County & State Conventions
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Jackson County Republican Party
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The Jackson Republican Party has a regular pattern of county conventions in every two-year election cycle. These conventions are mandated by, and subject to, Michigan state law and the rules of the Michigan Republican Party. The Michigan Republican Party also has a pattern of state conventions.
Election Year Conventions
Spring County Convention (presidential election years only): This county convention elects Jackson County delegates and alternates to a state convention that follows about a month later.
Spring State Convention (presidential election years only): Congressional district caucuses elect their allotted number of delegates and alternates to the Republican National Convention. The state convention’s general session elects the Michigan Republican Party’s at-large delegates and alternates to the Republican National Convention, as well as two Republican National Committee representatives.
August County Convention: This county convention is the first county convention after the primary and is the first event of the precinct delegate term. The convention elects delegates and alternates to a state convention which follows 2-4 weeks after. The date and time of the county convention is set by the Michigan Republican Party in accordance with state law.
August State Convention: Congressional district caucuses nominate presidential electors (presidential election years only). The state convention’s general session nominates the Michigan Republican Party’s candidates for lieutenant governor (gubernatorial election years only); the governing boards of the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University; the State Board of Education; and the Michigan Supreme Court.
November County Convention: This county convention elects half of the Jackson Republican Party’s Executive Committee. The number of members elected is equal to the number of Jackson Republican nominees for state legislative and county elective offices. The Jackson Republican Party sets the date and time for this county convention. By state law, this county convention must be held after the general election but before the end of November.
Non-Election Year Convention
January/February County Convention: The convention elects delegates and alternates to a state convention which follows 2-4 weeks after. The date and time of the county convention is set by the Michigan Republican Party.
January/February State Convention: Congressional district caucuses elect the district’s executive officers and governing committee, as well as the district’s representatives to the Michigan Republican State Committee. The state convention’s general session elects the Michigan Republican Party state chair and a number of vice-chairs.
General Convention Notes
- The number of delegates and alternates from Jackson County to state conventions is set by the Michigan Republican Party
- Delegates to county conventions are elected from their respective precincts every two years at the August primary election. Delegates may file to be put on the ballot (procedures should be checked for each election) or may file an affidavit of candidacy at their precinct to be elected as a write-in candidate. Nominees for state legislative offices and elected county offices serve ex officio as at-large delegates to county conventions during the term for which they were nominated until a new nominee for that office is selected. Only county convention delegates may vote or make motions in a county convention.
- County conventions may appoint citizens to vacant precinct delegate seats for the remainder of the delegate term if the convention chooses. There is no such thing as an alternate to a county convention. Citizens may be elected or appointed only to the precinct they reside in. Recent practice of the Michigan Republican Party has been to allow the filling of precinct delegate vacancies only after the main business of the county convention (usually electing state convention delegates and alternates) has been finished.
- State law prohibits proxy voting at county conventions
- The Jackson Republican Party has adopted the practice of not allowing statements by, or on behalf of, candidates for state convention delegate or alternate during the county convention so the convention may be conducted in a timely manner. The convention is regarded as akin to going to your polling place. Once you are there, there is no campaigning inside because it is time to vote. Candidates for state convention delegate or alternate should conduct any campaigning before the day of the convention, or in person during the delegate registration period and social hour before the convention is called to order.
- Alternates are elected to state conventions to serve as stand-ins for absent state convention delegates. The county chair will elevate state convention alternates to delegate status in accordance with rules set by the county convention and the Michigan Republican Party.
- County conventions are called to order by the chair of the Jackson Republican Party as temporary convention chair per state law. The temporary convention chair may call another delegate to serve as chair. The county convention may elect someone other than the temporary convention chair as permanent convention chair.
- Most county convention procedures are set by state law and rules established by the Michigan Republican Party’s State Committee. Each county convention is its own entity–there are no standing rules from county convention to county convention. Each county convention establishes its own specific procedures for the conduct of elections and to establish the order by which state convention alternates are elevated to state delegate status, or any other business the convention is charged with.
- Planning for county conventions takes place well before each convention in order to make each convention as efficient as possible. The county party chair and county party secretary are mainly responsible for securing a location, ensuring the convention is properly organized, as well as making sure seating and necessary equipment will be present. The county party chair may appoint convention committees for organization and credentials to attend to those processes in advance of each convention.
- Unless you hear otherwise, Michael Swope chairs the Committee for Organization for every Jackson Republican Party county convention. Any questions or comments about county convention procedures should be directed to him.
Questions about county convention purposes and procedures should be directed to Michael Swope or to the Jackson Republican Party office.