The State of the Republican Party in White Plains Today

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WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. NOVEMBER 2, 2015:

I will preface my article by stating it as a message of hope and not one of consternation.  I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to all those who have supported my political aspirations over the years.

First of all, it is of little surprise and less of a secret among Republicans and Democrats alike the compromised position of the party today.  It is common knowledge the city is dominated today by a well-educated and organized Democratic Party.  The Republicans are also at a serious disadvantage in regard to voter registration.  Simply stated, they are underfunded, lack the political machinery, and a voter base to engage in a successful election campaign-regardless of the candidates’ education and experience.

The party also has an identity problem resulting in its inability to develop a political platform of its vision in which to launch their candidates’ elections.  For the most part, city voters vote for the party, not the candidate, even if the candidate(s) are amply qualified and well liked.  In its current state, the party is like a flower bud that never blossoms on election day.

Sadly, the city has the fertile ground for its growth though lacks the structure to water the ground of their planted candidates.  It’s one of  the party’s  short comings  and  modus operandi of endorsing candidate(s) at the last moment, failing to give voters the needed time to acquaint themselves with the contenders,  to say the least, a new candidate given only six to eight weeks to campaign is no match for the well-entrenched and experienced incumbents.

This lack of public presence between elections; poor public relations; lack of a coordinated and well thought out vision and being unjustly identified with the  national party that lacks a social consciousness has rendered the party hopeless   in the eyes of its members, leaders, voters and candidates.

Speaking from a personal perspective and experience while running for the Common Council in 2011, I learned the harsh lessons of its political reality.  As a registered Independent running on the Republican Line, I found myself incorrectly labeled too liberal by the Republican, and too conservative by the Democrats.

Regretfully voters will place a candidate in very small box no matter how broad and deep of a thinker they may be.  Republican candidates generally fall into the trap of voter bias.  In hindsight, the 2011 election for the Common Council may have been the high water mark for the party-even in its defeat.  In that election, the candidates did garner a sizeable number of votes establishing a party vanguard that was not properly supported with well-coordinated follow up..  All momentum was lost and community outreach never materialized. .

Since the 2011 election many a fine and talented potential candidate(s) have elected not to run for office again.  Sadly, and to the detriment and loss to the city and the party.

In these changing and difficult socio/economic times, the party is in need of an earnest rebranding  and a new clear vision achieved  to be achieved  by the restructuring of its leadership and ideology.

In closing, White Plains is a great city with a track record to match though it is still in need of new and politically diverse new voices to lead the city to higher levels of achievement.  The party needs to act on the realization and fact if it truly wants to change the politics of the city-it must first transform itself.

Dr. Richard Cirulli

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