2013 GOP Precinct Caucuses tonight through Saturday; should we have a mayoral endorsing convention?
The first step toward electing county and state officials and reshaping the platform for the Oklahoma Republican Party is about to get underway. GOP precinct caucuses for Tulsa County will be held over the next three days (Thursday through Saturday, February 7-9, 2013); each precinct chairman can select the precinct's own meeting time and location within that window. Here is a document listing all the Tulsa County precincts and the meeting date, time, location, and chairman for each. Many precinct chairmen are opting to share a central location with other precincts from the same state house district. These central meetings will conduct opening ceremonies together (invocation, flag salute, announcements) then break into groups by precinct.
To find your precinct number, visit the Oklahoma State Election Board's precinct locator.
Each precinct caucus will elect precinct officers to serve for the next two years, will elect delegates to the county convention, and will vote on resolutions to be considered for inclusion in the county platform.
Something that I hope will be discussed in every precinct is whether the local Republican Party organization should hold an endorsing convention for this fall's race for Mayor of Tulsa. This will be the first non-partisan mayoral election to be held in Tulsa for 90 years or so, and there are likely to be at least two Republican candidates running, and possibly more than two conservatives. Just because there are no party labels on the ballot doesn't prohibit a party from endorsing the candidate that they deem best able to win and govern according to the party's platform. School elections and most municipal elections in Oklahoma are conducted without reference to party labels; there should be a standard process by which local parties can endorse in these races.
I also hope that precinct caucuses will consider and pass resolutions on local issues, which are often overlooked in favor of highly publicized national issues. A platform plank opposing, say, any county tax that funds municipal projects or renewal of the Vision 2025 sales tax or creation of a "deal closing" corporate welfare fund gives party officials a platform from which to speak against such proposals, even when they're put forward by Republican elected officials.
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