PW Republican Committee Chair Joins Voices Opposing Knarr's Campaign

Notes Ken Knarr donated $11K to local Democrats

Prince William County GOP logo
Prince William County GOP logo

Prince William Republican Committee Chair Denny Daugherty has joined other leaders in his party in denouncing Ken Knarr as a legitimate Republican candidate for Chair of the Board of County Supervisors. Instead, he is endorsing current Brentsville Supervisor Jeanine Lawson-R in her bid to be the party's nominee.

Daugherty doubts Knarr's sincerity in claiming that he is a Republican. Knarr donated more than ten thousand dollars to local Democrats in a few years' time, including money to Wheeler-D, who is running for reelection. 

Knarr is one of the Pageland Lane landowners to QTS and Compass. If the board approves the Digital Gateway, Knarr stands to make $1 million per acre from the developers. For that reason, residents of various political affiliations have surmised that Knarr is running to upset the primaries. 

"His candidacy seems less about winning the chair than about causing the real Republican in the race to spend time and expense winning a nomination, resources that would otherwise be used for defeating Knarr’s Digital Gateway ally Chair Wheeler," Daughtery said. 

Daugherty's letter comes just days after Knarr sent out a list of conservative priorities that he would champion on "day one." They range from popular issues among independents, such as repealing the meal tax, to more divisive ideas heralded by far-right conservatives. 

Some of the items such as,  "Introduce a Parent's Bill of Rights for our Public Schools," and "Pass an Ordinance to Prohibit Biological Males from Participating in Girls’ Sports," do not fall under the purview of the supervisors, but demonstrate right-wing leanings. 

He even said he would "Appoint Members to the Jail Board that Will Restore the 287g Program," something the Democrats would surely hate. 

“I know that many of these ideas won’t be popular with the professional politicians on the board and the special interest groups that lobby them each week," Knarr wrote. "But it’s time that the people of Prince William County take a stand and demand our government back from  a board of that has lost sight of what it means to serve the people."

Knarr released his agenda after challenging Lawson to seven debates around the county; an offer which he said she declined. Perhaps the list of priorities seems to show that not only is Knarr a true conservative but that he could even out-Republican Lawson. 

But Daugherty said he is not buying it. 

"Mr. Knarr's latest email is well tailored to appeal to a Republican primary voter.  But these are not the positions he has advocated in his many appearances before the Board of Supervisors, School Board and Planning Commission," Daugherty said.

He advises Republican voters to look at where Knarr spent his money to determine what he truly values. 

Daugherty reminds people that while Lawson gained bipartisan support for her land use policies, such as protecting the Manassas National Battlefield, she has no  "woke" agenda. He notes that Democrats regularly criticize her for being anti-abortion and for believing in traditional families. 

Lawson and Knarr are the only two candidates vying for the Republican nomination. Incumbent Ann Wheeler is being challenged by Democrat Deshundra Jefferson. Jefferson is running on a platform opposing the digital gateway.  

The following is the Letter provided by Prince William Republican Committee Chair Denny Daugherty. 

Dear Friend,

I can no longer hold my tongue about the entry of six-digit Democratic donor Ken Knarr in the Republican primary for chair of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.  Reports just came out that Knarr gave $900 in the first quarter of this year to four Democratic supervisors, in addition to the $9200 to them and Democratic legislators previously reported.

Now that I have no further role in the nominating process for the County Board Chair, I am free to express my agreement with other Republican leaders who recently highlighted that Kenn Knarr’s political giving is totally inconsistent with his claimed Republican affiliation.   In the last two years, his support for Democratic candidates has been valued by those candidates at more than $10,000. 

Why has Knarr donated so much to Democrats and shortly thereafter chosen to run in a Republican primary?  When asked, he responds that he favors collective bargaining for first responders. It is difficult to understand why that motivates him to run against Ann Wheeler, as she is a thoroughgoing supporter of collective bargaining.

The answer can be found in the causes he has championed at meetings of the Board of County Supervisors and the School Board for several years now.  They have almost always been related to the Digital Gateway data center project adjoining the Manassas National Battlefield.  Time and again he has risen to portray the Gateway as the answer to every county need.  He represented others as well as himself in securing inclusion of properties in Digital Gateway filings with the county.  Perhaps Knarr has donated so much to so many Democratic candidates because their votes on Digital Gateway issues favored Kenn Knarr’s financial interests.

If Mr. Knarr would win the GOP nomination, by emphasizing his military record, will he mount a serious general election campaign against Chairman Wheeler?  Many of us have very serious doubts since she is among the recipients of his generosity toward Democrats. After all, he just funded every one of Wheeler’s allies on the Board.  His candidacy seems less about winning the chair than about causing the real Republican in the race to spend time and expense winning a nomination, resources that would otherwise be used for defeating Knarr’s Digital Gateway ally Chair Wheeler

I urge Republicans to vote in the Republican primary on June 20 to nominate a consistent Republican for chairman of the Board of Supervisors. Jeanine Lawson will protect our quality of life, keep taxes low, make law enforcement a budget priority, and voice parental frustration with inattention to the decline in academic proficiency in our schools.  What makes me think so?  Because that is Jeanine’s record as supervisor from my district, Brentsville.  She has endured leftwing abuse for her stands for marriage, the unborn, and the Rural Crescent and in opposition to the woke agenda.  She’s still standing where she did when she was elected to the board at the end of 2014.

Denny Daugherty

Chairman, Prince William County Republican Committee

Gainesville, Virginia

Other Republicans who signed a letter in opposition to Knarr's campaign include Tim Parrish, 7th District Representative Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee; and Immediate Past Chair, Prince William County GOP (2020-2022); Dottie Miller, Former Chair, Prince William County GOP (2016-2018); Bill Card, Former Chair, Prince William County GOP (2012-2016; 2018-2020); Mary Jo Howarth, Magisterial Vice-Chairman, Brentsville District; George Dodge, Magisterial Chairman, Coles District; Eric Von Tersch, Magisterial Chairman, Potomac District; Carol Fox, Magisterial Chairwoman, Gainesville District; Steve Heath, Magisterial Chairman, Occoquan District; Dawson Weinhold, Magisterial Chairman, Neabsco District; Rob Hartwell, Magisterial Chairman, Woodbridge District; and Jacob Alderman, Chairman, PWC Young Republicans.