Dear Republican Leader:
On Nov. 6, the Republican Party of Wisconsin (RPW) helped turn out a record number of Republican voters for a midterm election in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, this record effort was eclipsed by Democrat turnout supercharged by the resistance movement against President Trump. The disappointing result was the defeat of all our 2018 statewide candidates: Gov. Walker, Lt. Gov. Kleefisch, Attorney General Schimel and Leah Vukmir.
Fortunately, RPW’s record effort did help increase Republican control in the state Senate (19 to 14), helped us maintain a strong majority in the state Assembly (63 to 36), and provided comfortable margins of victory for our five Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
As always, multiple factors contributed to November’s election wins and losses. Moving forward, we need to carefully study these factors and build upon those that helped yield success and correct those that resulted in failure. As the only remaining Republican statewide elected official, I realize I have a unique responsibility to help ensure our grass-roots structure remains intact and to quickly establish clear objectives for our party.
This weekend’s RPW Executive Committee meeting in Stevens Point offers an excellent opportunity to begin this process. I will be attending and participating both Friday and Saturday I want to hear your thoughts, observations and ideas to make our party even stronger so that Republican candidates can win consistently in any political environment.
As first-time statewide candidates, Governor Walker and I were able to tap into the strong grass-roots structure of the RPW to win election to the Governorship and U.S. Senate in 2010. Over the next few years, the RPW helped re-elect the Governor and other Republicans throughout Wisconsin. In 2016, I once again relied on the RPW volunteers to help me win re-election.
Past RPW/RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has agreed to participate in a thorough review of the 2018 election and the current party structure — similar to the process he led for the RNC following the 2012 presidential election.
Robust dialogue already is occurring between our congressional delegation, elected state officials, and RPW officials, staff and volunteers. There is no shortage of constructive critique, suggestions and new ideas for us to organize, consider and decide to implement. Although we are all disappointed by the election results, we acknowledge a strong party base that can be built upon by engaging in a rigorous process of continuous improvement.
I already have received summaries of discussions occurring within and between district and county leaders. If any of you have had discussions that produced written summaries that you are willing to share before this weekend, I would be happy to receive and review them. You can email me at xxxxx, or text me at (xxx) xxx-xxxx.
We all are committed to building a party that supports Republican candidates statewide and at all levels of government. Republican elected officials have promoted and enacted policies that have produced a strong economy and provided greater security. We have helped put Wisconsin and America on a path toward a brighter, more prosperous future, and we believe a strong RPW will help us stay on that path.
I look forward to seeing and listening to you in Stevens Point.