It’s an oxymoron to have small next to big, but both adjectives describe our Midtown Republican Club.
We’re not one of the bigger Republican clubs in the city. East Shelby has hundreds of members and they might even be the biggest club in the state. We’re nowhere close to that. We haven’t been around as long as some of the other clubs either, so we don’t have a wealth of people to draw upon or five figure sums in our checking account.
Still, for a small group, we have helped the GOP win big.
Several of our members have helped by working at the polls at early voting and on election day. It’s a long day and a hard job, but they help ensure that voting is done correctly.
One of our members, Geoff Diaz, even ran for office and an important one, too. He didn’t win a County Commission seat, but he made inroads as the only Hispanic candidate in the race and helped forge connections to the Hispanic community. It’s important, too, that Republicans be on the ballot in every race. A party that doesn’t even try is defeatist from the outset.
This election our club was the only one that spent three meetings focused on judicial candidates. Since the ballot was long, we would not have any idea who these people were or what they stood for had they not come to make their case at our club. What they said got big readership at midtownrepublican.com and helped inform our fellow citizens on what they are about. Everyone who attended could spread the word and assuredly did to many more Memphians.
That’s one of the most important functions of our club – to inform, the other being to help our candidates get elected. Were it not for the club, citizens would not have had such an easy opportunity to question candidates on issues. If you tried googling them before the election you wouldn’t have found much out except for the basics such as date of birth, education and their law firms. Not much info to influence your vote. There were some forums, but a lot of candidates squeezed into a small amount of time isn’t as helpful either.
One of our members, Eddie Settles, with his wife, Eve, went on to detail the information on their blog, Backinrivercity. That also helped countless Memphians decide their vote.
Then our club decided to send out the ShelbyGOP endorsements to Republican voting Midtowners. Several people have indicated to me that the letter we sent out was a lifesaver when they went into the voting booth. Otherwise they would have had no idea about the philosophies behind some of the candidates or whether they were worthy.
Aside from the midtownrepublican.com blog we also connect via facebook. People are asking to join daily – a good sign for our party.
Our existence alone must flummox Democrats who like to think Midtown is their own exclusive enclave. It’s not. There are more Republicans out there than you or they think.
In fact, October will mark our fifth anniversary.
Excuse us if we brag.