TN Republican Party Executive Director Michael Sullivan has notified all TN Republican County Chairmen(women) of the bylaw changes. His letter says,
This weekend at the Summer State Executive Committee meeting a number of Bylaws changes were approved. You can find the updated Bylaws and Rules of the Tennessee Republican Party here. However, I wanted to specifically update you on changes to the definition of bona fide Republican as well as an important responsibility that falls upon each County Executive Committee.
Below is the definition for bona fide Republican:
A. Any individual who is actively involved in the Tennessee Republican Party, his County Republican Party, or any recognized auxiliary organization of either; and resides and is registered to vote in said county; and either
B. Any individual who has voted in at least three (3) of the four (4) most recent Statewide Republican primary elections; or
C. Any individual who is vouched for in writing to the satisfaction of the State Chairman as a bona fide Republican, such as by an officer of the TRP, a member of the SEC, CEC of the County where the individual resides, or a Republican elected official. The State Chairman may require additional verification that the individual in question is indeed a bona fide Republican, and shall have final authority to make the determination.
D. The TRP and each CEC shall maintain a list of all recognized auxiliary organizations for the application of the foregoing standards.
a. Each CEC shall submit an updated list of recognized auxiliary organizations prior to their biennial reorganization. The State Chairman has final authority on all approved auxiliary organizations.
E. “Actively involved in” in the foregoing section shall be defined as a quantifiable contribution including, but not limited to, time or money to Tennessee Republican Party, his County Republican Party, or any recognized auxiliary organization of either during the time period since the most recent County Republican Party reorganization.
As you can see the State Executive Committee has established that individuals who wish to run for elected office as a Republican must be actively involved in the Tennessee Republican Party, a County Republican Party, or an auxiliary organization. Additionally the perimeters for primary election history has changed requiring individuals to have voted in three of the last four statewide primaries. The last four statewide primaries in Tennessee that shall be considered for individuals wishing to run for elected office in 2018 are:
August 2016 State and Federal Primary
March 2016 Presidential Preference Primary
August 2014 State and Federal Primary
August 2012 State and Federal Primary
With this change the State Executive Committee has added clarification on “auxiliary organizations” of the Republican Party. You will receive in the coming days the requirements and guidelines for organizations to be considered an auxiliary organization. The State Party Chairman has final authority on all approved auxiliary organizations. This is an important responsibility for each County Executive Committee to assist the Tennessee Republican Party with.
As our Bylaws already state that the Chairs and Presidents of Young Republican chapters and TFRW groups are voting members of a County Executive Committee, they are by default already approved auxiliary organizations. However, it is important as different Republican clubs and groups form across the state that we are able to involve them in the mission and purpose of the Tennessee Republican Party and our County Republican Parties. It is easy to call yourself a Republican, but we want to ensure our membership and membership groups are committed to growing our party and electing Republicans at all levels.
If you have any questions regarding these changes please do not hesitate to call or email us at the Tennessee Republican Party offices.
Michael Sullivan: Executive Director