A New Way Forward for Republicans in Massachusetts — and Beyond

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/02/18/a-new-way-forward-for-republicans-in-massachusetts-and-beyond/

There is nothing more disappointing than your party losing the White House. It is a defeat that stings and reverberates in the party for months and years to come as party leaders and activists search for what went wrong and how to correct it. All too often, finger-pointing and blame becomes the norm as we continue to watch our numbers dwindle, especially here in Massachusetts.

As a party activist for over ten years, and someone who has been involved in local politics for close to 20 years, it has become painfully clear that local GOP activists — establishment and conservative alike —have taken their eyes off the prize as it relates to winning local elections. And as we continue to focus on races we can’t win, in districts that do not favor us, our Democrat rivals continue to rack up victories in local races in areas where Republicans can, and should, succeed.

Of course, we all want to be a part of a big moment — an upset victory in a U.S. Senate race, or winning the corner office — but our involvement in those races is generally small and immeasurable. And in the long run, how much do they really matter when we have allowed our local school committees to be controlled by left-wing members and even further left administrators, and selectmen who become progressive activists? These are the folks who ultimately have the greatest effect on our day-to-day lives, and yet we far too often ignore those races to a point where we can’t field candidates because of a lack of help.

And don’t forget, these selectmen and school committee members all too often become the Democrat candidate for state representative or state Senate. In my recent successful campaign for Plymouth County Commissioner, I was struck by the number of towns that are considered to be moderately to solidly Republican that have progressive Democrats elected to key positions such as selectman or school committee member.

Thomas Jefferson, perhaps the most brilliant American, started his public service in the Virginia House of Burgesses — the elected representative element of the Virginia General Assembly during colonial times — representing Albemarle County. In that capacity, Jefferson worked to reform Virginia — beginning on a local level, introducing deeply unpopular legislation as it related to the emancipation of slaves in the colony. Most famous for writing the Declaration of Independence, it’s important to note that he began his career at first on a local level. And he certainly wasn’t alone — John Adams was very influential in Massachusetts politics before and after his presidency.

Republicans who feel spurned by the results in November need not despair, but we have to focus our attention and energy where we can make the most difference. Our party has proven time and again to be the party of common sense solutions geared towards dedicated public service and aiding others in an efficient manner respectful of the hardworking taxpayer. But unfortunately, in Massachusetts, we lack elected Republicans to prove that case to the voting public, who are instead given a misinformed perspective that the national media constantly portrays.

This is a call to action. Join your local Republican Town Committee. If you do not have one, contact your GOP State Committeeman or Committeewoman about organizing. And once you are on the Republican Town Committee, remember your first priority:  to elect Republicans locally! All too often I have seen so many Town Committee members lose sight of the very mission our local Town Committees are tasked with, which is to support Republicans in town. You can’t change the world before you change what’s going on at home — it’s time to focus our energy back to where we can make the most difference as individuals and as a team, and that is locally.

Contact your Republican Town Committee about running for local office this year. Nomination papers are available, and you can contact your Town Clerk or City Clerk for more information. Together, we can start regaining control of our communities. We have the playbook right in front of us:  Tip O’Neill spent many years doing just this very activity. And it has paid off with Democrat majorities in the Massachusetts House and Senate since the mid-20th century that have gone largely unchecked, aside from an occasional Republican governor.

These local races aren’t the most glamorous, but they have the biggest impact on our day-to-day lives, and will help the GOP build the bench we need to begin winning back legislative seats and turning Massachusetts around.


Jared L. Valanzola, a Rockland resident, is a Plymouth County Commissioner. He is also  Vice-Chairman of the Plymouth County Republican Club, Chairman of the Rockland Republican Town Committee, and host of The JV Team with Jared Valanzola from 6:15 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays on 95.9 WATD-FM.