Editor’s Note: Reclaim Our Heritage is not a Republican entity, but a conservative one. However, the political party that most aligns with conservatism is the Republican Party and as such most of those who contribute to this blog are active within the Republican Party. We do not endorse every Republican, but we do endorse conservatives.
By: Brian Sikma
The upcoming Republican National Committee Chairman election is unlike any other RNC Chairman race in the history of the Republican Party. While past Chairman elections were affairs limited to Party insiders and RNC Committee members (those who actually select the Chairman), this race has seen an unprecedented effort on the part of almost all of the candidates to reach out to party activists and those who may be insiders in their own right at the local and state level.
No doubt the innovations in information sharing and networking spurred on by the further development of the internet as a tool of communication and activism have contributed substantially to the increased openness of the internal process. Also the very public embarrassment of two election cycles in a row that were progressively worse for Republicans has stimulated a widespread debate about the future of the party. This in turn has lead to a debate among the RNC Chairman candidates about the best way to bring the party out of the political wilderness and into the position of governing.
Although I am not a member of the Republican National Committee and will not be voting on who the next Chairman will be, I am endorsing a particular candidate in this race. After giving each of the candidates careful thought I have concluded that Katon Dawson, the current Chairman of the South Carolina GOP, is the best candidate for the job of leading the Republican National Committee for the next four years. Accordingly, I urge Indiana’s voting delegation to the RNC to vote for Katon Dawson as the next RNC Chairman at the January meeting of the Committee.
My reasons for endorsing Dawson are both principled and pragmatic. As Chairman of the South Carolina GOP the Republican party won 80% of the races in which it fielded candidates. Under Dawson’s leadership the SCGOP raised record amounts of money for its candidates and saw new breakthroughs in outreach to constituencies too long overlooked by the Republican Party. But winning elections and raising money only count for something when you stand for something, and that’s where Dawson’s commitment to the principles of limited government, a strong national defense, and traditional bedrock values come in. Not only has he successfully led a state party organization to success, he has also stood for a message that is worth standing for and believing in.
One of Dawson’s greatest strong points in this RNC Chairman race is his Project 3,141 is a positive step forward in rebuilding our party from the bottom up. Having worked on Republican campaigns and seen county parties in action, I know that an organized county party is a tremendous asset to Republican campaigns and I know that a disorganized and ineffective county party can be a needless and unnecessary drag on Republican campaigns. There is no substitute for an effective campaign organization, but strong county parties will help us develop the vital local, bottom-up network that we will need to take back the Congress, the Presidency, governorships, and state legislatures.
In endorsing Dawson I have not chosen to disregard the contributions that his competitors for the office are making to the debate. Saul Anuzis of Michigan has successfully harnessed the internet as a form of political outreach, Michael Steele has a vigorous approach to the issues that is certainly needed in our time, Ken Blackwell has experience as an elected official and elections overseer that is definitely a strong point for our party. While my endorsement goes to Dawson, I hope that these individuals chose to continue to contribute their knowledge to our party so that together we can forward with and rebuild a party much in need of rebuilding.
Years from now it would be good to look back and say that after the disastrous outcome of the 2008 election, we set out to rebuild and renew our party and didn’t stop until we renewed and revived our country.