Home Virginia Politics Some Thoughts on Matthew Geary

Some Thoughts on Matthew Geary


(Our deepest condolences to the Geary family on their loss. – promoted by lowkell)

It’s a very sad day for the family of Matthew Geary. Geary, who ran for Commonwealth’s Attorney in Henrico as the Republican nominee, was not only abandoned by his party during his campaign, but was verbally beaten and bruised…a perfect example of the politics of personal destruction in which the Republican Party is so willing to participate.  We have to look no further than the current Republican Party Presidential primary between frontrunners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich to see just how far they are willing to go to win.

In this instance, Republicans went so far as to solicit and support an “Independent” candidate to run against their nominee, Matthew Geary. Of course, the independent was not an independent at all, but Republican Bill Janis, the long-time House of Delegates member from Henrico County.

The Richmond Times Dispatch reported on October 28, 2011:

The unusual Republican Party abandonment of Geary is leading to a wholesale cleansing of longtime Republicans from Henrico County Republican Committee rolls, including the U.S. House majority leader, Rep. Eric I. Cantor, R-7th, several members of the county executive committee, and Henrico Republicans who have contributed to Janis or openly voiced support for him.

Geary forthrightly (and IMHO, correctly) asked how Cantor could remain the Majority Leader in the House of Representatives when he had resigned from the Republican Party. The article also reported that our infamous AG Ken Cuccinelli and Lt. Governor Bill Bolling were supporting Janis, and therefore were no longer members of the Republican Party, because of Party rules requiring automatic removal for support of a candidate other than the Republican nominee.

At the same time, the Republican Party of Virginia, including Governor Bob McDonnell and Speaker of the House Bill Howell (to name just a couple) were pouring money, resources, and endorsements into the campaign of 59th HOD candidate Matthew Fariss, who had a proven record of civil and criminal litigation and convictions against him. That record included an Emergency Protective Order, in which the officer wrote “history of violence;” a drunk driving conviction; weapons violations; and a jury award of $500,000 against one of his businesses. The Republican Party was humiliating Matthew Geary, calling into question his judgment because he had an affair, while supporting at the very least a scoundrel in the person of Matthew Fariss. Hypocrites, one and all.

We will never know why Matthew Geary, perhaps flawed like all of us, but a good and decent man from all that I have read, took his life.  We cannot directly link it to the politics of personal destruction practiced by the Republican Party. I can, however, believe that the tactics used by Republicans in the Geary race were outrageous and morally reprehensible.

Matthew Geary’s wife is now without her husband, and Geary’s five children will forever be without their father. It is a sad day for Matthew Geary’s family. I hold them in my heart and can only hope for a more civil and responsible political discourse.  

  • on their loss.

  • kindler

    …but why were the Republicans so against him?

  • dw1206

    I think the Republican Party turned on him because he was not a yes man. Remember, the party wanted Kizer to run, but he was caught up in a corruption scandal, so he backed down. The local party decided to get Bill Janis to run against Geary as an Independent, throwing money into his campaign and publicly endorsing him, which is against their own Party rules!

  • pontoon

    drew a comparison between President Obama and the captain of the ship which sank off the coast of Italy, Shaun Kenney in a post on Bearing Drift has the audacity to demand an apology from Lowell Feld for writing the above post which he did not write, I did.  Mr. Kenney attacks Lowell’s reputation and then lamely tries to link Democratic leaders like Time Kaine to the post.  Mr. Kenney should, in my opinion, publicly apologize to Lowell and Tim Kaine.

    Kenney is taking lessons from Preibus by particpating in the tactics I outlined in the article….just as Republicans did to Matthew Geary regarding a completely personal matter.  Further, Mr. Kenney concludes that I blamed Republicans for Matthew Geary’s death, when I clearly stated his death could not be directly linked to Republican Party tactics.

    In the post, I also pointed out the hyprocisy within which the Republicans chose to operate during the 2011 election cycle, which Kenney completely ignores.  Mr. Geary was a treated as a pariah within the Republican party, while at the very same time, in the very same election cycle, Republicans held Matthew Fariss to a completely different standard.  Governor McDonnell and House Speaker Bill Howell were publicly endorsing and supporting Matthew Fariss, handing him thousands upon thousands of dollars when there were many public records in courthouses across Virginia linking Fariss to many civil and criminal actions.   I can only surmise that Fariss breaking down a woman’s door and the officer citing in the EPO Mr. Fariss as having had a history of violence; weapons charges; drunk driving convictions; and civil judgments are less important and less a sign of one’s character and judgment than fidelity to one’s spouse.

    IMHO, Mr. Kenney’s attack on Lowell simply re-inforces the point of my post…that Republican tactics aim to destroy their opponents’ reputations, whether a Democratic opponent, or someone from within their party. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are engaged in the same tactics at this very moment in Florida. Mr. Preibus’ warped attack on President Obama again llustrates the reprehensible tactics they espouse.

    Mr. Kinney has shown tonight that my hope of a more positive political discourse will sadly not occur.

  • turbocohen
  • Shannon Taylor Expresses Profound Sympathy

    on Matt Geary’s Passing

    Henrico – Today, Shannon Taylor, Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney, released the following statement on hearing of the passing of Matt Geary. Ms. Taylor said, “I want to offer my heartfelt sympathy to Matt’s wife Tabitha and his children and family I’ve known Matt since our days in law school and he was a colleague and a friend whom I held in both high personal and professional regard. Matt was an effective prosecutor who served the public with commitment and dedication.  The respect in which he was held by law enforcement is something that any prosecutor would wish to achieve. He will be missed.

    “My thoughts and prayers are with Matt’s family and I pray they find comfort in his memory. “

  • kindler

    …the dignity, restraint and compassion the Republicans showed when Vince Foster took his own life.

    It’s easy to forget that politicians are people with their own complexities and frailties.  We should not hesitate to play the tough game of politics, but also must stop short of the ugly game of personal destruction.  My condolences to Mr. Geary’s family and friends.