In 1972, when I was 18, I registered as a candidate for Precinct Delegate and won the election in the March MI primary and went to the Genessee County MI Convention. From there I was elected as a delegate to the District and MI State Convention. At the State Convention I had my first taste of Affirmative Action. It was decided by the Romney Republicans I was young enough, but too white, to be a National Delegate to the Convention in Miami, so a Delegate with different skin tone was sent. Oh well, I was committed to Nixon, so maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing .
In 1976 I was living in the Washtenaw County MI precinct of the Republican National Committeeman, Peter Fletcher, attending University, and doing advance work for the Reagan campaign in the Midwest. I ran against Peter in the MI primary election for Precinct Delegate, and lost by 6 votes. I thought it would be impossible to be a Reagan delegate in ’76….alas. Michigan had proportional representation in ’76, you get 10% of the primary vote, you get 10% of the delegates to the National Convention. Reagan got 35% of the primary vote and was allocated 35% of the delegates to the National Convention. That came to 29 delegates. Since only 19 committed Reagan Delegates won in the primary elections, MI had 10 At-Large Delegate positions to fill for the National Convention who would be committed to Reagan for the first two votes. I still remember the day Ronald Reagan called and asked if I would be one of those 10 At-Large Delegates (and help on the Wednesday night Reagan floor demonstration at the National Convention, which is another story and how I moved to Texas). The Milikin/Ford (RINO) Republicans said they would challenge me as a Delegate because I dared run in the primary against the GOP Committeeman from MI. The MI Reagan Chairman, State Senator Jack Wellborn, placed me as the First Reagan voting Delegate and himself second, so that they would have to challenge every other Reagan Delegate to get to me. They didn’t challenge, and I was proud to cast the first vote from Gerry Ford’s home State for Ronald Wilson Reagan in Kansas City!
In ‘78 ran as a Tarrant County Texas Precinct Delegate and won and went to the District and State Conventions and served on the Executive Committee of the Texas Young Republicans.
In Colorado, I went to the January, 1996 Summit County GOP Convention. The convention voted on delegates from the precincts and I became a Delegate because we had too many delegate slots and not enough delegates. Went to the District and State Convention (held on the same weekend) as an Alternate Delegate, and again, not enough Delegates showed up at the District or State Conventions, so got to vote as a Delegate at both.
While living in Summit County CO, I went to every County GOP monthly meeting for almost 5 years Went to 2 more State Conventions as a Delegate. There were about 3 or 4 committed Conservative-nouns on the County Executive Committee. The rest were pretty RINO, but we Conservative-nouns, were able to make a difference in County Candidate Selection, Rules and other Party business.
Woody Allen said 90% of life is just ‘Showing Up”. Well folks, 90% of political life is just showing up as a voting delegate at your monthly County GOP meeting. Take your like minded Conservative-noun friends and family. Vote for each other for Executive Committee, Rules Committe and if the Executive Committee in your County doesn’t have the responsibility for Candidate Selection, get on that one too. Vote for each other to go to the District, State and National Conventions. You CAN make a difference. especially if you or a like minded Conservative-noun get elected as National Committeeman or Committeewoman or State Party Chair. You CAN effect who runs the Party!