Goochland Republican Women

Goochland Republican Women 20th Anniversary Celebration

A Brief History: 1989 -- 2018




        Goochland Republican Women (GRW) was founded on January 27, 1989 when 21 leadership-thinking women gathered with a shared goal in mind:


Organize involvement of Republican women in Goochland in the political process of the County, Virginia and the Nation and advance the power of women through access and participation.


        Women received the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920 but Virginia only ratified the 19th Amendment in 1952. That same year,  President Eisenhower took office, and GOP women’s activities greatly increased in Virginia. Within 12 months, the Virginia Federation of Republican Women (VFRW) was born, receiving its charter from the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) in 1953.


       In late 1988, Faye Kilpatrick raised the idea of creating a women’s Republican Club in Goochland -- it was the first time anything of the kind had been attempted by Republican women since the county was founded in 1727!

Peter Bance then Chairman of the Goochland Republican Committee was supportive of the idea. Robin Traywick Williams, a Charter Member of GRW, recalls Peter saying,


"The women do all the work while the men sit around and talk about it, so they might as well have their own organization."


        The first meeting to organize Republican women in Goochland was hosted by Nancy Dykers at her home, Orapax Plantation. These women became GRW’s Charter Members: Jewell Alexander, Regina Bedinger, Wanda Dixon, Nancy Dykers, Margaret Franklin, Mary Campbell, Elizabeth Haden, Pamela Johnson, Suzanne Kalan, Melanie Kerneklian, Ginny Limerick, Jean Pauli, Virginia Richardson, Roselle Scales, Lucinda Slabaugh, Chelsie Uglow, Barbara Williams, Robin Traywick Williams, Anne Wood, and Virginia Woodroof.


       Goochland Republican Women (GRW) received its State Charter from the Virginia Federation of Republican Women in 1989, and Jean L. Pauli was named the first GRW President, serving from 1989 – 1990. Following Jean in leading GRW were: Betty P. Pruitt, 1991; Suzanne Kalan, 1992-1993; Jerri F. Marx, 1994-1996; Millie Spevak, 1997-1998; Mary Webb 1999-2000; Van Elliott, 2001; Cathy Wright, 2002; Verna Seidensticker, 2003-2004; Millie Spevak, 2005: Courtney Hyers, 2006; Courtney Hyer/Rita Brighton, 2007; and Rita Brighton 2008-2009 Kay Gates 2017 Mary Martin 2018.


       Today, GRW has grown to include over 70 members and 35 associate members, actively engaged in shaping the direction of Goochland, Virginia and our country.


       GRW has supported GOP County, State and National Republican candidates by raising awareness working on election campaigns, gathering hundreds of new names for the Goochland County Roster of Republicans, managing telephone banks, distributing campaign materials and hosting fundraising events for candidates.


       The Club has also supported its own member Women Candidates for office, notably Robin Traywick Williams in 2006, a candidate for State Delegate, and Kathy Crockett, who ran for the Goochland Board of Supervisors in 2004 and 2007.


       Each year GRW adopts a community organization and provides volunteer contributions of time and supplies to groups such as the Goochland Free Clinic & Family Services. In addition, GRW is involved in the Barbara Bush and Mamie Eisenhower Literacy Program, providing books to The Academy and the Goochland Women’s Prison.


       GRW members attend and actively participate in local, state and national meetings of the GOP as well as the annual NFRW and VFRW conventions.

GRW’s membership meetings, which are monthly except in the summer, feature invited guests that speak on a variety of topics ranging from candidate positions to local community issues, as well as lifestyle and well-being for women.

And this year as GRW celebrates its 20th Anniversary, under Rita Brighton’s leadership, GRW was awarded the ‘Golden Achievement Award,’ which recognizes state Republican Women’s Clubs that have perfect compliance with the VFRW’s guidelines for participation and activity.


       Republican women have come a long way in Goochland County. No longer just ‘doing all the work’ of hosting teas and barbeques or stuffing envelopes for candidates, as Peter said 20 years ago. Of course, we do that too – but now as an organized group of Republican women, we are also campaigners, candidates, and active members of County Boards of Government.



       Celebrate, Goochland Republican Women!

 Our 29th year is here, and the best is yet to come!