Fellow West Virginia Republicans,
2021 was a year of great success in the party. We have made tremendous strides and will continue moving forward:
- The WV GOP set a new record for fundraising in an off year following a new presidential term, and has the highest cash on hand going into a midterm election than ever before.
A political party is, at its root, a gathering of people with shared ideas. But to transform ideas into candidates, votes, and policy requires money, and lots of it. The WV GOP excelled in large and small dollar donations, cleaning up our mailing lists and expanding them to broaden our WV donor base. The WVGOP raised more money online and had more online donors in 2021 than the Party did during all of 2020.
- The WV GOP hosted a highly successful fund raiser in Oct 2021.
The October 28 Jim Jordan Republican fundraiser at the Charleston Convention Center saw about 200 guests and featured such notables as Representative David McKinley, Representative Carol Miller, Agricultural Commissioner Kent Leonhardt, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and a host of West Virginia senators, delegates, other government leaders, and party officials. The headliner, Representative Jim Jordan, was unexpectedly detained in Washington DC, but he and Representative Alex Mooney spoke via videoconference. It was a tremendous event, bolstering Republican unity and raising over $40,000 for the Party.
- The WV GOP conducted three delegate vacancy committee replacements without complication and with record numbers of applicants.
Three active Republican delegates resigned from their positions in 2021. State code and Party bylaws require that the Party select three candidates for each position, from which the governor will choose one to complete the term. Such processes have been contentious in the past, but the WV GOP in 2021 strictly followed the guidelines and produced a fair procedure with good delegate selectees. The processes in the 28th and the 13th both attracted over 15 applicants each. The large number of those willing to serve show the enthusiasm at the grassroots level of our Party.
- The WV GOP continued participation in the RNC GROW program to improve the party and secure RNC investment.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) assists state and territorial parties with communication, data, financial, legal, and other issues. Parties who make recommended improvements get money from the RNC to fund some of their operations. Out of three stages, the WV GOP completed stage 1 and much of stage 2 in 2021. This places us in the top half of the nation and well situated to complete stage 3. Once completed, the GROW program will provide WVGOP with $65,000 in direct contributions and an equal amount in services to help our candidates win in 2022.
- The WV GOP made both the GOP Data Center and Campaign Sidekick Walk App available to all Republican candidates.
The RNC provides voter and other pertinent data to Republican candidates to assist their campaigns. Such data can make campaigns far more efficient and effective. The Walk App is a program which uses the Data Center to guide candidates on exactly which neighborhoods and houses to approach to get the most votes. For further questions about access to either program please email John Findlay, email@example.com.
- The WV GOP, including strong conservatives in every county and district in the state, has ensured a bumper crop of conservative candidates for 2022.
Republicans around West Virginia, from individuals to county committees to state leaders, found conservatives tired of Biden and his ridiculous “progressive” policies. Many of these people had not been involved in the GOP before, and many are millennials and generation-Zers. Now several are running for office to push back against the progressive agenda coming from DC. Our outreach to younger members is continuing and our ranks are growing.
- The WV GOP exercised our national voice including resolutions regarding Afghanistan, Energy, Immigration, and Critical Race Theory.
West Virginia has had a national voice to advance conservative people and causes. We spoke out on several key topics in resolutions and worked with Republicans across the States on critical state and national issues.
- The WV GOP kept a strategic media presence, including monthly radio interviews with Tom Roten and Dave Allen, and print media articles and interviews as needed, including the Washington Times.
Media, traditional and social, can be a tool to push messages, but it can also be a trap. Candidates need to talk about their qualifications and issues and not have to answer for injudicious statements from the party. The WV GOP has been strategic in its media engagement.
- The WV GOP improved communication including a new state party website and a monthly call for the entire State Executive Committee.
The new WV GOP website went live in April and is a huge success. It has served to coordinate activities (Events and Calendar), take donations (WinRed), sell products (WinRed, a first for the WV GOP), provide news (News, Facebook, other sources), survey the public (What do you think? Get Involved), recruit candidates and volunteers and empower voters (Get Involved and Voter Info), inform the public (About Us), document party actions (Resolutions), and discuss important issues (Chairman’s Reports).
The monthly SEC call, started in November and occurring on the first Thursday of the month, highlights happenings at the Headquarters and throughout every county in West Virginia. Callers communicate and coordinate for maximum effect.
- The WV GOP conducted a successful experiment in improving activities between the state and counties and laid the groundwork for more.
No organization can survive without innovation. To improve overall cooperation and discover better processes, the WV GOP loaned money to start up the committee and support a fundraiser in Brooke County. The fund raiser was a success and Brooke County promptly paid the state back, making the money available for future use. The state and counties are working on further experimentation for training in the future, including at the 2022 Winter meeting.
Personally, I enjoyed spending time with Republican leaders and committees at events and meetings (often multiple) in Barbour, Berkeley, Cabell, Greenbrier, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Marshall, Mason, Mercer, Monongalia, Monroe, Nicholas, Putnam, Raleigh, Taylor, Wayne, Wood, and Wyoming Counties.
I represented West Virginia at the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Holiday Party in DC, Republican National Committee events and meetings in South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, and state GOP events in Oregon. These opportunities brought in goodwill, ideas, and money to the WV GOP. National Committeeman Larry Pack and National Committeewoman Beth Bloch also ably represented our state at many of these events.
In July, I set up a Twitter account so people can follow the Chairman’s activities at @MarkHarrisWV.
2021 was a banner year for the WV GOP. While there are still many things to improve and significant challenges ahead, we anticipate that 2022 will be even better. Republicans will expand our majorities in the WV House of Delegates and WV Senate. Working with other states, we will retake the US House and US Senate. A Republican revolution is coming, and we are at the tip of the spear.