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Commentary: Open Letter to Northern Kentucky Republicans

By Emily Sheton

Special to the Bulldog Report

*Editor’s note: Boone County (KY) GOP Vice-chair Emily Shelton responds to the controversy at the Kenton County Republican Party reorginization meeting of June 3. Some members of the Party expressed concern about the manner in which the reorginization meeting was conducted and the subsequent vote. The Boone County Republican Party reorginization takes place Saturday, June 12, at Grace Fellowship Church, in Florence.

Do not be discouraged at what happened in Kenton County! And don’t abandon the Republican party.

The Kenton County Establishment’s embarrassing abuse of power exercised at the Kenton County 2021 GOP reorganization this week exposes the very ugly underbelly of the political party that I’ve dedicated more than four decades of effort to. Specifically, while Kentucky citizens are overwhelmingly conservative and care about the issues of liberty, the Republican Party establishment is itself is concerned solely with retaining power.

The Kenton County Establishment is one of a dwindling number of party organizations that consistently ignore Republican party principles. Unfortunately, the Republican Party of KY Establishment enables these out of touch establishment organizations. Their stated mission should be to make sure Republicans win elections. I’m not sure how well they can keep running successful campaigns if they continue to pay lip service to the party platform every four years – only to completely ignore those planks once the voting ends.

Unwilling to loosen its grip on control of the party, the establishment willingly disenfranchises, powerful, vibrant and fully-engaged constituents who support the Republican Party’s core principles. That’s a recipe for long-term loss, not success.

The way to really make the kind of difference we all want is NOT necessarily by participating with the party. I am NOT AT ALL encouraging people to leave the Republican Party…far from it! Building a competitive party would take decades (just ask our Kentucky Libertarian friends). I am saying…pay less attention to some closed-establishment clique whose members love being in power, preening themselves for offices or appointments in the future. i.e Do not be discouraged at what happened in Kenton County!

We MUST come together to out-campaign primary candidates who do not share our philosophy or who have a poor voting record. Focus on the primary ballot box, not the county meetings. GET TOGETHER with other liberty groups, such as the Northern Kentucky Tea Party, MAGA folks, Constitutional KY, Pro-American Kentuckians for Freedom, Northern Kentucky Right to Life, the NRA, etc. We must identify Republican incumbents who are not constitutionalists, and work our rear ends off to oppose each establishment candidate with a single candidate who loves liberty and has the skills to be effective in office.

Are you really really serious about making a difference??? Roll up your sleeves, help raise money, help campaign, use every tool you have to get true conservatives in office. (I have plenty I can recommend, so just ask.)

Emily Shelton is the Vice Chair of the Boone County, KY, Republican Party

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