A Case For Changing the Republican Party of San Diego County — Part Two: The Neighborhood Volunteer Precinct Captain

Brian Brady Brian Brady 3 Comments


Who is the most important person in the Republican Party of San Diego County?

If you said “The Chairman,” you don’t understand grass roots politics. Our Chairman is a “super-volunteer” and he works his butt off, but a Committee Chairman isn’t the most important person in a Republican organization. The Chairman leads the Committee;  the Committee governs the Party organization.

If you think it might be the donors, you’d also be wrong. While money is an important commodity to run an effective Party organization, it can sometimes dissuade grass roots volunteers. When grass roots volunteers think that candidates are being recruited, vetted and endorsed as a way to please donors rather than serve the will of the voters, they retreat. America, for all of its wealth, still preserves our founding egalitarian roots. Each volunteer wants to think his or her work is making a difference for civil society.

If you think the elected Central Committee members are,  you’re still wrong. Elected Committee members should be serving on the organizational committees of the Party structure and be making decisions for the organization, through open and democratic votes. They are tasked with getting candidates elected. Each Committee member should be recruiting, vetting and endorsing candidates. Those functions can’t be delegated to the Chairman or to an “Executive Committee” if we want to win elections. Rather, Central Committee members should be taking guidance on recruiting, vetting and endorsing candidates  from THE most important member of the Republican Party of San Diego County…

The Neighborhood Volunteer Precinct Captain (PC). What’s that you ask? The PC is a local volunteer, who agrees to be THE representative of the Republican Party of San Diego County (RPSDC), to the registered Republicans in his or her election precinct. Most County Committees rely on the PC to make the decisions we task to the Central Committee members in California. Strong red states have a robust PC network, and committees in strong red states rely on that network to recruit, vet and endorse candidates. More importantly, the PC is a liaison between the legislative districts and the neighborhood voter. He or she knows the staff at party headquarters, knows staff in elected officials’ offices, from the City Council to the statewide offices, and (most importantly) knows his or her precinct voters.

The PC is THE “super volunteer” in his town. He or she is the “delegate” for registered Republicans. In a perfect world, the PC will communicate with local Republicans consistently. The PC will visit each of them and secure permission to email them throughout the year about local issues, party events, and legislation. The PC is part “watchdog,” part community organizer, part cheerleader, and most importantly…the GOTV representative for the Republican Party.

Next week, I’ll discuss why the RPSDC efforts shifted from the Neighborhood Volunteer Precinct Captain model to a paid-political director model. I’ll also discuss how we can restore the PC network and start winning more elections.


Read Part One of “A Case for Changing the Republican Party of San Diego County”Getting Back To “The San Diego Model”

Read Part Three of “A Case for Changing the Republican Part of San Diego County”Where did our voters go?

See the entire series one one page.


Comments 3

  1. Great insight Brian. If there’s anything I learned in the 2014 election, it’s how important the link between candidate/party and the neighborhoods are. I’d like to see the precinct captain role utilize tech to further strengthen connections to the neighborhoods. How exactly, I’m not sure, ad it certainly shouldn’t substitute face-to-face interaction, but could help organizing and turnout greatly.

  2. What’s happening in SD is probably the same thing that has happened elsewhere – my experience in Oregon as long as 12 years ago, and currently in the Coachella Valley. Republicans feel betrayed by their party and their candidates. I began to see Oregon turn RINO years ago. The entire tune was compromise and it hurt the party. People lost enthusiasm for the debate because at the end of the road the party always caved. Here in the valley it’s the same. Candidates and Republican enthusiasts have lost their taste for the battle. They want to be “nice”, have fallen prey to Political Correctness, and have betrayed their own values and those of the conservative voter. Regarding registration, I dropped mine in favor of Independent because I felt long ago the Republican Party no longer represented me. I got tired of throwing time and money at the machine that ate it up and spit out policies and behaviors foreign to my thinking. I had been too frequently disenfranchised by candidates and leaders who didn’t stand by platform, or who said one thing and did another. The party fails to deliver and even face to face people to people conversation doesn’t help that if the face you are speaking to isn’t “listening”. The last election was an example of the people finally being fed up enough to do something about it, but if newly elected politicians (nationwide) don’t take the ball we have thrown to them and run with it, the next voter turn out will be even lower. The message we will get from them is that they still don’t care enough about us to do what we have elected them to do. I don’t have much knowledge of or info on SD any more because I don’t live there but I can’t imagine why politics there is different than anywhere else, and I don’t think even 1% of registered voters knows what a precinct captain and / or a Central Committee is…nor do they care. We want ACTION, loud and consistent action before we’re going to pay attention and come back to faith!

  3. Post

    ” I don’t think even 1% of registered voters knows what a precinct captain and / or a Central Committee is…nor do they care”

    Thank you for saying the obvious. I intend to change that here in San Diego, Linda and explain why it’s important to do so in a future post. This is, why I believe, county and state committees are out of touch with their voters

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