College Republicans Splinter for Laffey
What’s this? An upstart group of college students is joining the efforts of a non-mainstream candidate to bring change to Rhode Island. The students are young, hip, and passionate about effecting change in Rhode Island and supporting the candidate who most closely characterizes Republican ideals. The baccalaureate degree candidates call themselves Students for Laffey, and they are going door-to-door as well as hitting the phones in support of U.S. Senate candidate Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey.
While the mayor has always styled himself as grassroots — and must love the shout-out to Students for Laffey in the Projo — why don’t the students just focus their efforts through College Republicans of Rhode Island where they’d have dollars backing the zeal? Well:
Until the Republican Primary is over, and the candidate representing the Republican Party in the General Election has been decided, College Republican chapters throughout Rhode Island are left unable to endorse and therefore throw any volunteer efforts towards either candidate in an official capacity. Students for Laffey is an independent, umbrella organization that allows individual College Republican students still wishing to volunteer for the Laffey U.S. Senate campaign to do so.
According to Executive Director Ryan Bilodeau, there are no college Republicans who support Chafee. Doubting that’s wholly correct, I tested the theory by Googling “students for Chafee” and found a Brown College Republican who had indeed started a similarly titled organization supporting Lincoln Chafee’s bid for reelection. Unfortunately, it either does not have a Web site, or my search skills are wanting, because I was unable to locate one.
In any event, Bilodeau says 40 students, and more daily, plan to work tirelessly for Laffey’s primary bid against Chafee. Who said young Republicans were nonexistent in Rhode Island? No, they are alive, organized, and exuberant over the prospect of supporting a U.S. Senate candidate who has the opportunity to bring more than just the party label to the halls of the Senate.