Sunday, April 24, 2016

Kentucky GOP Convention a Model of Efficiency

This was my first Kentucky Republican Convention, and I'd highly recommend it to Republicans here who want to get more involved. It's a great cross-section of people of different backgrounds and ages who come together because of our love for liberty and our abhorrence of big government.

In contrast to many other states, our convention is well-run and efficient -- something conservatives value. State Chair Mac Brown, presiding over his first convention, managed to both keep the trains running on time and deal respectfully with malcontents and the inevitable snafus that happen in an undertaking this large.

The most tedious aspect was ascertaining the credentials of the approximately 500 state delegates, county by county. But one fact emerged from that process that we need to redress:  sadly, there are still many counties in Kentucky that had no Republican representation whatsoever. Not a single delegate.

It's true that in our recent caucus, the party could not hold a caucus in 10 of the 120 counties due to lack of volunteers in that county. That we could hold caucuses in 110 counties is itself a remarkable feat. This dovetails with Senate Leader Mitch McConnell winning reelection by carrying some counties in Eastern Kentucky that he has never before carried -- a bucket list item for him. Most of these counties similarly voted for Gov. Matt Bevin.

For this change in voting patterns in Eastern Kentucky, we can thank President Barack Obama and his war on coal. He has been the best thing to ever happen to the Republican Party of Kentucky.  Indeed, our registration has outpaced Democrats by a 13 to 1 margin during the Obama years.

Despite that improvement, some counties in Eastern Kentucky still do not have a GOP grassroots presence. But there are conservatives in those counties who voted Republican. Not many, but some.

And to those voters, there is an opportunity to get involved in the state party. Yesterday, for example, they could have been state delegates; that provides a chance to vote on the Kentucky Republican Party's platform as well as the delegates who will represent us at the national convention.

The party is welcoming to first-time voters, as my son and his friend both experienced as delegates. So to those high school seniors in Eastern Kentucky who want a path to prosperity and want to help change the direction of the Commonwealth and the nation, the Republican party is a place that will welcome your ideas and energy.

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