The King’s College Republicans: After One Semester
The King’s College Republicans hit the ground running this year for their first semester in action. Led by Chairman Travis Drost, Executive Director Jeremy Cerone, Finance Director Christian Stempert (Bonhoeffer sophomore), Recruitment Director Tim Wainwright, and myself as Communications Director, the organization held campaigning events, gatherings, information sessions, and more. This semester, we were pleased to welcome Dr. Matthew Parks as our Faculty Advisor. Dr. Parks brings a wealth of political knowledge to the table, and will be an invaluable asset to our team. The majority of the credit for the successes of the semester should be given to the enthusiastic freshmen we have involved in our College Republicans organization. Their dedication has allowed TKCR to thrive. Many men of Bonhoeffer have been closely involved with TKCR activities throughout the semester.
Our first project of the year was a special election campaign in September on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to fill a seat in the New York State Assembly. We worked closely with the New York Republican County Committee in our efforts to elect Paul Niehaus, the Republican nominee. We began by holding a phone banking session at The King’s College for a few hours one night. We provided pizza, and about 10 to 15 members made phone calls to likely Republican voters on the Upper East Side, encouraging them to head to the polls on Election Day and cast their ballot for Niehaus. Following this event, we had a group of our guys spend the entire night before Election Day going street by street to every corner in the district and hanging signs. They finished around 6:00 AM, just in time to head to the subway stops and hand out literature to the morning commuters. We made more phone calls during the day, handed out more literature, and then celebrated at the Niehaus viewing party at the Metropolitan Republican Club. Although Niehaus lost the race, The King’s College Republicans forged valuable connections with the Metropolitan Republican Club and the New York Republican County Committee. Both groups publicly expressed their sincere and deep gratitude to us for our efforts.
In late September, we had the privilege of assisting The King’s College with hosting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker when he visited our Empire State Building campus to address administrators, faculty, and a select group of students. Many of our members were able to get a chance to speak with Governor Walker during this time.
The New York Republican County Committee invited us as guests to their official association meeting in October. This event was a great opportunity to network with prominent New York Republicans and become better acquainted with the County Committee. We were able to hear the election speeches and discuss business with Daniel Isaacs, the re-elected Chairman, who expressed hope and confidence for our ability to work together more in the future. We also attended the monthly social for the Metropolitan Republican Club in November, allowing us to better get to know some of their members as well.
In October and November, we worked hard campaigning in New Jersey’s 38th Legislative District leading up to Election Day. We worked with the State Senate candidate John Driscoll as well as with Assembly candidates Richard Goldberg and Fernando Alonso. This was one of the closest, most-watched, and most-heavily-funded races in the entire state. We sent teams of volunteers during several Saturdays in the weeks leading up to the election. During our time campaigning, we had the privilege of meeting the Minority Leader in the New Jersey Senate, Tom Kean. Our work included phone calls to prospective voters, constructing signs, going door-to-door in the district, and handing out literature. We developed relationships with the candidates and their campaign managers and staff during this time. We also connected with the field representative for this area from the College Republican National Committee, who gave us funds and supplies to increase our effectiveness.
Finally, to conclude our semester, we hosted a Christmas event at the beginning of December to thank our members for their hard work, remind them of our vision, and provide a preview of the spring semester. Looking forward, we expect to attend both the March for Life and the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. next semester, as well as work with the other conservative student groups in the area to provide practical training for young conservative activists in New York City.
Chad is a junior in the House of Bonhoeffer and a leading member of the Web Team.