By VT GOP Chairman Paul Dame
It’s been just over a month since I took over as State Party Chair for the VT Republican Party, and we’ve been off to a great start. I won my race for chair with the largest margin of any contested race in the last decade. We then held an incredibly successful event in my hometown in Brandon, VT where about 200 people showed up in the cold November rain, on the first day of deer season, with about 6 days notice. I’ll be posting a final update video about that before the end of the month, possibly this week – and if you order TODAY, you can still get a hat or bumper sticker shipped before Christmas!).
A few days after that we all heard the news that Sen. Patrick Leahy will not be running for re-election, which I responded to. That also has caused vacancies in three other offices now that Peter Welch’s campaign of “Imperiled Democracy” has kicked off. Just this weekend, our State Committee passed an exciting budget full of bold optimism that I look forward to carrying out in order to help Republicans to gain ground in 2022.
My leadership has resulted in a gross donor increase of over $10,000 coming into the state party over the past 6 weeks, and I look to continue to build on that. We have also seen growth in our ability to influence Vermonters in the public square. We have seen double digit growth in our email list resulting in hundreds of new emails. We’ve picked up another 50 likes to our Facebook page, 80 Twitter followers and we’ve gone from basically not having a YouTube channel, to getting over 10,000 views and gaining 160 subscribers who will get notified every time we post a video.
In addition to our expanded influence on direct-to-voter outreach, I also participated in about a dozen media appearances including; WVMT’s “The Morning Drive”, the Howie Carr Show, WDEV’s “Common Sense Radio” and “Travels with Charlie“. I was even invited to VPR’s “Vermont Edition“. In addition my video press releases on Youtube have been picked up on TV by WCAX, WPTZ and I even did an in-studio interview at our local Fox 44 station.
Internally we’ve seen nearly 20 people contact the state party since I took over to discuss whether or not they are in a position to run for office. We’ve got some potential great candidates comping up, and a few people who are going to wait a couple years. We’ve also had someone contact the party almost every other day on average to ask how they can get involved with their Town & County Republican Committees.
But there’s still room to grow.
There’s still more to do.
I plan to continue to get out there in the public sphere to make the case for Republican Leadership. But we need to reach out and bring even more people into the party to win majorities in 2022. We need more members involved in their town & county committees. We need more candidates for office. We need more regular or monthly donors. Can you help?
I believe there are people out there on the sidelines that are naturally aligned with the Vermont Republican Party, and we need to bring them in and welcome them. I will be on WVMT’s “The Morning Drive” with Marcus and Kurt to announce my newest plan to get more engagement from Vermonters who want to see a stronger, better, bolder Republican Party. Subscribers to this newsletter will also get an email about that tomorrow morning.
We just saw last month that even in places where Democrats seemed to have had a stronghold, like Virginia and even New Jersey, that they can be beat. I believe the tide is changing in America, and yes, even here in Vermont. Independents especially are concerned about the extremist views that the other side is not only talking about, but actually implementing. De-funding the police, legalizing prostitution, and other radical changes are being pushed by the Progressive Democrat coalition right here in Vermont – not some distant left coast metropolis. This has caused more and more reasonable Vermonters (Independents, Centrists, Conservatives, Libertarians, even some Democrats) uneasy about the direction our state is going.