Next Saturday, members of the Republican State Committee will come together for the NHGOP Annual Meeting. You may have noticed a flurry of articles and endorsements in the past few days concerning the race for RNC Committeeman, which will be decided at that meeting by members of the state Republican Committee.
What’s it all about? Who is making these decisions, and how did they get there?
Not surprisingly, there is a lot of confusion about the roles of State Committee Members, Delegates to the NH GOP Convention, and the various responsibilities of those two groups.
Here’s the scoop:
“DELEGATES” to the NH GOP Convention consist of two groups:
- Elected delegates are chosen during the September Primary Election every 2 years. Their names appear on the Republican primary ballot. Each town is allowed a specific number of delegates as determined by the state party. (The number generally correlates to the number of State Representatives that represent each town.) Any registered Republican can add their name to the ballot by signing up with their Town Clerk during the candidate filing period in early June. Many of those delegate seats are uncontested, and many remain vacant because no one runs.
- GOP Candidates for State and Federal office who make it through to the general election ballot in November automatically become Delegates to the NH GOP Convention. In other words, any GOP candidate who wins the September primary (or who runs in an uncontested primary) becomes a Delegate.
Delegates have only two duties:
- Elect members of the State Committee by attending their county or city GOP caucus. This happens in December of the year in which the Delegates were elected.
- Vote on potential changes to the NH GOP Party Platform at the state GOP Convention. This happens every 2 years, in the spring of each election year.
“STATE COMMITTEE MEMBERS” are elected by the Delegates at the aforementioned County or City caucuses. Many Delegates choose to run for State Committee, but Delegates do NOT automatically become State Committee members. They have to be elected to that position.
State Committee Members have several duties:
- Elect State Party Officers. This happens in January at the Annual Meeting. (State officers are elected on odd number years unless there is a vacancy that requires an election.)
- Vote on any proposed changes to the NHGOP Bylaws. This also happens at the annual meeting in January.
- Participate in their local County/City or Town GOP Committees. This is the ongoing grassroots work of promoting Republican ideals and getting Republicans elected.
Why is this important? Because (like it or not) we live in a two-party system; and if you believe in limited government, low taxes, free markets, and liberty; then the Republican party represents your values.
No, it’s not perfect. But it’s generally safe to say that in virtually every scenario, a Republican will better represent those values than any Democrat.
If you want to get involved and help shape the party that represents freedom, responsibility, and limited government, running for Delegate is a good place to start.
(Special thanks to Diane Bitter for the valuable input she provided to this article.)