Republican Women Councils May Not Endorse

Primary season is upon us as more contenders announce their candidacies to gain the Republican Party’s nomination. This is a good time to review the relationship between the Republican Party and Republican Women to highlight a major difference in our operating procedures.

Councils of Republican Women are affiliates of National Federation of Republican Women, an organization aligned with the principles of the Republican Party, but not a part of the Republican Party structure. Republican Women on all levels – national, state and local – are governed by rules established by NFRW.

One important difference is conveyance of endorsements in the Primary Election cycle. While RNC, PAGOP or county Republican committees may choose to endorse candidates before the May 20th election this practice is strictly prohibited by NFRW.

NFRW and its state and local councils follow a non-endorsement policy in all primary campaigns. No club may endorse any candidate for any position with more than one Republican candidate. Further, clubs may not promote one candidate over another and must offer equal opportunity to club activities and events. NFRW instructs Club Presidents to remain neutral during the Primary election cycle.

Individual members may work for the Primary candidates of their choice. In fact, they are encouraged to fully participate in the Primary process. However, they must be careful to inform voters that theirs is a personal choice which does not reflect the views or opinions of the Republican Women’s Club where they are members. At no time may an individual member use the council’s name or identification when helping a primary candidate.

The non-endorsement policy is sometimes confusing, especially when women are active in both the Republican Party and their local Republican Women’s Council. In that case, it is even more important that we follow our rules and hold ourselves to high standards as we advocate for good government.

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