Chairman’s Corner by Scott McGraw

It’s never too early to get a head start on a big projects Well, your Republican leadership in Kalamazoo County is hard at work preparing for the 2018 general election! Volunteers have been training on door-to-door campaigning and have now hit the streets, knocking on doors throughout Kalamazoo County.

Door-to-door campaigning and get-out-the-vote phone calling are so important in the election process. It’s so important, the state party has started training Republicans on the GOP Data Center and the walking and calling apps for next year’s election cycle.

In Kalamazoo, we’re out in front of this training. We’ve already held two training sessions on the app and we’ve gone out twice knocking doors out in the community. In fact, the KGOP will host walking sessions every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning through the non-partisan election day on Nov. 7 this year. This will give us the ability to train volunteers to be ready for the 2018 elections in May, August and November.

This gives the local party the ability to feed volunteers into individual campaigns, helping the candidates to get their messages out into the hands of voters. That’s pretty much what our focus is at the local GOP: supporting our local candidates for office. My grandfather used to say you need the right tool to the job right. Well, we give candidates  the tools through our training local volunteers

If you’ve never helped a campaign, it’s a real opportunity to see what you are made of. The pace and shear volume of work to do to achieve victory in an election can be daunting. You have to give credit to these individuals that risk putting their names on the ballot. They dedicate their time and efforts, spend countless hours at meetings and events, expose their personal lives and families – all to serve the public to the best of their abilities.

With all that said, doesn’t it make sense to volunteer a few hours each month helping out the candidates you support? By doing some door-to-door canvassing, making a few phone calls or attending a meeting on their behalf, you can make a difference in the lives of these candidates. That’s not to mention sending a few dollars their way. The costs of running campaigns is as equally daunting as the amount of work involved in running for office. And that’s not just reserved for the senate and representatives. It is becoming very costly to run for county commission and city council.

Much of what we are doing is a coordinated effort between all the county parties throughout the state. Under the leadership of the Michigan Republican Party, the local parties are helping to strengthen the data collected by volunteers in every county. Through conversations we have on the ground, the data is strengthened so that all Republican candidates at all levels can utilize the data through the MiGOP’s Data Center.

From the county commission to the state senate and from the governor’s office to the president of the United States, this data is improving each and every campaign in the country. When I knock on a door and input the results into the walking app, I am helping Brandt Iden’s campaign. And Margaret O’Brien’s campaign. And the Republican National Committee’s efforts for a Republican White House.

So please consider coming to one of our training sessions and door-knocking campaigns during the month of September. We will meet each Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. at the KGOP office and every Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. I would love to see you there and invest some time training you to be effective in helping our Republican candidates in their campaigns.