Wallingford Republican Town Committee FAQ
Town Committee FAQ's
What is a Town Committee?
A Town Committee is a group of people who encourage and support citizens who wish to serve their community by running for elective office or seeking an appointed position. Each political party has a Town Committee in each town and it is the “grass roots” organization of the party.
How can I join the Republican Town Committee?
First you have to be a registered voter and have selected Republican as your party affiliation. Every even numbered year in March there is a Republican caucus in which elections are held for each voting district. All registered Republicans can attend and vote to elect town committee members for their district. Anyone who is a registered Republican can run for Town Committee.
Do I have to be elected to the Town Committee to be involved?
Certainly not. All Republicans are invited to come to our monthly meetings to learn about what we do and help out. Those who come and get involved quickly become as important as any elected member to the success of our organization. Active helpers’ opinions are valued and usually they are elected to the Town Committee at the next caucus.
Are Town Committee members aspiring candidates?
No. Most members are there to help candidates and conduct Town Committee business. We belong because we want to play a role in finding responsible individuals who want to serve their community in public office. It can be very satisfying and you will find yourself in a circle of friends who care as much about your community as you do.
What happens at a Town Committee meeting?
A typical meeting will have most of the Republican elected and appointed officials who represent Wallingford present to give a short report on what has been going on in their positions. It can be very informative and they are always glad to answer questions. Other reports include fund raising efforts, candidate search efforts, information to voters, and reports by candidates.
Does the Town Committee run a candidate’s campaign?
No. Each candidate forms his or her own campaign committee. If they have been involved with a Town Committee, he/she has met experienced people who are willing to help him/her out. And of course a candidate has almost always gained experience in what it takes to get elected by helping out in someone else’s campaign.
How does the Town Committee help out a candidate?
Like a candidate’s committee, the Town Committee works to get contributions to help pay for campaign expenses. The Wallingford Republican Town Committee traditionally rents a headquarters that can be used by all the candidate committees to meet and do work. The Committee will also pay for newspaper ads and brochures that have information about all the Republican candidates.
How does a candidate get on the Republican ticket?
Typically, a person will announce his/her desire to run for office to the Town Committee and ask for their endorsement. The Town Committee will consider the candidate and vote as to whether or not they will endorse them. For municipal elected positions, a Republican Caucus is held and the endorsed candidates, and any other candidates who present themselves, are voted on by the Registered Republicans present. For appointed municipal positions, the Republican Town Committee endorsement is forwarded to the Wallingford Town Council for consideration.
What is the process for candidates for State Representative or State Senate?
These candidates for State Representative and State Senator also come to the Town Committee looking for support and endorsement. There is a Republican Caucus in each town to elect delegates to attend a caucus for these positions.
Is the process different for state wide positions?
Yes. For statewide candidates, delegates are selected by a Republican Caucus in each town to go to the state convention and vote for who will be the Republican candidate for Governor, Senator, etc. Also other party business is conducted at each convention.
What sort of rules does the Town Committee have?
Like all non-profit organizations, we have by-laws that we follow and occasionally vote to update. Our by-laws must not be in conflict with the Republican State Central Committee by-laws. Also our local organization must follow the by-law passed by the Republican State Central Committee.
Who is on the Republican State Central Committee?
Every odd numbered year the Wallingford Republican Town Committee members elect delegates to vote at a district convention to elect two people to represent us at the Republican State Central Committee. The 34th Senatorial District, also the State Central Committee District, consists of the towns of Wallingford, North Haven and East Haven.
How is the leadership organized on the Republican Town Committee?
One month after the election of a Republican Town Committee, the committee members elect the following officers; a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson, a Secretary and a Treasurer. The committee members in each district also elect a District Leader. One week before the regular monthly meeting, the officers, District Leaders, and invited guests hold an executive committee meeting to prepare for the monthly meeting.
Republicans are often referred to as the GOP. What does that stand for?
When the Republican Party was formed a decade before the Civil War, it was by people from the Democratic Party and Whig Party that were opposed to slavery and were looking for a way to end it. They came under much criticism in opinions printed in newspapers. One of the names this new, upstart party was sarcastically called was the Grand Old Party. GOP and Republicans have been synonymous ever since.