Former WV GOP Executive Director's Book Details Battles With Bush Campaign in '04

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Elephant Wars tells the dramatic story of how the West Virginia Republican Party, in just a few short months, rose from the ashes to gain parity in the public eye with the entrenched powerhouse Democrats, only to lose almost everything because of warring factions within its own ranks.

Gary Abernathy, former executive director of the West Virginia Republican Party, has announced publication of "Elephant Wars: Why fight the Democrats when we have each other?"

"Elephant Wars" offers a detailed insider account of the contentious 2004 election in West Virginia, where Abernathy served as state GOP executive director from 2001-2004. Details revealed in the book include the controversy over the gubernatorial candidacy of the state GOP chairman's brother, and the battles with the Republican National Committee and Bush campaign over message and tactics.

While Abernathy was executive director of the state GOP, the party picked up 15 seats in the State Legislature, elected the first Republican Secretary of State and Supreme Court Justice in decades, reelected Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito twice, helped carry the state for President Bush by a 13-point margin, and increased Republican voter rolls at a greater rate than the Democrats.

"I started writing 'Elephant Wars' early in 2003, after our successes of the 2002 election," said Abernathy. "I thought if we could have the kind of long term achievements that seemed entirely possible, it might be worth chronicling."

Monty Warner, brother of West Virginia GOP Chairman Kris Warner, entered the governor's race and set the party on a different course. "Elephant Wars" records the ensuing events as they unfolded. "Elephant Wars" details the constant battles with the Republican National Committee and Bush campaign over message and tactics, the formation of an infamous shadow party known as the "Mountaineer" group, the controversy over the unauthorized "Bush-Warner" signs, the eventual revolt by the state party staff, Kris Warner's abrupt firing of Abernathy, and Warner's eventual resignation as party chairman.

Gary Abernathy, published by iUniverse, was a reporter, columnist and editor for various newspapers in Ohio, then served as deputy district director for former Ohio Congressman Frank Cremeans. Prior to joining the West Virginia GOP, he served as communications director of the Ohio Republican Party from 1998-2001. A father of four, Gary and his wife, Lora, reside in Dayton, Ohio, where Gary works for the Montgomery County Commission.

"'Elephant Wars' reveals a lot of details about the challenges and battles a state party constantly faces across the board," said Abernathy. "A state party is always dealing with issues ranging from disagreements with the national party, to fundraising, strategy and candidate recruitment, and the constant juggling act necessary to aggressively pursue the party’s goals while trying to keep everyone on board with the overall mission."

"Elephant Wars" is available now at, as well as through,,, and most other popular online booksellers. It will be available soon in local bookstores.

iUniverse is one of the largest book publishing companies in the United States. The publisher dramatically shortens time-to-market, and gives authors control over when and how their works are published. The publisher was featured in April in a story by The New York Times. iUniverse publishing programs are endorsed by industry leading author organizations, including the Authors Guild, ASJA, and Mystery Writers of America. iUniverse is a proud member of the Association of American Publishers, Publishers Marketing Association, and Small Publishers Association of North America. The company's major investors include Warburg Pincus and Barnes & Noble.

Noted authors published with iUniverse include William F. Buckley Jr. ("The Blackford Oakes Reader"), James Reston Jr. ("The Innocence of Joan Little"), Ron Cutler ("The Firstborn"), Mort Walker ("The Lexicon of Comicana") and Sally Denton ("Bluegrass Conspiracy"), among others.

Suggested retail price of "Elephant Wars" (ISBN 0-595-35887-X) is $14.95.


Gary Abernathy

ISBN: 0-595-35887-X, June 2005,144 pages, $14.95,
iUniverse, Inc.


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