Saturday, February 17, 2018

FCRC Must Build Its Precinct Organizations

Let's build an army of GOP volunteers in FX County ...

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Dear ,
The Republican Party, led by the Fairfax County Republican Committee (FCRC), can win consistently in Fairfax County. Don’t believe otherwise.
To do so, we must—and can—build a well-organized, fully staffed Magisterial District/precinct structure that powers the Republican Party’s volunteer efforts, political/social interactions, and electoral successes.
“All politics is local.” A corollary to that axiom is that success in local politics depends upon volunteers. The more effective one’s volunteers are in a local area, the greater the chance a local politician will win an election and, likewise, the greater the chance a state or national politician will win a majority of votes in that local area.
For sure, many reasons contribute to winning elections—candidate capabilities, candidate messages, comprehensive and accurate voting data, available funds—but a necessary condition for consistent party wins in any area is a well-organized, fully resourced volunteer structure for effectively harnessing the energy of party members.
In football, the best running backs, quarterbacks, and pass receivers cannot advance the ball consistently without a powerful interior line that enables their run and pass heroics. The real pros say “blocking and tackling” wins the games.
So too in politics, where well-qualified, well-funded political candidates promoting strong messages can only succeed by relying on a vigorous volunteer “machine” working for them to win over voters. Real political pros build such “grassroots machines” to win consistently.
A strong, grassroots organization—“an army of volunteers,” if you will—is one essential service that the Republican Party can provide to all Republican candidates seeking office in the county. This army would provide the door knockers, phone callers, social networks, campaign literature distributors, envelope stuffers, yard sign hosts, etc., who collectively elevate GOP voter turnout and deliver Republican wins. (Remember, in local elections, 70% of identified registered voters traditionally fail to vote, meaning there is a significant, even determinative, number of non-voting Republicans in that 70%.)
“An army of volunteers” readily available to support them would provide all Republican candidates the means to drive voter turnout. Tapping into that established army would save candidates the time, work, and money required to develop their own “volunteer militias” and enable them to spend more time on message refinement, voter engagement, fund-raising, and other campaign activities that would further strengthen their electoral prospects.
Put in military terms, a well-organized and fully resourced district/precinct structure in Fairfax County would serve as a “force multiplier” making primary and multiple secondary contributions to electoral success.
The Republican Party will win consistently in Fairfax County if it fields a well-organized “army of volunteers” at the district and precinct levels that delivers the “blocking and tackling” necessary to turn out the Republican vote.
Squads, platoons, companies, and even battalions of such a volunteer army function effectively in some parts of Fairfax County but not uniformly across the county’s nine magisterial districts.

A key part of my plan for reinvigorating the Republican Party in Fairfax County calls for the FCRC to take the lead in recruiting, organizing, empowering, managing, and leading a grassroots army of volunteers that delivers to every Republican-endorsed candidate running for office in Fairfax County the means to hike GOP voter turnout reliably and win elections.
Building such a well-organized, well-staffed grassroots structure in Fairfax County is doable. I say again, it is doable. In a county of 1.1 million people, there are plenty of Republicans more than willing to provide some form of help. While some areas of the county may be fertile for volunteers than others, the county is rich in potential Republican volunteers.
But they need to be approached and asked for their volunteer service. When done with respect and enthusiasm, I have found the average Republican, regardless of age, sex, race, shirt color, or any other labeling category that popular culture restrictively imposes upon people these days, often willingly says, “Sure, I’ll pitch in. I’m busy, but if you have something reasonable for me to do, I’ll give it a shot.”
Many times the yard sign host soon volunteers to hand out literature at back-to-school night then starts making phone calls and moves on to knocking on doors as a “Block Captain” in his or her neighborhood.
I know of what I speak. Over the past few years I have built a list of over 100 people in my Waples Mill precinct who have “signed up” for volunteering to help Republican candidates in some capacity. Not all have been able to contribute to every campaign and election, but we have plenty of volunteers to cover each campaign with a reasonable workload being shouldered by each volunteer. “Many hands make light work!”
Let’s see, using roughly a third of that number, 35 times 244 (the number of precincts in the county) equals 8,540 volunteers. By gosh, we would have ourselves a Republican army, one that could materially help deliver Republican wins in the Virginia state Senate race in 2018 and, most critically, in the 2019 elections. Working together, we can do it.
A future article will review how the FCRC can recruit and manage such an army of volunteers.


Summary of Tim Hannigan’s Work as Waples Mill Precinct Captain

In light of recent commentary about my work as Republican Precinct Captain for Waples Mill Precinct in Sully District, here is my record as Waples Mill Precinct Captain for the past four years:

1. Election Results. Election results showing performance of Republican candidates versus all of Fairfax County, county parts of the 10th Congressional District, or Sully District, as applicable:
Year Election Election Results
2014 Senator Waples Mill:  Warner (D) 50%, Gillespie (R) 49%
Fairfax County:  Warner (D) 57.7%, Gillespie (R) 40.2%
Congress (10th District) Waples Mill:  Comstock (R) 54%, Foust (D) 43%
Fairfax County:  Comstock (R) 54%, Foust (D) 43.6%
2015 Sully Supervisor Waples Mill:  Smith (D) 53%, Guevara (R) 47%
Sully District:  Smith (D) 51.7%, Guevara (R) 48%
BOS Chairman Waples Mill:  Bulova (D) 51%, Purves (R) 46%
Fairfax County:  Bulova (D) 61%, Purves (R) 34%
School Board Waples Mill:  Wilson (R) 52%, Keys-Gamarra (D) 48%
Sully District:  Wilson (R) 50.1%, Keys-Gamarra (D) 49.9%
Additionally, the top two vote-getters in Waples Mill Precinct for At-Large school board seats were Republicans
2016 President Waples Mill:  Clinton (D) 53%, Trump (R) 40%
Fairfax County:  Clinton (D) 65%, Trump (R) 29%
Congress (10th District) Waples Mill:  Comstock (R) 55%, Bennett (D) 45%
Fairfax County:  Comstock (R) 51%, Bennett (D) 48.8%
2017 Governor Waples Mill:  Northam (D) 58%, Gillespie (R) 41%
Fairfax County:  Northam (D) 68%, Gillespie (R) 31%
House District 67 Waples Mill:  Delaney (D) 53%, LeMunyon (R) 47%
Fairfax County:  Delaney (D) 58%, LeMunyon (R) 42%
Note:  With the exception of the Sully Supervisor race in 2015 (when the Democrat candidate spent the entire day at the Waples Mill polling station on election day), Republican vote totals in Waples Mill precinct have been consistently higher than vote totals across Fairfax County or those parts of Fairfax County that were involved in the election.

2. Volunteer Recruiting in Waples Mill. Over the past four years, over 100 Republicans in Waples Mill precinct have signed up as volunteers to support Republican candidates, with over 35 of them providing various types of support for Republican candidates over the past three elections.

3. Ten Waples Mill Volunteer Get-Togethers. Over the past three years, the Hannigans have hosted six Waples Mill volunteer meetings, two Sully District volunteer meetings, and two parties that included Waples Mill volunteers.

4. Fairfax County Precinct Training. At the request of the FCRC Chairman, I prepared a Powerpoint-supported briefing on precinct operations that was issued to all Magisterial District Chairmen. I reviewed the material in separate meetings with three District Chairmen before announcing my candidacy for FCRC Chairman in 2017, an announcement that ended that briefing plan.

5. Fairfax County Volunteer Training Summit. At the request of the FCRC Chairman, I organized and moderated a 2.5-hour Volunteer Training Summit for Republican volunteers in Fairfax County during June 2016. The work involved developing the Powerpoint-supported, full-scope volunteer training program; recruiting volunteers to attend, including personally purchasing a $400 advertisement for the training in the Fairfax Times; and coordinating all logistical details. The training drew 167 volunteers and received very favorable reviews captured by individual training evaluation sheets submitted at the end of the training session.

Kind regards,

Tim Hannigan Make Donation


Fairfax County Republican Convention

When: 9:00 AM, March 17, 2018

Where: South Lakes High School
11400 South Lakes Drive, Reston, VA 20191

Convention Filing Instructions: The deadline for submission of filing forms is February 24. (You do not have to be a member of the Fairfax County Republican Committee to be a delegate to the convention.)

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