California State law requires every county to have a Central Committee for each political party. The official title in Santa Cruz County is the Santa Cruz County Republican Central Committee, also referred to as SCCRCC.
The committee’s activities involve a broad range of local political strategy including voter registration, recruitment and training of candidates; framing and endorsement of public policy measures, and fundraising.
The committee consists of elected (or “regular”) members and ex-officio members. The positions on the central committee are non-public offices, the service is without pay, and the committee levies annual dues upon its members.
Twenty-one regular seats are apportioned between the county’s five supervisorial districts based on the relative vote counts received by the Republican gubernatorial candidate from within each district in the most recent general election. Election to fill these seats occurs as part of the Republican primary in each quadrennial presidential election year. Elected members serve four year terms commencing in January following the national presidential election.
The nominees of the party for California’s 18th and 20th congressional districts, the 17th State Senate district and the 29th and 30th State Assembly districts serve as ex-officio members on the Santa Cruz County Central Committee. In the event that the most recent Republican nominees for the U.S. Senate or any of the seven state constitutional offices reside in Santa Cruz County, those persons would also be entitled to serve on the committee. Each ex-officio members serves on the committee until such time as another person is nominated to succeed them.
Candidates for elective (i.e. regular) seats on the central committee must file nomination papers including the signatures of not less than twenty registered Republican voters from within the supervisorial district of the candidate’s residence. The names of qualifying candidates are placed on the primary ballot by the Santa Cruz County Elections Department to be voted on by Republicans registered to vote within the respective supervisorial districts.
The central committee is governed under the terms of its bylaws and by applicable provisions of the California Elections Code and holds a biennial organization meeting in the second week of January in each odd-numbered year. At that time the committee elects a chairman and other officers and appoints standing committees.
Regular members who do not retain residency in the supervisorial district from which they were elected are deemed to have resigned from the committee. The committee may also remove any members for cause, including: Affiliation with another political party; voicing public opposition to a Republican nominee for partisan office; or giving support or avowing preference for a candidate of a candidate who is opposed to a candidate nominated by the party.
WE ARE THE PARTY OF LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL
It all started with people who opposed slavery. They were common, everyday people who bristled at the notion that men had any right to oppress their fellow man. In the early 1850’s, these anti-slavery activists found commonality with rugged individuals looking to settle in western lands, free of government charges. “Free soil, free labor, free speech, free men,” went the slogan. And it was thus in joint opposition to human enslavement and government tyranny that an enterprising people gave birth to the Republican Party.
In 1856, the Republicans became a national party by nominating John C. Fremont for President. Four years later, with the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, the Republicans firmly established themselves as a major political party. The name “Republican” was chosen because it alluded to equality and reminded individuals of Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party.
WE ARE THE PARTY OF THAT REMOVES COLOR AND GENDER BARRIERS
In 1861, the Civil War erupted, lasting four grueling years. During the war, against the advice of his cabinet, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves. The Republicans of the day worked to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery; the Fourteenth Amendment, which guaranteed equal protection under the laws; and the Fifteenth, which helped secure voting rights for African-Americans. All of these accomplishments expanded and cemented the fundamental freedoms our nation continues to enjoy today.
The Republican Party also played a leading role in securing women the right to vote. In 1896, the Republican Party was the first major political party to support women’s suffrage. When the 19th Amendment finally was added to the Constitution, 26 of 36 state legislatures that had voted to ratify it were under Republican control. The first woman elected to Congress was a Republican, Jeanette Rankin from Montana in 1917. So it was by hard working Republican hands that color and gender barriers were first demolished in America.
WE ARE THE PARTY THAT FREES PEOPLE FROM OPPRESSION
Republicans believe individuals, not government, can make the best decisions; all people are entitled to equal rights; and decisions are best made close to home. These basic principles are as true today as they were when the Party was founded. For all of the extraordinary leaders the Party has produced throughout its rich history, Republicans understand that everyday people in all 50 states and territories remain the heart and soul of our Party.
Presidents during most of the late nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century were Republicans. The White House was in Republican hands under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, the United States won the Cold War, releasing millions from Communist oppression, in true anti-big government Republican spirit.
ELEPHANTS, NOT DONKEYS
The symbol of the Republican Party is the elephant. During the mid term elections in 1874, Democrats tried to scare voters into thinking President Ulysses S. Grant would seek to run for an unprecedented third term. Thomas Nast, a cartoonist for Harper’s Weekly, depicted a Democratic donkey trying to scare a Republican elephant – and both symbols stuck. For a long time, Republicans have been known as the “G.O.P.” with party faithful believing it meant the “Grand Old Party.” But apparently the original meaning (in 1875) was “gallant old party.” When automobiles were invented it also came to mean, “get out and push.” That’s still a pretty good slogan for Republicans who depend every campaign year on the hard work of hundreds of thousands of everyday volunteers to get out and vote and push people to support the causes of the Republican Party.
WE ARE THE PARTY THAT FIGHTS FOR FREEDOM
Abolition. Free speech. Women’s suffrage. These were all causes the Republican Party adopted early on. So, too, were reducing the size of government, streamlining bureaucracy, and returning power to individual states. With a core belief in the primacy of individuals, the Republican Party, since its inception, has been at the forefront of the fight for individuals’ rights in opposition to a large, intrusive government.