Letter to RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel
I write to you not only as a former Congressman and current presidential candidate, but also as a lifelong Republican, to ask that you make time to meet with me next week in Washington to discuss the pressing issue of widespread disenfranchisement of Republican voters.
As you know, nearly twenty state parties so far this cycle have either canceled their Presidential primaries completely or made strident efforts to suppress challengers from the ballot. In some cases, they have been unsuccessful, but unfortunately, in most places they’ve prevailed, effectively stripping millions of Americans from their right to participate in having a say in the next president.
Even in states where party organizations have ostensibly granted ballot access to primary challengers, it is often done while simultaneously making clear they will marshall resources against challengers--one state party chairman boasted to the media that he would redirect the $25,000 filing fee my campaign paid to get on the ballot in that state to work to re-elect Donald Trump. That $25,000 came from funds that my campaign raised from conservative voters who are deeply concerned about the direction our country is headed--that chair’s comment could not be more of a slap in the face to everyday Republicans.
It is deeply concerning as a lifelong Republican to see the complete abdication of our values as a Party at nearly every level.
My campaign staff and I knew what a herculean task we were undertaking when I announced my candidacy last August. We accepted long ago that we would not get a fair shake from the Party --that the Republican party machine would effectively block us from making use of data and technology vendors such as WinRed and DataTrust, which primary challengers typically enjoy. But we never could’ve anticipated that the powers-that-be would stray so far from the values of fairness and integrity that caused many of us to become Republicans in the first place.
The Republican Party’s actions, especially the behavior of the state parties, is so nakedly anti-democratic it puts a stain on our reputation as defenders of liberty, the free market, and healthy competition. It gives opponents more ammunition when criticizing our efforts to protect the legitimacy and integrity of elections when there is an orchestrated effort to cancel elections and intimidate challengers and candidates from participating in the democratic process.
Most egregiously, it shows committed Republican voters that the Party isn’t interested in their voices and that Party elites are willing to pull whatever strings necessary to cut them out of having a say in who represents them.
I intend to discuss my concerns with you in person in the hopes that you will reconsider the collision course this puts the long-term brand of the Republican Party on, and in turn, that I might appeal to you to marshall your considerable influence over state parties to correct course.
A member of my staff will follow up on Monday to see when we might meet in person when I am in Washington later next week.