GOP Activist Rodney Stanhope to run for State Party Vice Chair
So now that the California Republican establishment was given EVERY opportunity to promote their moderate candidates that “everyone was going to like”, resulting in the trouncing of 2010 & 2012, where does the Party go? Do we continue to hand the keys of the party to consultant-loyal officers who measure the success of a campaign purely by how much money a candidate will raise (for them, of course), or do we begin our return to finding those local grassroots heroes who are willing to stand on street corners and be seen publicly at rallies standing up for the Party’s conservative principles and values? Isn’t it time we have Republican Party leaders who know what it’s like to walk a precinct in the last few elections? Or speak proudly at a local city council meeting dominated by liberals? How about those willing to stand up to the bullying of union thugs at rallies right up to getting attacked?
California Republicans looking for that new brand of party leader can look no further than to Rodney Stanhope, who has declared his candidacy for Vice-Chairman of the California Republican Party.
Most Republican activists who have been involved in statewide or targeted legislative campaigns know Stanhope well – the man willing to drive from his home in El Dorado to literally ANY district in the state to deliver campaign signs, join a day of precinct walking or phone banking, or invigorate a crowd on behalf of conservative Republican candidates throughout California. (Remember, this is California – the state with the largest North-South wingspan next to Alaska!)
When discussing his motivations for stepping up to run for party office (for the first time), Stanhope states: “It is time for the Return of The Grand Old Party - the volunteer-based, grassroots party of Fairness & Equality." While there are others within the state party who have volunteered extensively on the grassroots level, few if any can boast both the service time and knowledge through experience that Stanhope can.
Stanhope began his political experience in 1984 when in high school posting a President Reagan yard sign on his front lawn. After graduation, Stanhope enlisted in the US Navy and served a complete tour before his honorary discharge. Once his tour of duty was complete, Stanhope relocated to Sacramento offer his services to assist with fund raising for Muscular Dystrophy Association with Mark S. Allen of FM102.5. With his career in radio, he was then able to promote, create, and develop a wide variety of fund raising events throughout the Sacramento Region, from United Way, March of Dimes, Run to Feed the Homeless, and many others.
While attending American River College, Stanhope became involved with the Pete Wilson for Governor Campaign as the volunteer coordinator on campus as well as becoming involved in the fund raising for the military families during Operation Desert Storm. With more service members deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq, Stanhope became more involved in fund raising for these families using his extensive connections throughout the political and business communities.
In November of 2003, Stanhope created and assisted with the development of "Toys for Troops Kids" where he lived in a Tough Shed during the 12 days of Christmas to raise money to provide toys for children of military troops deployed. In 18 days during the first year, "Toys for Troops Kids" raised nearly $200,000.
Until this year, Stanhope had been content to work with select candidates that he personally vetted for their principles and values, as well as whether they had a true vision for the office they were seeking. His latest campaigns included the statewide Senate campaign of Elizabeth Emken and Assembly member Donna Fuller.( I can personally vouch for Stanhope’s transporting of campaign signs all over California; he made a stop at my home to drop off Emken signs of all sizes for our regional distribution.)
There have been rumblings of others seeking the Vice-Chair position, primarily due to the anticipated announcement of former State Senator Jim Brulte seeking to replace incumbent Chairman Tom Del Beccaro, who is not seeking re-election. Brulte brings a lot of resources and experience to the chairman position, as well as fundraising ability. What Brulte will likely need is a Vice-Chair who can connect with a highly disenfranchised volunteer base who are extremely bitter with the pay-to-play consultant merry-go-rounds that have yet to show any true appreciation for the hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours provided each year, unless you count the mailing and e-mail lists that they are added to and provided to their next cycle of candidates. (I had to personally unsubscribe to over a dozen lists of candidates who were nowhere near Los Angeles County last year!) Having no one to in leadership who shows the conservative volunteer base that the California Republican Party is truly listening to THEM and not simply trying to lure new “uber diverse” members while ignoring them will likely cost the state GOP in both volunteers and donors, two groups with significant overlap.
Rodney Stanhope knows how to do this. He is possibly the most well-connected Republican grassroots activist in California. He works with conservative groups across the state, including the Republican Women Federated groups, local GOP clubs, California Republican Assembly units and extensively with Tea Party organizations throughout the state. Stanhope appears at rallies across the state, even when he is not scheduled to be a speaker, and has earned the trust and respect to many others who know that the California Republican Party has to finally give up the moderate, Republican-Light strategy of trying to show everyone that we are already like them, and provide principled leaders and candidates who remember why the GOP was formed and why it needs to continue being the party of responsibility, equal opportunity and constitutional freedom.
Stanhope expects to stand among the true "do-ers" of the state Republican organization and infrastructure. He represents those that work tirelessly for the cause of the Republican Party, and with candidates regardless of how or why they became candidates. If they are good for the Party, Stanhope has been there for them.
That is why it is time for them to be there for Stanhope - so he can help them be ready for 2014.
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