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Report of RNC National Committeeman Randy Evans
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as Georgia's National Committeeman to the Republican National Committee. It has been an honor to serve and represent Georgia Republicans.
As promised, I hit the ground running with the help of my fellow members of the RNC. I knew I had big shoes to fill following Committeeman Alec Poitevint and I believe I have carried on the tradition of influential leaders on the RNC.
During my first term, Chairman Reince Priebus and the RNC named me to the Rules Committee, the Subcommittee on Primaries and Caucuses, the Subcommittee on Debates, and the Committee on Presidential Debates. In these roles, our charge was to change the GOP nomination process to increase our Presidential nominee's chances of winning in November 2016.
Then, once we created these changes in the rules, it was my job as the floor leader to secure their passage - restructuring the primaries and caucuses; reducing the number of debates while increasing our ability to control them; and, assuring that we had the ability to enforce the rules. All of the rules passed, notwithstanding a mandatory threshold requiring a 75% vote in favor.
Our Presidential candidates have been encouraged and support our efforts and we believe we now have best positioned them to win. Here is what we have done.
In 2016, the GOP Presidential nomination process will be very different than it was in 2012. The days of twenty-three debates where Republican Presidential candidates 'slice and dice' each other leaving the eventual nominee with little chance of recovering, are gone.
Under the new rules, the RNC Committee on Debates has limited the number of sanctioned debates to nine (9) unless the nomination process goes long. It does not end there. The RNC Committee on Debates will have meaningful input into the timing, sequencing, venues, moderators and panelists. Rather than the chaotic and unpredictable 2012 process, the 2016 debate process will have focus and direction. So will the GOP caucuses and primaries. Leapfrogging states pushing the process earlier and earlier will end. Four states will start the process – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. None of these states can start earlier than February 1, 2016. No other state can start earlier than March 1, 2016.
From March 1, 2016 until March 15, 2016, there will be a 'cooling-off' period with no winner-take-all states. Instead, during that two-week period, delegates will be proportioned by outcome unless a candidate wins more than 50% of the vote. This cooling-off period should reduce the risk of a runaway nominee that has not been fully vetted.
Beginning March 15, 2016, winner-take-all primaries begin. But no state can have a 'beauty contest' with a primary or caucus that does not bind any delegates. Finally, the Republican National Convention has been moved up to July 18-21, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio – an important swing state and long before Labor Day.
Of course, while making these changes, we developed and successfully deployed a campaign organization that dominated the 2014 elections. Republicans now control 66 of 99 state legislatures; more than 4,100 of 7,386 state legislators; 31 governorships; and BOTH the United States House of Representatives AND Senate.
J. Randy Evans