With everyone focused on November elections, its easy to forget that right now, as we speak, candidates are being vetted to run at the local, state and federal level. Especially for local elections, where the winner often wins by less than a thousand votes, and frequently less than a hundred votes, now is the time when candidates get setup with the party architecture and start building their campaign and fundraising.
This is also the time where upstart candidates have a chance of booting out the establishment folks in the primaries and caucuses. We hear about this for federal candidates, but surprisingly little for state and local candidates. The big reason is that the local parties are run by very few people, who often wield significant influence.
Which brings me to my main point: are you getting involved now? Are you attending your local Republican or Libertarian meetings? Are you part of that process? Are you asking the hard questions of the candidates? Are you donating to candidates you like? Are you getting signatures to get them on the ballot?
Too many times, we have trusted party leadership to vet a slate of candidates and assume that they will do a good job. That’s how we wind up with the Lisa Murkowskis, Liz Cheneys and Arlen Specters of the world, who win elections but don’t actually support the policies that their party supports. They sneak in because the majority of people aren’t part of the selection process.
Now is the time to get involved. Everyone is busy, but find the one thing you’re able to do. Maybe its walking around getting signatures for your school board and local representatives to get them on the ballot. If so, do that. Maybe you’re more extroverted and are good at asking hard questions at a party meeting. If so, do that. The point is, find what you’re capable of and do it now, while encouraging your friends to get involved as well.
We can’t make the Republican party great in November if we don’t start today.
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