This past weekend was the College Republican National Convention in Washington DC. Delegates came from all over the country to represent their state and I had the distinct pleasure of representing the New York College Republicans along with New York College Republican Chairman Mike Ventre and Regional Vice-Chair David Perrotto.
Along with an influx of Republicans in the DC area, Thursday brought a reception at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. This allowed the College Republicans to get to know their counterparts from across the nation in an informal setting.
Friday was the official start of the convention, and contained a myriad of speakers throughout the day. The highlights included a video conference with Speaker of the House, John Boehner, the leader of the RNC, Reince Priebus, and Presidential hopefuls Herman Cain and Gary Johnson. They spoke on the importance of being a College Republican and keeping our party strong. Many commented on the national debt as negotiations were still on at that point. Also, Speaker Ed Gillespe announced that the Republican State Leadership Committee would be partnering with the CRNC to give grassroots training to College Republicans across the nation to help Republican candidates.
Later that evening was the keynote speaker, Jon Huntsman. Huntsman said that now was not the time to give up. “If there is one message that I would like to have you remember is don’t become disillusioned, work to fix the country.” He also stressed the important role that College Republicans play in shaping the national stage and believes that “We [the current leadership] should be working to make your future better.” All in all, it was the best speech of the convention in my opinion. For more information on Jon Huntsman and his platform, please visit his website www.jon2012.com or follow him on twitter at @JonHuntsman. An after party at the Hawk ‘n’ Dove allowed everyone to get to know each other better and introduced the candidates for the Executive Board to all of the convention attendees.
Bright and early Saturday morning was the election to fill the Executive Board positions. The election results were as follows. Alex Schriver was elected as the National Chairman. Alex Smith was elected as the National Co-Chairman, Alex Levin was elected as the National Treasurer, Nick Maddux was elected as the National Secretary, Gus Portela was elected as the Midwestern Regional Vice-Chairman, Andrew Laarhoven was elected as the Southern Regional Vice-Chairman, Karl Beckstein was elected as the Northeastern Regional Vice-Chairman, and John Granat was elected as Western Regional Vice-Chair.
After the voting was done I was able to speak to Colin Schmitt who was a delegate for the Washington DC College Republicans and is running for Assemblyman in NY District 96 (For more information on his run, please visit http://www.nyforschmitt.com) and he said that “Participating in the premier next generation conservative leader organization in the country is an experience I will always cherish. I am proud to have many friends in this organization who share the same goals and aspirations for the future of our country. This year’s convention not only elected strong leaders for the future of the CRNC and nation, but laid the ground work for people across the nation to network and share our collective knowledge and experiences to advance the conservative Republican cause.” Many people felt the same way and are very excited for the bright future in store for the CRNC.
Everyone that I talked to after the convention was done had a great time and is excited for the next convention in 2013. New York College Republican Chairman Mike Ventre had this to say about the convention: “I’m very happy to have gone to the College Republican National Convention. It was good to see College Republicans from all across the nation come together. But, it was even better to see New Yorkers come together as a sign of unity. We have shown the CRNC that New York is back and here to stay. I’m very proud of my state and look forward to the future that it has.” I loved every minute of the convention and am already counting the days to the next one (~723 days if you were curious). If you’re curious about what exactly the speakers had to say, please check out my twitter feed (@Steph_Leader).