Just two months ago, the Republican Party of Miami-Dade County almost witnessed a radical change when former Ron Paul supporters failed, by only two votes, to take over the leadership of the party. Since then, however, the liberty movement in South Florida didn’t stop and claimed a series of new victories on Thursday night, at the monthly meeting of the Republican Executive Committee.
About 100 local Republican leaders met in West Miami, the hometown of prospective GOP hero Marco Rubio. Gathered in the Renaissance Ballroom, the party, representing the second most important political power in the county behind the Democratic Party, was mainly focused on electing new alternate committee members.
The way local Republican Parties work is often confusing, especially when reporters try to explain it during national primaries. In reality, it is simpler than it seems. A county is divided into many districts, according to census data (mainly dating back to two or three decades ago). Each district is represented at the Republican Executive Committee by two committeeman and two committeewoman, who act as community organizers in their respective districts. These delegates are represented by alternates when they are unable to attend a REC meeting.
Miami-Dade County is divided into 40 districts. The district heads were chosen last year during the presidential primaries and enthroned only a few months back. Their alternates were finally chosen on Thursday night.
In total, 49 alternates were chosen this week. Most of them only had to apply for their position. But seven districts had contested races. The different candidates were given 30 seconds each to deliver a speech in which they explained their reasons for running. There were two types of addresses: some people chose to talk about the “dangers of the reduction of the nuclear stockpile”, while others addressed their concerns about the Constitution and the deterioration of individual rights.
At the end of the races, eight libertarian-leaning Republicans were elected as alternates out of fourteen. In total, 21 libertarians, mostly college students, were sworn-in on February 21st as alternate committee members.