Saturday, January 27, 2007

New GOP Committeeman To Be Selected

It looks like I didn't quite call the GOP state chairman race close enough. The last couple of weeks Lisa seemed to pick up a fair number of votes to close the gap and it appeared that it was going to be closer than I previously predicted. But I would not have guessed it would have been this close. In any case, it's nice to have it over so we can move on to things like who's going to replace Randy Pullen as National Committeeman.

Well, after the convention, Randy held a meeting with the newly formed executive committee to discuss the issue. As promised, Randy submitted his resignation as a national committeeman that was accepted by the executive committee. The executive committee decided to form a sort of nominating committee composed of 1 representative from each congressional district totaling 8 members. The executive committee will work with county party chairman to select the representatives. This group of 8 representatives across the state will recommend and accept names of candidates for the position.

The ultimate process for selecting the national committeeman has yet to be worked out completely, but the plan is to have recommendations by February 15. Sometime in March a selection should be made.

We'll keep you posted when we learn more.

The next RNC meeting is in August, so whoever gets the nod should have some time to get ready.


zona said...

You cover CD8 so well. I attend most events as well and you really don't miss a beat!
Thank you!

sirocco said...

Yeah, you had been predicting a close race, but that was really, really close.

What do you think the ramifications are? Do most of the James supporters fall into line behind Pullen, or does this have significant potential of becoming a bitter affair? I know there has been a lot of rhetoric prior to the election, but how much of it was hot air and how much will pass now that the election is over?

romel said...

How can we "heal" when the "half" that is only "our way or the highway" continues to dig us into a deeper abyss?

Bruce P. Murchison said...

I hear a lot of rhetoric on both sides to be honest. But evidence from the past shows that the "right-wing" is far more forgiving. Each time Jim Kolbe won a primary over a more conservative candidate, the party united and got him elected, but when Randy Graf won, it appeared, and I don't know this for a fact, but it appeared that the more "moderate" part of the party sat on their hands in the General Election. With 24,000 more Republicans in CD8, there is no way we should have lost that seat. Regardless of your opinion of Graf, he was the nominee and the party should have backed him. Hopefully, we can learn from our mistakes. It would be nice to see State Senator Tim Bee run for CD8 in ’08. That would be an easy win.

AZAce said...


The mistake many make in analyzing the state GOP chairman race is thinking it a "conservative" versus "moderate" contest. Looking at who supported Lisa and Randy (including at the convention) should dispel that myth, although those most frustrated tended to fall into the "conservative" camp and a high percentage of them supported Randy Pullen. This race was really about control and a sense of fairness. The state party has operated with weak leadership for many years resulting in defacto leadership from the congressional delegation and high levels of influence from the Bush administration including Karl Rove. This situation has created a division between those who feel the state party should be an extension of the national party and those who feel it should function more independently with some room for dissent. The growing influence on the state party by those at the national level culminated this past year in a dysfunctional state party and the bizarre actions of some from national and state GOP leadership to the AZ congressional delegation, and beyond. Lisa James, as competent as she may be, runs in national circles and is unaware of, or fails to understand this dynamic. Had she won, those feeling most jaded by the actions of national and congressional figureheads this past election would have been extremely frustrated and the rift would have remained, if not widened, barring some dramatic shift in Lisa James leadership.

Randy Pullen is favored by those seeking more state autonomy because he is known for his willingness to speak up and raise difficult issues that, in the past, have been ignored or suppressed. This excites those who support a strong voice through greater state autonomy and leadership, but frightens those who have used the party as a support to national leadership fearing they may lose control. This begs two questions: One, does Randy have the ability to close the rift, and two, what impact will his leadership have on contributions? In answer to the first, what many don't know is that Randy Pullen spent time in CD8 getting to know the players and learning what was happening in the primary. He is the one that pulled campaign workers and primary candidates from other campaigns to work on Randy Graf's campaign after the primary including from Huffman's campaign (yes, you heard it right), Frank Antenori, himself, Carol Somers, and others as a powerful, eclectic team. People will soon learn that Randy Pullen did not run on ideology, but on leadership, trust, transparency and fairness, without fear of confronting issues wherever they come from. This is what is needed to unite the party. Regardless of ideology, most can support leaders who let them be heard and treat them fairly. On the second question, I would ask "who would NOT contribute to the party?" and "what reason could they possibly give?" Nobody who felt they needed to contribute before is going to withhold funds. Jim Click stated publicly that it would have no impact on his giving. And he didn't recount it even in the letter Nathan Sproul wrote and sent under his signature last week. Most of the nasty rhetoric about non-support was by individulas with little or no credibility. All but the most fringe delegates in the room Saturday were going to support Randy Pullen if he won. And it was apparent at the end. The Arizona GOP will have the leadership and voice they desire, and the national people will still get the support they need. I feel strongly that this will be a unifier.

sirocco said...

Thank you AzAce. I found your response very informative, particularly the National vs. Local angle rather than the Moderate vs. Conservative approach, and the supoprting reasoning.

I admit some small, petty part of me hopes the result turns out to be a divisive handicap ... but, really, I hope your prediction is correct and this turns out to be a unifier. Competition between strong, healthy parties is best for everyone.

Which won't, of course, keep me from experiencing scheudenfreude whenever there does seem to be squabbling within the Republican infrastrucure ... I take solace in the belief that such unworthy thoughts are generally shared by all (or, at least, nearly all) memebers of both parties when considering their opposite numbers.

AZAce said...

It's human nature, I think. And part of the fun.