KINGMAN – Two months after a dozen local Republican committeemen resigned their positions within the party, its leadership has worked to rebuild and move forward.
When the group left in October because of philosophical differences, arguing the Mohave County Republican Party was becoming too inclusive of Libertarians, it did not put much of a fly in the ointment, said Laurence Schiff, chairman of the Mohave County Republican Central Committee.
“We are continuing to go on,” Schiff said. “We’ve more than replaced all of them. This really wasn’t a hit to us, and now we are busy laying the groundwork for the mid-term elections.”
Nobody asked this group to leave, Schiff added. “I think this was over personality and not over policy.”
“Having new people brings enthusiasm to the central committee and allows us to have people without the preconceptions of the past,” Schiff said.
One of the new committeemen, Paulette Wright – who represents Lake Havasu City – said she believes she can bring a fresh outlook to the Grand Old Party.
A former Democrat, Wright now embraces President’s Trump agenda, something she is eager to share when knocking on doors to get out the vote.
“I was never, ever political in my life,” she said. “I was always Democrat, I thought. I changed my mind because of Hillary and Benghazi, and the way she reacted to that, and how Obama gave everyone a free (pass) on immigration. The United States has to protect itself.”
When asked why she decided to switch parties and become more involved in the political discourse, Wright said it’s about making heartfelt choices and honesty.
“I am going to encourage everyone to think from their heart,” she said. “I want people to think how they want their own household to run. Do you want any Tom, Dick or Harry to control your home or do you want to keep your home safe and in order?”
With the midterm elections months away, both Schiff and Wright say America is at the crossroads of a pivotal time that could shape the future of what it means to be a conservative.
“We are in a changing time,” Wright said. “President Trump’s ideas are so different than Obama’s or even George Washington. We are in a time that is very positive for the Republican Party. We are getting smarter about everything. We are getting more outspoken and intelligent. We have everything at our fingertips to make this county good.”
Although disagreeing with the central committee’s leadership and resigning her post in October, former state senator Sue Donahue has remained a part of the local conservative movement.
President of Lake Havasu Republican Women, Donahue hopes that when moving into the midterm elections, all sides of the party can work together.
“We had better find some common ground with what’s going on in Washington,” Donahue said. “We need to find Republicans of cleaner character to elect to office. I’m just heartbroken on what’s going on.”
One piece of advice Donahue would like for the new committeemen to know is to read and understand the bylaws, know the Republican platform and to do the job.
“The job as a precinct committeeman is to get the vote out,” Donahue said. “You have to have a certain amount of passion and a certain amount of grit to knock on doors to get people to vote for your candidate. That’s what this is about.”