By Ann Becker
The deadline to file a petition with the Board of Elections to run for Central Committee is February 5, 2014. This petition will put your name on the ballot for the May primary. This might be a bit of an intimidating process to some, so I thought I would share my experience of running for Republican Party Central Committee in 2010. Being on Central Committee has been one of the most eye-opening experiences I have had while being a part of the Tea Party.
In December of 2009, I went to my first West Chester Tea Party meeting. That night, I heard Chris Littleton speak on Central Committee; what it was and why it was so important. He told us that principled people needed to start taking back our country from the ground up and the positions on Central Committee were the key. He explained that those on Central Committee were the men and women who endorse the Republicans candidates in Butler County. Since Butler County is a 65% Republican County, anyone who is endorsed by the party wins the election hands down. The decision of who wins an election in my county could be decided by the 300 Central Committee people.
At first, it made me a bit ill to know that that much power was in the hands of so few. But then I was taken back to something that my High School Civics teacher used to say, ‘decisions are made by those who show up’. This is what he meant, more people that put principles first needed to show up and be a part of this committee.
At the time, I had three small children. I was busy with all the things that come with being a mom, but there was something about the idea of getting involved at that precinct level that seemed like something I could do. My precinct had someone already serving, so I would be taking on an incumbent. I had never met him or heard from him.
I filled out my petition from the Board of Elections and asked for a list of all the Republican voters in my precinct. I took a look at the list and realized that there are few people that I knew from my kids’ school, scouts and church. Since the election wasn’t until May, I took a few weeks to see the neighbors and explain to them what I was doing. I was shocked how many of them had never heard of Central Committee before, so I had to educate them on the role of a Precinct Captain. They realized how important it was and agreed to give me their vote. I also asked them to talk to their friends about me running and ask them to vote.
As the spring got warmer, I started to walk around the neighborhood. I made up a little post card that explained what Central Committee was and who I was, asking for their vote. I knocked on a few doors of people I had never met. I was nervous, but I believed that was I was doing was important. I had a little speech prepared and I said the same thing every time someone opened their door. It became easier every time.
The second evening I went door to door, I had to take my three-year-old son Zack with me. I put him in the wagon and we went out. He was in charge of handing people the post cards. At the second house, we knocked on the door. I started doing my pitch. Zack looked at the mom at the door and very sweetly asked if he could use her bathroom. I was embarrassed, because I didn’t know this neighbor, but she let him in and we talked for a long time….I hope I got her vote… We went to the next house, knocked on the door. The first thing out of Zack’s mouth, “I have to go to the bathroom”. I couldn’t be mad at him, because then I would be that crazy lady at the door who yelled at her son, so off he went. He realized that every house we went to had its own bathroom. This was a major revelation for him. Needless to say, after the third ‘potty break’ I took him home.
I went out to homes for the five nights before the election. I sent a post card out to all the voters the weekend before the election. All in all, it wasn’t that much time. I learned a lot about my neighborhood and met a few great neighbors.
Election night was stressful. The Board of Elections reporting system kept crashing, so I didn’t know if I won until the next day. My results; 81 to 41 votes. It was a landslide. The next Butler County Central Committee meeting, I was sworn in and vowed to serve, protect and defend the Constitution, a vow I take very seriously.
Over the four years I have served, I have seen the problems that we have in politics. The perspective of the political class, power over principles. It is on the shoulders of people like us to restore the balance of principled leadership in our country. We can’t think about who would win, we have to think about who we would want to lead.
Being on Central Committee is more important than any email you write to your Representative, more powerful than any online petition. This is really interacting with your elected official, because they want your vote and help in their election. Being on Central Committee lets your voice finally be heard. With a large group on the committee our voice crying out for Liberty will heard loud and clear.
I hope you will join me in filing for your Central Committee seat before February 5th. For more information on Central Committee visit www.ohioprecinctproject.com .