservatives want to give credit to Republican moderates for things that Republican moderates might not really deserve credit for.

    Also, a major factor in raising money is KNOWING HOW to raise money.

    The vast majority of excellent political causes and candidates never raise money because the people involved ether don’t learn HOW to raise money or refuse to LISTEN to those who know how. (Raising money in politics is often counter-intuitive. That is, you often have to do the OPPOSITE of what you would imagine to be the case. If people follow common sense they will fail. One has to go by proven empirical evidence and experience fo what works.)

    So whether money has “dried up” may have more to do with poor fund-rasing TECHNIQUE than with the popularity of any candidate, group, agenda, or cause.

    And of course it also is not attractive to donors to have members of a party choking each other by the throats and screaming at each other.

  14. Ho Hum. Hey guys there is an open New Year’s thread. Why not take your year in review, Sussex is better than New Castle or whatever over there. If you like, I will make a thread asking where we go as a party. No problem, but can we focus more on Jerry and his legacy in a positive way here? Maybe we can talk about what he did to help the party be successful instead of what other people are not doing. That seems more appropriate and frankly will teach us better.

    The guys in Sussex know how to do the grassroots work still. They actually contact people personally and canvass. It works.

  15. Another thing Jerry was responsible for, was stewarding the treasury money. When Jerry passed, there was a balance of over $18,000.00

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