September 19, 2018

Part 4a: What to Consider when Selecting the Permanent Caucus Chairperson

The Permanent Caucus Chairpersons, for the 9th and 10th Congressional Districts, are the most critical roles in the county convention.  These Chairpersons will set the direction of the caucus and appoint individuals to a Nominating Committee that will select the Delegates and Alternates to the State Convention.

It is important that every delegate at the County Convention understand the method the candidate for Permanent Caucus Chairperson will use to select delegates.  In the case of this county convention, an At Large method will be used.  But there are various acceptable At Large methods including “Nominating Committee” and “Nominations from the Floor”.  (See the Selection of Delegates and Alternates section).

The Permanent Caucus Chairperson is given tremendous power so every delegate should be sure that the person elected best represents the Congressional District.  Items to consider:

  • Is the Candidate for Permanent Caucus Chair visibly active in the Republican community of the congressional district?
  • Will the Candidate run a fair convention?
  • Will the Chair or their Nominating Committee explain the criteria for selection of delegates?
  • Will delegates be allowed to announce their desire to attend state convention?
  • Will delegates be heard and their questions or concerns addressed?
  • Will delegates/committees be chosen on merit?  Are those who work hardest for the party the ones rewarded with delegate slots?
  • Will delegates/committees be selected with a representative proportion geographically?

When given this much power, there are always potential risks in selecting the delegation for the state convention such as:

  • Cronyism – are friends or acquaintances of the Permanent Caucus Chair elevated over known hard workers for the party?
  • Election Engineering – are delegates selected based on if they will vote for a preferred choice for candidate at the state convention?  If a candidate for the Permanent Caucus Chair has recently run for office, a telling indicator could be to check their campaign finance report to see if state candidates donated to their campaign.
  • Quid Pro Quo – is the candidate for Permanent Caucus Chair asking for favors in exchange for your support to elect them as Chairperson?  (“If you vote for me as Chairperson, I’ll give you a slot as a state convention delegate.” is the simplest form of quid pro quo)

Precinct Delegates as a body have an important voice to maintain the integrity of the convention and delegate selection process.  Make sure to meet any declared candidates and understand what they stand for.  Above all, vote your conscience and make up your own mind.


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