Behind The Power Politic in NYS: The County Committee Member

Changing the tide of one-party rule starts with understanding your own party.

By Joseph R. Concannon

Both the Republican and Democratic Parties seek to be in the majority (“in power”), this should come as no surprise to anyone walking on planet earth today. The party “in power” gets to make the laws, enjoy all the privileges that the party in power is entitled to AND with enormous power comes equally enormous responsibility. We have observed more than our fair share of political corruption in New York and in the United States of America. Each party is elected by its leadership every two years. Understanding how the leadership gets elected and the political party organizational structure in New York State is a secret we will expose here.

It might be of interest to you to learn that well over half of the Republican County Committee seats in Queens County remain UNFILLED as of this writing. There are approximately 1,425 election districts in Queens County and each Election District can have up to two county committee members (approximately 2,850 seats). These are the very people who elect the County Leadership.

Well, who cares? Everyone should care, mostly Republican voters but Democrats as well.

The United States is a Republic, and as Benjamin Franklin said, “…if you can keep it”! What did he mean? Our fragile republic requires participation by the people. If the people withdraw from political participation the republic fails to operate as it should. Instead, we look more like a society of socialist, perhaps communist basis. Take a look at New York State today. One party rule in NY has destroyed the very fabric of how our government is supposed to work.

There are 62 counties in New York State and for political party purposes each one is their very own fiefdom. Each one has its own elected leadership and each influences the conduct of business done in Albany, NY. So, if half the counties sit out the process of voting the rest of us are doomed. This is why the County Committee is so very important, you could even say critical. More on this as we explain.

Voting starts locally. You’ve heard before all politics is local, right? Well, it’s true. Remember, I said well over half the County Committee seats in Queens are empty or vacant? It’s worse than that, really! Herein is where the learning begins.

We live in Queens County, (one of 62 NYS counties) which is divided up into 18 different Assembly Districts. The districts start with district number 23, 24, 25, 26…up to district 40. Remember, we are not talking about public officials, like your NYS Assembly member.

We are very specifically talking about a “private entity/business” called the Republican Party of New York State, political party positions (Republican).

Each of those 18 Assembly Districts is governed by a State Committee Man and State Committee Woman (this will change next year to either sex/unisex). The job of these (non-paid) volunteers (selfless and uncompensated) is to coordinate, organize the potential of 1,425 election district activities for the Republican Party in each of their Assembly Districts.

These candidates for state committee men/women (36 possibly seated positions), get elected to their Republican Party positions through the petitioning process, which begins last week of February normally until the first week of April. The Republican candidates must obtain a minimum of 5% Republican Party enrollment, signatures in the district for which they are seeking to represent.

Republican Party members are those enrolled by the Board of Elections to the Republican Party when you registered to vote.

These candidates, petitioning members of the Republican Party ARE seeking to be NOMINATED by fellow members of the Republican Party, within the district they are choosing to represent. Candidates for State Committee are by default “elected” at the end of the petitioning process unless they are challenged. If more than one person is seeking a specific Republican Party position, then both will face a primary the third week of June. At the end of this process, we could potentially have 36 Republican State Committee people representing all 18 Assembly Districts in Queens County.

NOTE WELL:   Elected Republican State Committee people vote for the Republican State Party Chairman

This process plays out for all 62 counties in NYS and for Republicans reorganization happens during odd number years, Democrats even numbered years unless the Governor of the State offers a “Party Call” which was done during the pandemic. The Party Call allows political parties to decide if they want to hold to the regular political calendar or choose to run state or county committee elections in another year.

The real power in NYS is behind the County Committee Member and the powerful voter. The voter is the most important person in the Republican Party and is also the most neglected.

The County Committee man or women is a voluntary, non-paid position. It is the grass roots behind any political party. Let’s understand its development and its importance.

There are approximately 1,425 election districts in Queens. An election district is the smallest political subdivision within New York State. The district could consist of a grouping of 20 story apartment buildings (maybe one or two of them) or it could be a four-square block area in Queens filled with many private homes. The election district has an allocation of two persons that could be “candidates” for the elected position called County Committee Member (unisex).

The Candidate for County Committee engages with the same process to get elected as the candidate for state committee (candidates engage in the petitioning process {end of February – first week of April} seeking to be nominated by members of his/her own party). The candidate must obtain signatures from members of the Republican Party in the district he/she wishes to represent. The candidate must obtain a minimum of 5% of the Republican Party enrollment in his election district. If not challenged by other members of his own party, they become County Committee Members at the end of the petitioning process. If they are challenged, then the elections process moves to the third week of June and a primary is held. Official seating of the County Committee is held during the County Reorganization meeting approximately 90 days after the vote is certified.

NOTE WELL:   The Republican County Committee Member votes for the Republican Party County Chairman.

Republicans seeking redress of either poor leadership within their ranks or displeasure with the current publicly elected officials should pay attention. The last thing any publicly elected official wants to see are an organized group of angry voters that are focused, well educated in the political process and forward leaning. They will do anything to stop you dead in your tracks. Persistence, Integrity and belief in the system of government setup so many years ago for our sole benefit will eventually prove to be powerful and unstoppable. But it all starts with respecting the voter, standing up the County Committee and organizing all 1,425 districts in Queens. This is where change will begin and thrive.

If you live in Queens County contact me at 1-347-946-1931 or write to me at joe.concannon@qvgop.org if you would like to learn more. If you enjoyed reading this article, consider making a contribution to the Queens Village Republican Club www.qvgop.org. If you are a registered Republican and would like to serve on one or more of our dozen committees, please contact the club or respond to this contact info found in this post.

Learn more about the County Committee and the Party Political Process

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By Joseph R Concannon · Launched 10 months ago
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