Meet Two Great Republicans - December Edition
Monte Gingery and Sandy Tuttle
Monte’s story begins during the depression when his parents met in DC, the only place they could find work. His mom, Mary Helen, hailed from the Mesabi Iron range in Minnesota, near Grand Rapids, MI. She graduated from St Catherine’s in Minneapolis. She got a job at the Department of Agriculture, and both of her sisters moved down, married here, and raised families.
Don, Monte’s dad, was from Clearfield, Pa. His grandfather was a hardware salesman, and the local Democrat machine put him on as Congressman under Roosevelt from 1932-1936. Don's dad made more in DC at 18 as a man hole mucker for Pepco than he would unloading coal cars at 5 cents a ton in PA. He attended Columbus Law at night, was in Sea Bee’s in DC, and was a homebuilder after the war. He built half of Twinbrook, and more buildings, homes and commercial developments in MD and Va until late 1960’s when he retired as a Virginia farmer.
Their grit, determination and an open mind plus caring for people of all walks of life were traits Monte greatly admires. More importantly, they put up with their kids and rambunctious young adults (Monte’s description).
Monte loves a challenge and when he is told “it can’t be done,” he has to try even if it flames out. “You gotta try and learn something new, do something new, even if not in your wheel house” is his philosophy.
At 19, Monte and a buddy road tripped for a month across America in an old Cadillac convertible. He has since loved old cars.) He still enjoys traveling to new places. Lately his travels have taken him to antique car events like ‘Peking to Paris’, ;Baltic Tour’ and ‘Himalayan Challenge’ and ‘Mille Miglia’ in Italy. He likes going to a new place for a month and learning about the city and people.
His favorite vacation was a month in Paris at Montparnasse in October with no itinerary. He loves to wing shoot, go to antique car rallies, and enjoys clubs like Carlisle or small venue concerts and bands. Books on US and political history and autobiographies he finds “way more wild that fiction in most cases”. Properly made seafood and meat are favorite foods. The Palm Restaurant, Old Anglers, Tune Inn, IL Pizzico, and Met Club are favorite eateries.
Beginning early in his life, politics were central in the lives of Monte’s parents who were FDR Democrats and worked A LOT in Montgomery County politics. However, after Kennedy, civil unrest, and general societal unraveling then following Chicago ’68, his parents changed party to vote for Nixon and then Reagan and were Republicans thereafter. His brother volunteered, went to Viet Nam after attending Villanova so the Washington DC atmosphere did not appeal to him then.
Congressman Metcalfe –(who ran with Jesse Owens in the ’36 Olympics, and founded the Black Caucus)—was over to watch Super Bowl III, and he told Monte who was 11, what really happened during the Democrat ’68 convention with Tom Hayden and Abby Hoffman et.al, and how bad it was and was designed by them to create chaos with police and to cause rioting. Monte was to then declare himself a Republican since. The ’68 crowd are the ones in power now.
His most interesting experience in this DC political arena, he says, was attending the Reagan Inauguration in ’81. “We went to the Irish Times for Lunch where it was very crowded so we shared a table with Central Ohio Teamsters Local Presidents, ate burgers, drank beer and howled it up—THEY LOVED REAGAN-BTW! After the Inaugural on the West Steps of the Capitol, following Carter’s Malaise Speech and 21% prime interest rates, I knew things could only get better with Reagan.”
In the summer of 2021, Monte was appointed to fill a vacancy until November ’22. He helped Ann Hingston get 9-D on the Ballot in 2020, and feels that had an impact on this election. He was also part of Term Limits proposals in 2016 .
Being a life-long Republican (“I think I gave the 1st donation to buy the current HQ in ’90-91?”) I still did not know what MCGOP did.”
Monte’s formula for success is: “Being schooled on what was past history and obvious results, I said we have to change now. The past is past and we don’t have time for it anymore, My goal is : Reagan’s 11th Commandment, copy the Dem machine template. It’s impressive. Like them or not, we get out messaging, raise money for messaging, recruit heavily, build a deep bench in ’22 and ‘24 and GET OUT THE VOTE,WIN ELECTIONS. REPEAT. I think we have turned the corner and are on our way.”
Real Estate Development and Management from Baltimore to Richmond since college at AU has been Monte’s professional pursuit. It is creative and allowed him to reshape things and to work for himself. The most frustrating aspect is, he found, dealing with small-minded,politicos , governmental departments and staff.
MoCo has had a liberal bias since to 60’s with an ever-growing government workforce Monte observes. However, he adds, unlike Virginia and other States – Business was the ox to gore whilst having it pay and pay—while business was good --it was a détente. When the 2008 crash occurred, business never came back to Md like when you think of growth in Virginia and North and South Carolina. An Empower Montgomery Study found Montgomery County had LOST 14,000 white collar jobs to elsewhere. He states, "we have socialists - with a small s, running the County. They really believe the world will end and we must become California only ‘better’”.
Asked how to change things in MD, Monte repeats the solution is to FIND AND ELECT REPUBLICANS.
With all he has accomplished, Monte replies that he doesn’t yet know what has yet to achieve until it comes across his desk. If he could start over, he would still do what he is now doing. He freedom of choosing what to do and where to go and when. When much younger, he loved skiing, but not as a job because he didn’t want to live on Chef Boyardee for dinner and sleep on a couch!
Why is he called Monte, and not Jim? That was a family joke because of all his work in Montgomery County!
Sandy is currently in her second term on the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee and has enjoyed working with others on the committee in a variety of capacities over the years. “There are so many opportunities to be involved,’ which she finds is one of the most satisfying aspects of being on the Committee.
She was born in Canada to a mom who was a translator and a dad who was in the Canadian Military. “I credit my dad for jumpstarting my interest in politics, and right after college, [I] went on to work on Capitol Hill for a Congressman and then later...for a subcommittee chair working on environmental issues. Later [I managed] the biomedical waste institute (part of the National Solid Wastes Management Association).
She eventually went back to school, and obtained a masters in social work, and became licensed two years later. "My experience working in public housing taught me a lot and I appreciated the difference between giving people a hand out, vs a hand up.’ “We see the fall out of continually rescuing people, right now. And it’s not good.” Until recently she was working in the Emergency Room at a local hospital. “I worked the entire pandemic, and it was getting to the point, that I needed to take a ‘temporary break.’ “
Fortunately, this time off has provided all sorts of great opportunities, including working on the ‘Back the Blue event” with Patsy Dillingham, President of the Rural Women’s Republican Club – an event they began last year. They receive donations and volunteers – from many of the womens’ clubs in Montgomery County as well as members of the Central Committee, to enable visits to every district police station. Sandy has personally worked with the police for several years, both at the hospital and through her county job. “I would contend,” she says, “that most of us would not last a day in their line of work – I know I wouldn’t.” The last few years, she has witnessed how the police have not received the support they deserve form our elected leaders. The police are enforcing the laws these leaders had passed, and yet they continue undermining the police who are supposed to abide by them. County Council member Will Jawando and his quest to “reimagine policing” in Montgomery County has not helped. Sandy hopes that the support efforts can be expanded, and it’s a worthy cause for Republicans to get out there and show support. Every single police station liaison has profusely expressed gratitude to the Back the Blue teams.
In the meantime, she reports that she gets to spend time with a beautiful, 19 month-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, her son’s pet, she calls a “gentle giant” for whom she bakes cookies and makes popsicles. He can do no wrong in her book.
Travelling is something she has been doing a lot of over the past several years and in particular, World War I and World War II battlefields. Sarajevo with her two adult sons was really memorable. As far as the future holds, she "would like to take a few months off to live in Spain and immerse myself in the language – I have been taking Spanish lessons (on my phone) for the past year and a half, but have a long way to go," she states.
“I really admire Governors De Santis and Abbot who are doing their best to secure our borders - the job the current President and Vice President should be doing. Both are pushing back on the 4th Estate which has been given special rights and privileges and have miserably failed the American people.”
At the conclusion of the interview, this writer asked her if there was anything else that she could say that no one else would know about her? She responded, “I once won a limbo contest on ice skates, but that was more than a fortnight ago.’
Karol Smith is a writer, former candidate, organizer of GOP Asbury and a member of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee.