GOP Caucus in January Empowers Grass Roots - Clark County Republican Party

She is Clark County Chair for Ron DeSantis for President

On Saturday morning, January 13, 2024, Washington’s Republican Party will hold its precinct caucuses, beginning a multi-step process to choose its 43 delegates to the Republican National Convention in July. Clark County caucuses will combine precincts in high school cafeterias and other public spaces around the county. Locations will be announced soon on

Caucus participants need only be registered to vote and affirm they are Republicans, to sit with neighbors to discuss the party platform and elect delegates to the County Convention, to take place at the Clark County Events Center on February 3. There, State Delegates will be elected. The State Convention will be held in Spokane on April 18-20 to elect National Delegates.

The caucus process is grass-roots constitutional governance at its most accessible. Soon thereafter, Republicans also vote in the state’s Presidential Primary on March 12. That outcome determines the proportionate vote of the State’s 43 National Delegates on the first ballot.
Searching history for insights, we recall that in May 1860, in Chicago, the new Republican Party held its first national convention. The process of winnowing state delegations to choose the nominee for President was not substantially different from today’s.

As Republicans from every state gathered in Chicago, New York Governor William Seward was highly favored to receive the nomination, followed by Ohio Governor Salmon Chase. But, as recounted in The Lincoln Miracle: Inside the Republican Convention that Changed History (Edward Achorn, 2023), an ambitious Republican lawyer from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, saw an opportunity in a party deeply divided between the causes of abolition and preserving the Union. Months in advance, Lincoln assembled a team of savvy allies, who after arriving in Chicago methodically gathered sufficient delegates eventually to nominate their compromise candidate.

The outcome wasn’t entirely a miracle. Lincoln methodically laid the groundwork months before. He used two widely acclaimed appearances – his 1858 debates with Senate candidate Stephen Douglas and his 1860 speech at New York’s Cooper Union - to craft a national reputation. He carefully positioned himself as the moderate, anti-slavery, pro-Union candidate who could unite his party and the nation. Lincoln and his team departed the Chicago convention victorious. Elected President, he famously appointed his convention rivals to his cabinet, laying the solid groundwork to save the Union and abolish slavery.

Now, as in those days, our system is undoubtedly circuitous. Yet delegate allocations are clearly spelled out. The step-by-step process to the National Convention, starting in school gymnasiums, fosters a competition in which the expected outcome may be challenged. Above all, it empowers the individual with a unique freedom to participate.
Caucus goers should know that Republican presidential contenders Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley are developing campaign organizations in Washington aimed at accumulating delegates at the caucuses, County Conventions, and State Convention. Trump supporters will undoubtedly mount a strong caucus presence.

Nationally, the political landscape for 2024 remains contentious. Washington is not a pivotal early state as Iowa is, but at the National Convention, every delegate counts, as each did for Lincoln.
Polls in Iowa and New Hampshire suggest that the combined voters favoring a candidate other than Trump may outnumber those favoring the former president. It behooves local Republicans on all sides of the party’s Presidential contest to enter the fray on January 13.

We cannot control the candidates, the debate outcomes, the media, or the vote counts. Yet each Republican is free to decide and to speak out accordingly at our precinct caucuses.

Ultimately, on the morning after our next President is elected, will we be able to say that we did all we could to influence the outcome?

Clark County
Republican Headquarters

2702 NE 114th Ave, Suite 4
Vancouver, WA 98684

Mailing Address:
PO Box 205
Vancouver, WA 98666

Melissa Parmeter, Manager

Phone: (360) 695-1609

Hours Open to the Public

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