District of Columbia Republican Party

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District of Columbia Republican Party
Chairperson José Cunnningham[1]
Founded June 19, 1855
Headquarters Washington, DC
Ideology Centrism
Conservatism
Liberal conservatism
Fiscal conservatism
Political position Center-right
National affiliation Republican Party
Colors      Red
Washington City Council
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Website
www.dcgop.com

The District of Columbia Republican Party (DC GOP) is the DC affiliate of the United States Republican Party. It was founded on June 19, 1855 and is made up of registered Republican voters living in the Washington, DC elected to serve as the governing body of the Party. The party chairman is Jose Cunningham and it is housed in the District of Columbia alongside the Republican Party national headquarters.

The Party faces steep difficulties in getting its candidates elected, as Democrats hugely outnumber Republicans in Washington. No Republican has ever been elected mayor since D.C. home rule began in 1975. The DC Republicans have had no representation in the D.C. Council since Carol Schwartz left office in 2009.

As of April 31, 2018, there are 29,136 registered voters affiliated with the Republican Party of the District of Columbia.[2] That is 6.15% of all registered voters.[2]

Leadership and organization

The District of Columbia Republican Party is chaired by José Cunnningham.[1] The DC Republican National Committeeman is Robert J. Kabel and the DC Republican National Committeewoman is Jill Homan. The party is currently conducting a search for a new Executive Director.[1]

Members of the DC GOP elect its chairman every two years. The Republican National Committeeman and Committeewoman are elected at the same time as the DC Republican Presidential primary every four years, which is open to all Republican voters. The chairman appoints executive committee members with the approval of the DC GOP. Election to the DC GOP requires nomination by an existing DC GOP member and confirmation by the DC GOP Membership Recruitment Committee.

Electoral strategy

According to the District of Columbia Home Rule Act (D.C. Code 1-221(d)(2)), "at no time shall there be more than three members (including the Chairman) serving at large on the Council who are affiliated with the same political party."[3] This gives the DC Republicans their largest opportunity, and their main efforts are usually directed at this race. Rather than defeat the Democrats, a Republican candidate for an at-large seat need only defeat any independents, Libertarians, and DC Statehood Green Party candidates in the race.

Recent history

The most successful and high-profile Republican in elected office of recent years is former Councilwoman Carol Schwartz (At-Large). First elected in 1984, she served one term before deciding not to seek re-election in 1988. Voters returned her to the At-Large seat in 1996. She was re-elected in 2000 and 2004, but lost the Republican primary election in 2008. Schwartz ran for mayor of the District of Columbia as a Republican four times (1986, 1994, 1998 and 2002), all unsuccessfully.

In 2008, Patrick Mara defeated Schwartz for the Republican nomination. Mara was backed by an endorsement from The Washington Post and anger from the business community at Schwartz's support of a mandatory sick-leave bill.[4][5] Schwartz continued to run as a write-in candidate, and both received approximately 10% of the vote. This was not enough to stop Democrat-turned-independent Michael A. Brown from collecting the largest vote share of the non-Democrats up for election, leaving the Council with no Republican members since 2009.[6]

Allegations raised by Tim Day, former Ward 5 DC Council candidate, and Paul Craney, former Executive Director, helped initiate an investigation into Councilmember Harry Thomas, who defeated Day in a 2010 race.[7] Thomas resigned in January 2012. Thomas agreed to 2 Federal felony charges and was sentenced to 38 months in prison.[8]

In recent years, Chairman Cunningham has asked the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Trey Gowdy to investigate the District for its violation of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act which reserves two seats on the DC Council for the minority party. As of June 2018, all sitting members are Democrats with the exception of one left-leaning independent.

References

  1. ^ a b c Sommer, Will (November 19, 2015). "Of Mice and Maras: College Sophomore Frays D.C. GOP's Nerves". Washington City Paper.
  2. ^ a b "Voter Registration Statistics" District of Columbia Board of Elections. April 2018.
  3. ^ "Title IV - The District Charter: Part A - The Council: Subpart 1 - Creation of the Council: Creation and Membership".
  4. ^ Nakamura, David A. Board of Trade Endorses Mara Over Schwartz Archived 2008-10-12 at the Wayback Machine.. The Washington Post. 2008-07-21. Retrieved 2008-07-29.
  5. ^ Primary Pits Schwartz In a GOP Showdown. The Washington Post.
  6. ^ http://www.dcboee.org/election_info/election_results/election_result_new/results_final_gen.asp?electionid=2&prev=0&result_type=3&party=OFFICERS
  7. ^ DeBonis, Mike (2012-01-06). "D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. resigns after being charged with embezzlement". The Washington Post.
  8. ^ Craig, Tim; DeBonis, Mike (2012-05-04). "D.C. Politics". The Washington Post.

External links

  • District of Columbia Republican Party
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