The Young Republican National Convention is this week and as a member of the Young Republican National Committee, in my role as State Chairman of the Michigan Young Republicans, I have an interest in whom is elected. The Michigan Young Republican Executive Committee is an organization of which I am a member.
The Michigan Young Republicans will not have a presence in Chicago due to the extreme cost and lack of interest from our membership in the national Convention; however the Executive Board of the Michigan Young Republicans does wish to issue endorsements in the various races. We made the decision NOT to endorse a slate, as we chose to go race by race and see who the best choice is. We also decided to issue some editorial comments on the structure of the YRNF in this process.
First off, the Michigan Young Republicans have no faith in either candidate to deliver the wholesale restructuring and rebranding the YRNF needs to be effective. Both candidates have offered variations on the same theme that have been offered in the 8 years since the Michigan Young Republicans were constituted in their current form by all candidates for Chairman, i.e. improved communication, greater political opportunities, better fundraising, etc. etc. This has become a case of the boy who cried wolf, and while we hope there is an actual change, our better sense doubts it. However, the YRNF needs a Chairman and we have 2 candidates who will do an adequate job of running meetings and keeping the status quo going. The Michigan Young Republicans have chosen to endorse MEAGAN HANSEN of Georgia for the simple reason that at the time the endorsement decision was made she was the only candidate who had asked for our support.
The only criteria for this position is the ability of the candidate to assume the Chairmanship, for in the last decade alone we have had 2 Chairmen resign under dubious circumstances and raise 2 Co-Chairmen to the position of Chairman. In one case the Co-Chair was ready to assume the office, in the other case the Co-Chair was not and the YRNF suffered tremendously because of it, so much so that it still has not fully recovered from the damage done. Therefore, we must evaluate each candidate on their ability to assume the office of Chairman, using that criteria we chose JACK AVERY of Arkansas as the candidate we support, because Jack has successfully ran a state organization and has proven he can assume the role. His opponent, while a great YR and someone who should be in leadership, has never run a state organization therefore has not completely proven that he can assume the mantle of Chairman should he need to.
The Michigan Young Republicans proposed eliminating this position 2 years ago due to the redundancy of having too many officers and wanting to streamline this role into the Co-Chairman’s office, this remains our position. Until this change is made we look at the two candidates who are running for this position and realize that this has probably the two strongest candidates in the down ticket races. While both candidates would be excellent in this position and both should be considered for future roles as Chair and Co-Chair we decided to try and strike some regional balance by endorsing ADAM ELLISON of California for this position. In addition, his current position as YRNF Western Regional Vice-Chairman gives him perspective on the only Constitutional responsibility of this office, to manage the Regional Vice-Chairmen.
This is the only office the Michigan Young Republicans had to reconsider after we decided on our endorsements due to our original choice Jonathon Hauenschild withdrawing from the race. We were pleased however to see a candidate emerge who this organization endorsed 2 years ago for the Treasurer position and we are proud to endorse JASON EMERT of Louisiana for the position of Secretary.
2 years ago the Michigan Young Republicans called for this position to be appointed, as needed, instead of elected, a position we still hold. In the meantime, the Michigan Young Republicans chose to endorse SARAH SPENCE of Ohio for the position of Assistant Secretary.
For the office of Treasurer the Michigan Young Republicans endorse JOHN DOYLE of New York.
As of this time there does not seem to be a contested race, therefore we issue no endorsement. We reiterate our call for this position to be appointed, as needed, as opposed to elected.
For the office of Auditor the Michigan Young Republicans endorse RICHARD VEENSTRA of Illinois.
The Michigan Young Republicans took the position 2 years ago to reverse the Kevin McCarthy-Era change which took the Regional Vice-Chairmen elections out of the Regional Caucus and put them on the floor of the Convention as a whole. We believe the Regional Vice-Chairmen should be directly responsible to the region that they represent, and not part of some slate which rules over the entire Convention. There is a Bylaw amendment proposed to do this very thing before the Friday YRNF National Committee meeting, however the language is too imprecise and pushing the change in agenda 1 day before Convention is wrong. Therefore, we call upon the YRNF to reexamine this issue for the Fall 2015 board meeting and pass this change so it can be in place for the 2017 YRNF Convention.
With our position being stated the Michigan Young Republicans will only be issuing an endorsement for the Midwestern Regional Vice-Chairman, an office held by 2 Michigan Young Republicans in the last decade. The Michigan Young Republicans chose to endorseCOURTNEY RUME-SPRAY of Nebraska, who comes from a well-established and strong state, along with being from the Plains half of the Midwest Region, which has not had a Midwest Vice-Chairmen hail from it as long as this iteration of the Michigan Young Republicans has been around.
CHAIRMAN OF THE STATE CHAIRMAN’S ASSOCIATION
For the position of Chairman of the State Chairman’s Association the Michigan Young Republicans endorse KATIE REGAN
of Massachusetts. She has the potential and the ideas to transform what is currently a fun novelty club into a useful, functional, contributing agency within the National Federation and among the respective State Chairmen.