Saturday, September 21, 2019

Young Republicans Convention: new Chairman comments on results

Last night, the Oklahoma Young Republicans met in Oklahoma City for their state convention. Lines were drawn early in the convention, and chaos ensued, ultimately leading to the more liberal faction vacating the premises without taking action on the agenda and the conservative wing taking up the convention business outside.

You can view first-hand video of the "parking lot" conclusion at this link. Delegates who stuck around and went through the agenda action items elected a new slate of OKYR officers. Luke Harshaw, chosen as the new chairman by the delegates, issued the following press release about the evening's events:

(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK) - In a makeshift continuation of Friday evening's scheduled Oklahoma Young Republicans state convention, a new slate of officers were elected by acclamation. Among the slate of officers chosen to lead the youth organization were Senator Nathan Dahm, who will serve as vice chairman for the 1st Congressional District, and Senator Joseph Silk who will serve as vice chairman for the 2nd Congressional District.

Republicans between from ages of 18 to 40 traveled from across the state to Oklahoma City for a biannual convention to elect new leadership for the organization, but the convention was nearly cut short when one attendee pointed out that John Roberts, the outgoing Oklahoma Young Republicans chairman, was attempting to unlawfully limit voting rights for delegates from certain counties.

This sparked what has been described by attendees as a "civil war", as a majority of convention-goers stopped the chairman from proceeding with his attempt to limit delegate votes from certain counties, and the chairman began to shut down the convention, telling delegates to leave the building without an official adjournment.

Despite multiple attendees leaving the event, a majority of the convention's delegates stayed in the parking lot of the Credit Union House and continued business after electing a new presiding chairman and selecting a new parliamentarian and secretary for the convention. The remaining delegates proposed a "unity slate" of candidates for each of the elected positions within the organization and elected by unanimous vote a diverse group including lawmakers, business professionals, and college students.

Andrew Lopez, former chairman of the Canadian County Republican Party said about the convention, "It was great to see the grassroots coalescing this evening to advance the Oklahoma Young Republicans. I believe that this is a new era of the Oklahoma Young Republicans that will move together in unity under the platform of the Republican Party."

Following Friday night's convention, newly elected Oklahoma Young Republicans chairman Luke Harshaw released the following statement:

"The Oklahoma Young Republicans are more ready than ever to hit the ground running, working in unity with Republican groups across our state. We intend to organize the Young Republicans into the strongest force for conservative principles in our state, building infrastructure in every county to engage the youth vote for 2020 and beyond. Our newly elected officers are eager to engage voters and once again earn Oklahoma's title as the reddest state in the nation."


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