CHAIRMAN SUNDERLAND’S ADDRESS TO THE STATE COMMITTEE
June 27, 2015

Later this morning you will hear about the many things happening at the State Party to prepare us for the 2016 election. We are working hard to assure that our message is clear and direct, and our candidates are equipped with the information, tools and resources they need to run effective campaigns and win. It is through winning elections — by meeting Vermonters where they are and based on what they tell us their priorities are for Montpelier — that we can have influence on the direction of our state.

We have very exciting news for you, today. As you will hear later — by every key performance measure conceivable — our party is growing, succeeding and healthy. Despite the misleading proclamations of Democrats and other negative nellies, our fundraising is very strong. IN FACT, we have substantially more cash on hand this year than we have had at this time in any year since 2008. Isn’t that great news?!

The reason we continue to move forward — and donors are giving — is because Vermonters are responding to our positive, factual and rational message and donors are pleased to see that we’re addressing the priorities that Vermonters want us to address, in a way that they want us to address them. For these reasons, support for our team is growing at a rate not seen in many, many years.

Here’s another key fact: Our recruiting is progressing well and the state party, our legislative leaders and Lt. Governor Phil Scott are completely aligned in our efforts. We are working out of the same playbook, targeting the same districts and working alongside the same incumbents that we know may need some additional help to be successful in the presidential election year of 2016. I’m delighted to be here today to tell you that the days of duplicated efforts, gaps in outreach and contradictory strategies are over. Isn’t that more great news?!

Our support for legislators — and candidates considering a run — continues to grow beyond the confines of the past. We have issued in excess of 80 statements and press releases over the past 18-months promoting the positive solutions that Vermont Republicans have proposed in the legislature; while also holding the Democrats accountable for the continued failures of their rehashed policies of the past.

Later today, we will be holding a luncheon with legislators — to which you are all invited. Well, all of you except the press — no offense to our friends in the 4th estate, but we don’t want our strategy splashed across the front page tomorrow.

This is a gathering your legislative leaders requested in order to build the teamwork and camaraderie between our state committee and our legislators that is so important.

Even with all this positive progress and all the clear and measurable gains over the past year, we have to remind ourselves of the challenge ahead. We must continue to take the Vermont Republican Party forward.

Our message is clear. We are listening to Vermonters and focused on growing our economy, removing the obstacles to job creation, making our state more affordable and bringing balanced, common sense leadership to Montpelier.

So what has the last year shown us? It has show, again, like Jim Douglas and Brian Dubie and many others who have come before us that when we promote a message consistently and constantly with language that is positive, fair and factual — and when we deliberately reject a tone that is hyper partisan, foul and flagrant — we move the party and its candidates forward.

The last year has shown us that gaining the trust of Vermonters — and their votes — requires that each of unite around the issues most important to the people we seek to serve.

Again — because of our discipline, our message is resonating, our numbers are growing, and our fundraising is flourishing. The Vermont Republican Party continues to strengthen. Here are a few more metrics:

In the past 6-months we have re-activated hundreds of lapsed donors, added hundreds more to our valuable email list, and dramatically increased our Twitter followers and Facebook likes. That’s more good news, right?!

We must — for the strength or our Party and for the future of our state — stay focused, stay the course and stay away from special interests and individuals with their own agendas.

Make no mistake, there is a path to victory in 2016. But, a presidential election year in a deep blue state will present significant challenges.

If we hold together as a unified team centered around common goals, common efforts and a common sense message we will prevail over these challenges. If we focus on supporting, promoting and nurturing the issues, message and tone that Vermonters want — and will reward with their votes — we can bring to Montpelier the changes that Vermonters are thirsty for.

Now let’s press on together toward victory in 2016!

Thank you.