Gary Skinner for Supervisor
CREATED BY TOM:
ABOVE: 2017 social media commercial for Spotsylvania, VA supervisor re-election campaign. The video was watched over 28,000 times over the course of three days and the candidate won handedly.
ABOVE RIGHT: Skinner campaign yard sign / logo.
BELOW RIGHT: Sample mailer from Skinner re-election campaign.
Tom Byrnes recruited former US Marine and then Spotsylvania County school board member Gary Skinner to run for a seat on the county’s board of supervisors then held by a member whose campaign Tom had also successfully managed. Tom approached Gary with a plan to unseat this supervisor he had previously helped elect, due to the fact he regarded that supervisor as not serving with distinction, or as promised in the campaign Tom ran. It was the first time Tom took the initiative to “un-elect” someone he helped previously elect.
Tom put together a winning campaign and Gary upset the incumbent, winning in a landslide and securing a double-digit, 18-point margin of victory. Gary is a progressive and accomplished leader who immediately stood out from his colleagues. Having ran and won as an Independent in one of the most conservative jurisdictions in the United States, he became an immediate target of the county’s Republican Party that was then (and since) controlled by far right, “tea party” activists.
Due to county redistricting, Gary’s first term was cut short, and he faced re-election after only two years in office — and while leading the county’s effort to bring the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter rail service to the county after two decades of failed attempts by public transportation and economic development supporters.
Gary’s re-election campaign, and that of his fellow VRE-supporting supervisor, Benny Pitts, became a referendum on VRE. Campaign finance reports show the local Republican Party put nearly all their resources and efforts into unseating and defeating these two supervisors. Tom managed both campaigns and both won in landslide victories (Benny’s race was a three-way race, and he received more votes than his two opponents combined).
Gary Skinner continued to lead and serve with distinction and accomplishment (including success with the county’s VRE membership, in partnership with Tom’s consulting business).
Gary has since run for re-election a third and fourth time, with Tom managing those campaigns as well. Gary has never lost working with Tom; to the contrary, he has always won big. In all four campaigns, Tom created the strategy, branding and messaging, in addition to the television and social media commercials, newspaper advertisements and mailers. A small sampling is included on this page.
© 2018 THOS. M. BYRNES