Guest Post: Georgia a caucus state? Why not?


Guest Post: Georgia a caucus state? Why not?

This was contributed by Dale Jackson, the newly-elected Chairman of the Third District Georgia Republican Party.

As I traveled the 3rd district, campaigning for district chair, everyone wanted to know what I wanted to do to grow the party and involve the grassroots in that process. Now that all the focus is on the state GOP chair and that campaign, everyone is now asking them, how they are going to grow the party and include the grassroots in that process. The answer to both of those questions is the same, a nominating convention!

First, let’s answer the obvious question. What would that look like? What that would mean, is that EVERY elected official who has a (R) beside their name, would have to be nominated, not in a primary, but rather at their local county, district, or state convention. This would include all of the following: city mayor, city council, commissioners, state house and senate members, U.S. house and senate members, and the governor.

I will try to keep this as brief as possible, but I wanted to hit some of the pros and cons of this discussion. Let’s not be naïve; this is a big proposition, and it will require much discussion in the future, but why not start now?

First the negative, and frankly this is the only negative that has been brought to my attention as I have traveled the 3rd district and even most of the state, talking about this.

This will appear to the average voter as exclusive, rather than inclusive.

Yes, that is a fair assessment, but that is simple PR, and if we can’t overcome that, then the leadership of the Republican Party needs to just pack it up and go home for good.
Now for the positives, and, in listing these, I will also address the one negative.

A nominating convention would actually grow the Republican Party exponentially.

Let’s face it folks, most people outside the party don’t want to be involved because they see it as nothing more than “a party” or a “social club.” By having a nominating convention, we would actually put true meaning behind being a part of the party. Every county party would probably have to find a new meeting place, because their current location would be far too small to accommodate everyone. No longer would we have to beg our local elected officials to come to our meetings. I’m pretty sure that every one of them would make it a priority to be there EVERY month if their re-election depended on the party, not simply because they were the “incumbent.”

This process would save money for local and state governments, as well as for those wanting to run for office.

In my home town of LaGrange, I voted on FOUR different occasions between July and December, twice in the primary alone. No longer would local and state governments have to cover the cost of these primaries. What about the “challenger,” you know, the grassroots?

How much would it cost to try to run against a sitting U.S. house member? If you want to be successful, probably $500,000 to $1,000,000. Well, with the nominating convention process, this would be like running for district chairman, and I just did that and hardly spent anything, except a little gas money. This is what it means to give the grassroots a voice and really MEAN it!

Let’s save the fight for the Democrats!

With a nominating convention, all the fighting within the party would not be on radio and television. It would be confined to each convention and would be seen only by fellow Republicans. With this process, each and every Republican nominee would leave the convention with a much more positive public perception and have a great deal more money in his or her pocket to fight the Democrats. That is what we are trying to do, right? Defeat Democrats!

No more outside money influencing our party.

This process would prevent outside money (Washington DC) from dictating who our nominee was going to be. Right now, with our current system, the one with the most money wins; it’s not really a secret, folks. My proposal would level the playing field and allow more people to step out on that limb and run for office. Once again the grassroots wins. No longer would our elected officials answer to the wealthy elected officials with the powerful “war chest.” They would be more concerned about their own constituents in their own counties.

The one with the strongest grassroots base wins!

This process would guarantee that our nominee would have the strongest grassroots system in place, and thus have the best chance to defeat the Democrats in the general election.
Do we really want to grow the party and allow the grassroots to have a voice in the process? If we do, then there is a clear answer. It is a nominating convention!

Dale Jackson
3rd District Chairman
LaGrange GA

Comments ( 1 )
  • denisw says:

    The biggest positive I see would be to reduce/negate Democratic meddling in crossover voting. Unless it is a contested President primary, GA Democrats know it makes little sense to bother voting in a Democrat primary, so some vote in the Republican primary for who they believe is the weakest opponent.

    I doubt such crossover voting amounts to a high percentage, but Republicans have had some close primaries and runoffs where Democrat voting may have made a difference.