Elected officials and candidates, from the National, State and local levels and of all parties turned out for the kick-off of Bowling Green District Supervisor candidate, Jeff Sili. One hundred and fifty one people attended the event held at the Sili home on Travis Street in Bowling Green on Saturday afternoon.
The house and grounds were draped in the Sili campaign colors of red, white and blue for the occasion. Elected officials included five members of the Bowling Green Town Council and a number of local candidates including non-partisan school board hopeful, Kerry Bishoff (Bowling Green District)as well as Sharon Carter, Caroline Commissioner of the Revenue who is running unopposed. Clerk of the Court incumbent Ray Campbell, who is standing for reelection also was present.
Sili spoke to guests and thanked Independent, Democrat and Republican supporters and lauded the spirt of cooperation bringing everyone together. Candidates moved throughout the crowd handing out contact cards and talking with various people. Taking the microphone Sili spoke briefly about his platform, “The message is simple. It’s about business and education. “It’s about the relationship between having a vibrant business environment, the right smart growth and the best schools for our young people. We need to divest ourselves of the old mindset and tell ourselves there is absolutely no reason Caroline can’t be first in all these areas,” said Sili. Referring to his guests, U.S. Congressman Tom Davis, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, Senator Ryan McDougle and Caroline Delegates Peace, Wittman and Orrock, Sili said, “I am calling on these guys to help with some of the issues we face in Caroline and challenge them to keep the lines of communication open with each of you. Our water and utility issues are holding us back and if we can move forward with those, business development will follow in the right areas of Caroline while keeping our rural space just what it needs to remain, beautiful countryside.”
Sili introduced Congressman Davis who represents Virginia’s 11th District and who is rumored to be the first choice of many for the seat of U.S. Senator John Warner who may retire next year. Davis, a ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee said he was amazed by the days turnout and overwhelmed by the support from Caroline folks he met throughout the day. He praised Sili’s qualifications and his ability to dialog with the diverse group. He promised to return and to remember the citizens of Caroline. Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, no stranger to events in Caroline said he knew of no more hard working community leader than Sili and asked the crowd not take his win in November for granted, urging continued support for the Sili campaign.
Twenty-two members of Sili’s advisory committee dressed in the campaign signature navy t-shirts and hats manned a booth with banner, buttons, stickers, balloons and a sign up sheet which read. “See you at the Fair”. At 5 p.m. music from Richard Green’s Sound Solution entertained guests as they enjoyed John Goforth’s “Chicken On the Grill” with watermelon baskets, corn pudding, ham biscuits and a tiered cake in red, white and blue. All three floors of the home were open with guests enjoying a museum in the basement dedicated to the history of the Bowling Green District and old Caroline County campaign memorabilia. The garage had been converted into seating for guests looking to beat the heat and lively converstation here continued when Lt. Govenor Bolling joined the group. The evening concluded at 8 p.m. with the a retrieving demonstration in the pool by the Sili’s four Chocolate Labrador Retrievers. Sili invited guests to the candidates forum scheduled to be held at the Community Center, August 13th and sponsored by the Fredericksburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Builders Association and Area Association of Realtors. Sili, a former two term president of the Caroline County Chamber of Commerce said, “I am looking forward to it,” he said.