Ken McKay Announces

… his candidacy for the chairmanship of the RIGOP via this press release dispatched just after noon today.

Republicans are faced with an incredible opportunity to win elections in Rhode Island. We have great incumbents and candidates. We have incredibly hard working activists.
Respectfully, I hope to earn your support and vote to become Chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party in March. Over the last few weeks I have talked to many Rhode Island Republicans about our future. I will continue that outreach through our March meeting.
I humbly believe that if we all pull together against liberal, Democrat policies and leaders we can win elections here. In my opinion, Republican ideas represent the majority opinion in Rhode Island. Liberals and Democrats continue to take us in the wrong direction. We must organize the like-minded majority, and identify our vote, and turn them out on election day, if we do we will find ourselves in the majority and in control of our destiny.
Before serving on the Rick Scott for Governor campaign in Florida last summer and fall I had the honor to serve our party as Chief of Staff at the National Committee. When I arrived there shortly after President Obama’s inauguration Washington wrote us off. We were not expected to win. Frankly, the question was how big the Democrat majority could get? We worked in the face of skepticism but we remained excited and pulled together to beat Democrats. We helped challenge the liberal health care takeover, we helped successful Governor’s races, we raised money. We spent every day organizing. It was not easy. Doubt was in the air. We took steps though towards success and we pressed every day until we achieved victory and we can do that in Rhode Island.

A little about me:
Married for 18 years and we have three boys
My wife and I are from Rhode Island
Managed two successful campaigns for Governor Carcieri
Served as Chief of Staff to Governor Carcieri for his first term
Veteran of the United States Army Infantry
As Chief of Staff at RNC made sure RI was supported
Assisted in RIGOP fundraising
Took a leave of absence from Governor Carcieri’s office to assist in 2004 legislative races
Attached is a letter that I ask you to read regarding my candidacy for Chair of our great Party, and again, I ask for your support.

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Tim
Tim
10 years ago

McKay has an impressive resume. Would be a great move for the RIGOP. Why do I think they’ll find a way to screw it up?

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

McKay’s letter is diplomatically silent on the schism between RI conservatives and RINOs. Yet this is the single most important issue facing the RIGOP.
Until people know what the party stands for, they will not contribute money to it, nor volunteer their time to it.
We have seen enough of Liberal-Lite, culminating in the treasonous behavior of Linc (Fredo Corleone) Chafee. Several high-ranking RIGOP figures, including Scott Avedisian and certain members of the Charlestown-Westerly axis who are members of the Executive Committee, supported Chafee and snubbed both John Robitaille and Erik Wallin, two of the best Republicans to have ever run for statewide office.
McKay will have to take a stand and declare his vision for the party. Merely talking about nuts and bolts issues like fundraising mechanics and connections will not motivate Rhode Island Republicans to participate at the party level.
Come on, Ken. Reagan proved that taking the right stance courageously works better than trying to triangulate. Declare yourself.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Bob – Think more candidates like Robitaille and less like Wallin. Robitaille was a strong candidate and missed winning by a nose. Wallin for AG was an embarrassment in what should have been the easiest race of the election after 8 years of the despised Lynch. It helps to find somebody who doesn’t propose unconstitutional legislation, run law and order campaign videos against sex offenders that sound like campy 80’s horror movies (“lurking in our alleyways”), and act like they have Asperger’s at public events with painfully awkward canned speeches. I’m as firmly in the anti-incumbent, anti-RI Democratic machine camp as you can expect of any independent, and I called Wallin as a trainwreck from Day 1. Are you really telling me RIGOP couldn’t find a single more experienced, more intelligent, and more credible attorney in the state to run instead?

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

I came to know Erik during the campaign. He may not be a Broadway actor under the limelight, but he is an outstanding lawyer with deep understanding of the issues and a committed constitutional conservative, and he has an effective managerial style. He would have done an excellent job as AG.
If he runs again I will support him again.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Even aside from all of the personality/presentation issues (which were *severe* and should have been immediately noticeable to RIGOP), Wallin failed to harness any of the anti-incumbent, anti-big government momentum of the election. His solution for everything was extensive jailtime, which any thinking person knows doesn’t work and bankrupts the state. He trumped up sex offenders as some huge problem when sex crimes have the lowest reoffense rate and have been declining for decades – blatant fearmongering and lack of critical thinking. Advocated for the Drug War, one of the most expensive and failed government campaigns in history. And like some stupid task force of a few politically-hired prosecutors was going to solve corruption in RI. How do you know he had an effective managerial style? He’s never managed anything in his life, at least from what I heard. His laughable campaign ads, misdirected focus, and canned speeches showed a lack of managerial skills and judgement in my book.
I just can’t believe that, out of the thousands of attorneys in RI, RIGOP couldn’t find a single intelligent and experienced candidate who could run a credible campaign. Any dark horse with a good resume running on clean, limited government should have easily taken that race.

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

Dan, this thread is about McKay, not Wallin. We can discuss Wallin over a beer some day.

George
George
10 years ago

This is step 1 in Carcieri’s move to keep control of the state party so he can make sure resources tilted toward his probable senate race – just like Chafee did in ’06. Republicans should be weary about this. Carcieri may have accomplished a lot for himself and may have talked a good game; but he did little for the party.
But on the other hand, there are plenty of “adult entertainment” venues in RI, so it might be a good fit.

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

“but he did little for the party”
That’s not true. He actually did *nothing* for the party.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

Erik Wallen was a good man,but he had to deal with a free for all multicandidate field while Kilmartin had the Democratic machine going for him in the Blackstone-a huge soluid bloc,not to mention the liberals infesting the East Side of Providence.
Kilmartin actually looks promising right about now compared to that idiot Gump.

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

Right, Joe. But it is not encouraging to note that Kilmartin is the only adult on the team.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

BobN-thanks for reminding me. LOL.

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