by Eileen Korby
So, last month, I convinced you of the importance of the Republican County Committee and that YOU need to be on it. Great! So, now what do you do?
First you contact Joseph Concannon at info@QueensCountyRepublicanPatriots.com. Joe knows which seats are still empty – which is most of them – and will guide you step-by-step.
Fortunately, you will not start until next March, which gives you plenty of time to learn the ropes.
Here, I will give you an overview of the process so that you can see that it’s not complicated.
Queens County is divided into Assembly Districts. Those are fairly large areas which are designated by number from 23 to 40. Those districts are subdivided into much smaller areas of only a few blocks called Election Districts. Within an Election District there may be from 100 to 400 registered Republicans. There are roughly 1,400 Election Districts in Queens that have no one representing them on the Republican County Committee. Since each ED can have two representatives, there are approximately 2,800 vacant seats on the committee.
There are currently approximately 450 people on the Republican County Committee. It is easiest to run in your own Election District because you probably know some of your neighbors. But if those two seats are already filled – no problem. There are plenty of other Election Districts in which you can run. You are only required to run within your Assembly District, which contains a multitude of Election Districts. Joe can tell you which EDs are available. If you don’t know which Assembly District or Election District you live in, you can find out at https://FindMyPollSite.vote.nyc. Needless to say, if you are running for the Republican County Committee, you must also be a registered Republican.
The election for seats on the Republican County Committee takes place during the June Primary every other year in odd-numbered years. This year, 2022, was an anomaly. Due to covid lockdowns and restrictions, 2021’s Republican County Committee election was pushed to this past June, 2022. Next year, 2023, an odd-numbered year, we can expect the normal schedule to resume. As an aside, in case you were wondering, the elections for the Democrat County Committee takes place in even-numbered years. Committee members serve for two years, as unpaid volunteers.
Next March, you will get a list of all the registered Republicans in the Election District in which you are running, and a petition with your name on it. Since each ED has two seats, it is a great idea to run with someone – your spouse, your parent, or a neighbor. Once you have your list, you will know how many registered Republicans are in your ED. You are only required to have 5% of your constituents sign your petition. Obviously, if your ED has 100 constituents, you will only need 5 signatures. It really isn’t hard to get that at all.
My ED had 260 constituents, so I only needed 13 signatures. I walked around my neighborhood on the weekends and sometimes in the evening when people returned from work. I found almost everyone to be very welcoming and encouraging. The biggest obstacle was that people frequently weren’t home. When they were, I would introduce myself and ask them to sign my petition. I found people to be very receptive. There was one woman who stopped me in the middle of my spiel and said, “You had me at the word ‘Republican.’”
Now you have your signatures. You give your signed petitions to Joe and he will submit them for you. If no one else was running in your ED, that’s it. You’re done. Congratulations, you’re on the County Committee for two years. However, you may find out after all the petitions have been submitted that someone else was running in your ED. If there are more than two people running in an ED, two things can happen.
First, the other candidates can challenge the authenticity of the signatures you collected. Those signatures will be compared to the signatures of those people on file with the Board of
Elections. If a signature doesn’t look the same, it can be thrown out. Therefore, when you collect signatures, although you are only required to have 5%, it is wiser to collect 10%. That allows for some signatures to be thrown out and you are still in. In my case, I collected 24 signatures and none of them were contested.
Second, if there are more than two candidates in your ED, you will not automatically be on the County Committee as you would have been if you were unchallenged. In this case, all the candidates running in your ED will be on the ballot in the June Primary. In that case, you will probably want to re-canvass your neighborhood and ask people to go to the polls and vote for you. The biggest issue here is getting people to go out and vote in a Primary election.
Hopefully, your neighbors will want to support you. Needless to say, your name will only appear on the Republican ballot, and only in your Election District. Your friends across town will not see your name on the ballot.
In truth, the process is not hard. Nor is it that time-consuming. But it is important! If you missed my last article on what the Republican County Committee does, you can read it on the Queens County Republican Patriots website Blog page.
The time for complacency has long passed. If you are as disgusted with the decline and demise of our city and country, you have to do more than just vote. You have to get involved. Don’t wait until next March; get involved now! If you are even toying with the idea of getting on the Republican County Committee, contact Joe at info@QueensCountyRepublicanPatriots.com and start attending meetings of the Queens County Republican Patriots. This wonderful organization will teach you everything you need to know about the politics of Queens and what is involved in running. Start now, this week, and you will be well-informed and well-prepared to run.
I also encourage you to get involved in the Queens Village Republican Club, which is a social political club of like-minded individuals with Republican-conservative programming. Contact Phil Orenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org for meeting times and locations. Our next meeting will be in September.
Eileen Korby is a retired NYC public school teacher and a member of the Queens Republican County Committee.