RIGOP: To Close or Not Close the Primary
And the dimension of timing has been added to the central question, which will be discussed at the RIGOP meeting tonight. Should the party close it now, just in time for the November election? Much of the authority to determine timing rests with the chairman. RIGOP Chair Gio Cicione has indicated that he is certainly amenable to taking up the issue of closing the primary … but he does not feel it should be done during an election year.
Raymond T. McKay, President of the Rhode Island Republican Assembly, issued the following press release this morning with his thoughts on the subject.
The meeting agenda is expected to include a needed discussion of a proposed change to the RI Republican Party bylaws which pertains to voter eligibility qualifications for RI Republican Party primaries. Specifically, it would require that voters in our party’s primary actually be registered “Republican” voters.
This issue is about principle and defining one’s own destiny, not letting others define it for us. This is about the history of the Rhode Island Republican Party having had open primaries and a so-called “big tent” philosophy for decades, which has only managed to give us a corrupt one-party system in the RI General Assembly. After decades of trying things one way and not succeeding, it is time for a change.
The People need and want real leadership. If a Party cannot show people that its members believe in themselves and that the membership is capable of making good decisions on its own, why should they bother trusting that Party’s judgment if the average voter just sees that Party continue to let others define who it is and what it stands for?
This is not a black and white issue. However, it is a “Republican” or “not Republican” issue. The question at its core is a simple one: Who gets to choose “Republican” candidates to be put before voters in November? The times are changing. There are those who are part of that change, and those who have yet to embrace the change which is already happening. “If not now, when? If not us, who?”
Therefore, we would ask you to please support all actions which may be necessary during the meeting on Tuesday evening, which will help to effectuate such positive change for our Party and State in the most timely manner possible.