In Michigan, the lowly precinct delegates are pretty powerful. Being one of them, I can explain to you how things work in our state.
You have to run for office to be a precinct delegate in Michigan. It’s an elected position and you run in your precinct – your voting district. Usually there are more slots open than get filled.
The Ottawa County GOP website says that a precinct delegate is “elected directly by the voters in each precinct and are elected to serve as a liaison between the republican party and voters in their neighborhood. Precinct delegates also represent their neighborhood at various republican meetings throughout their two-year term.”
They also explain that the role of the precinct delegate is also responsible with helping turn out the republican vote on election day and should “help register people to vote, distribute literature, identify republican supporters and ensure they vote on election day.”
I learned about being a precinct delegate from a writer at the Redstate website years ago and I have ran (and won) the precinct delegate position several times.
The job of a precinct delegate, as stated above, is to represent your district and if you do nothing else, your main job is to show up at the local GOP convention to elect delegates to go to the state’s convention to pick candidates for some of the down-ballot races. This is instead of having a primary to elect them.
Those who go to the Michigan Republican State Party Convention choose the candidates for Attorney General, Secretary of State, the Michigan Supreme Court, the State Board of Education and many other positions.
Because I’m a precinct delegate (and possible voter at the state convention), I have been inundated for the past few months with more large glossy postcards and letters and calls and texts from these candidates than any other time before. And this is amidst a paper shortage.
At the local county convention, we voted for which precinct delegates in our county could go to the state convention. It’s really a popularity contest and you vote based on what you know about the ideology of the people who want to go to the state convention.
The mix of RINOS and “tea party” or Trump republicans is different in every county. In our county, I estimate that we are pretty much still outnumbered by the RINOS by a margin of around 70-30%.
So each faction at our local convention usually have their own “slate” of people they want to send to elect the “right people” – and then off they go – a certain number of precinct delegates and a certain amount of alternates (back-ups).
There are also some politicians who get to go the state convention automatically because they are elected representatives like our locally elected members of the state House and Senate.
At this year’s GOP State convention in Grand Rapids at DeVos Place Convention Center over the weekend, there were over 2,000 precinct delegates voting. That’s the day when we are the most important people in the state’s Republican Party.
At this weekend’s convention, two Trump-endorsed candidates were chosen for top republican candidates in the general election – political outsiders Attorney General Candidate Matthew DePerno and Secretary of State candidate Kristina Karamo.
In August, they’ll be officially nominated at another convention. Both candidates are very concerned about election integrity in our state and campaigned heavily on that.
The votes at this year’s state convention were not only tabulated by machines but also hand-counted.
That’s a very good thing.
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When I went to the state convention many years ago, the RINOS “cheated” by dismissing our voice votes and because of that we ended up with Brian Calley as the Lieutenant Governor even though he was clearly not our choice.
So the “powers that be” in the state GOP have shown that they definitely need to be monitored so that they don’t act like elitist corrupt leftists.