This is part one in a four part series on Ohio Central Committee.
All of the political power in the United States of American comes from a small elected position called Central Committee. It is the smallest and most important elected position in the Republic. Learn about it and get involved.
- What is Central Committee? Central Committee is the governing body of the political parties. Each political party has a Central Committee; Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens etc…
- What is a Central Committeemen? Central Committeemen and women are the representatives of a neighborhood or precinct to a political party. Every precinct in America has a Central Committee member. Some counties call them by different names; Precinct Executive, Precinct Captain and others.
- How do you become a Central Committeemen? Central Committee members are elected positions. They are elected in the party primaries that happen in either March or May depending on the year in Ohio. The terms of the members are different in each county; two or four years. Here is a post about 10 things you need to do to run for Central Committee. It talks about the steps for running for your Central Committee seat.
- What is a precinct? Each county in Ohio is split up into precincts. Precincts are designed by the Ohio Secretary of State to include about 1,000 voters. They are also split according to neighborhood as much as possible. The precinct lines can change depending on your local county board of elections. Each precinct has an elected Central Committee member.
5. How are Central Committees organized? Ohio’s Central Committees are split up into counties. Some states are split up into Congressional Districts. Each state is a little different, but every state has some form of Central Committee. Ohio is county based. We have 88 county parties. The number of members to the Central Committee for each county is dependent on the number of precincts in the county. If you have a small county with 20 precincts, your Central Committee will be 20 people (with possibly a few appointed members). If you have a big county, your Central Committee may be over 500 members.
6. What does Central Committee do? Central Committee is the heart of the county political party. The members of Central Committee vote for endorsements in the county. They decide what politicians are on the slate card or list of recommended politicians that you get in the mail before Election Day. They also make decisions about what politicians get monetary and volunteer support from the party.
7. Who are Central Committee members? Central Committee members should be the people that stand for the principles of the political party. They choose and support candidates that stand for what the party believes. Right now many Central Committee members are people that are in it for their own benefit; people looking for a job, asking for government contracts or networking for business connections. More people are needed that will stand for principle and not their own pocketbook.
8. How much time does it take to be on Central Committee? The initial work to run may take 3-4 hour. You call the board of elections and get the list of your precinct voters. Design a letter to send to them, 1-2 hours. Get it to them, 4-5 hours. Work your poll on Election Day, 10 hours. Total time to run for Central Committee, 24 hours total. Once you win, there are meetings. Each county is different. There are very few counties who meet more than once a quarter, 3-4 hours 4 times a year. You may have to spend some time getting to know the people on the committee and the politicians you will endorse. Each year you may spend 4-5 hours talking to folks on the phone, lunches or over email. Each election you may put together a letter about who is on the ballot in the primary, 3-4 hours. Total time being a Central Committee member 24 hours a year. All told, it takes about two days a year to be a Central Committee member. Of course you may spend more time, people will see you in the store and want to chat. You may go to a few fundraisers or Lincoln Day dinners, but you don’t have to…. Keep it simple.
9. Why is Central Committee important? People are policy. A party is made up of the people that show up. If we have people involved in politics that believe government intervention or spending tax money is the answer to our problems, then that is the policies we will get. We need people to get involved who believe in the policy we want to see. We also want to support the candidates that believe in our principles. If the establishment controls the endorsements of candidates in the County Central Committee, the establishment candidate will get the endorsement. If people that think like you control the Central Committee your candidate will get the endorsement. If your candidate is on the party slate card they will win 90% of the time. Have enough people, get the policy.
10. Who will help me run? The Ohio Precinct Project is a group of people, experienced with Central Committee in Ohio, that are committed to helping as many people as possible run for Central Committee. They have videos, articles and personal help for anyone interested in running.
Next article – Part Two: Yell at the TV and think Central Committee