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The long history of The Greater McLean Republican Women's Club (GMRWC) goes all the way back to 1944, having its roots in the Fairfax County Republican Women's Club. The FCRWC was the first Republican Women's Club in the county and preceded by one year the charter of the Virginia Federation of Republican Women. When the FCRWC disbanded after 20 years of service, a group of ten or so of its members gathered to organize the Greater McLean Republican Women's Club. The GMRWC was chartered in 1968, and two years later, under President Louise Geil, joined the Virginia federation. From these ten founding women, the club has grown to an average annual membership of 200, even surpassing 300 during the Reagan years. 

The GMRWC has produced three VFRW presidents, as well as numerous VFRW and NFRW (National Federation of Republican Women) board members. Members have sought, and/or won, elective office for such public service positions as the school board, County Board of Supervisors, State Senate, Lt. Governor, and National Committee Woman. These public servants have come from a membership drawn from all walks of life: homemakers, teachers, small business owners, lawyers, doctors, accountants, corporate officers, elected officials, wives of elected officials, members of the DAR, and naturalized citizens, reflecting a cross section of 21st century American women. 

The GMRWC, led by President Dot Callahan, helped to elect the first Republican Governor since Reconstruction, Gov. Linwood Holton. Gov. Holton was a McLean resident whose wife, Jinx, was a member of our club. And the list of successful candidates whom the club supported and for whom its members worked tirelessly goes on from there.

PRESIDENTS OF THE GMRWC and their successful candidates
  • Betty Brittan                          Governor Mills Godwin

  • Betty Greer                            Governor John N. Dalton and Attorney General Marshall Coleman

  • Peggy Trossen                       Governor George Allen

  • Judy Shreve                           Governor Jim Gilmore

  • Susie Wyland                         Senator John Warner

  • Deb Pietras                            Senator George Allen

  • Gloria Marrero Chambers    Governor Glenn Youngkin, Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears, Atty. General Jason Miyares

In addition, the CLUB was key to the election of other candidates such as;
  • Frank Wolf, US congress

  • Vince Callahan and Barbara Comstock, VA House of Delegates

  • Bob Andrews, VA State Senate

  • Nancy Falck and Joan Dubois, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

Ultimately, the GMRWC earned the nickname

"The McLean Mafia" due to its political influence.

If the club endorsed a candidate, it mattered.  


G  = Good Government
M = Moral and Ethical Principles
R  = Republican Candidates
W = Women in Elective Office
C  =  Civics Education and Community Service

Louise Geil

Dot Callahan

Elsie Beardsley

Marion Rosengren

Ceres Gaskins

Dr. Cecile Reeves

Janice Lightfoot

Lillian George

Ruth Strube

Betsy Walsh

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