Uncapher to Challenge Jurgena for Montgomery GOP Chairman

Maryland State Republican Party Secretary Mark Uncapher announced tonight that he would is seeking election as Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman. Uncapher is a former Chairman of the Montgomery County Party.

The current Montgomery GOP Chairman, Dick Jurgena, has had a controversial year as Chairman. He elevated Amie Hoeber to a prominent fundraising position and also publicly attacked Governor Hogan and other Congressional Republicans.

Here is the copy of Uncapher’s announcement, which was obtained by Red Maryland.

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Fellow Central Committee members

If you have not read today’s Washington Post story, “Jubilant Democrats to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan: You’re next,’ you should.(See: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/jubilant-democrats-to-maryland-gov-hogan-youre-next/2017/11/08/da648714-c486-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html)

The article is very a sobering reminder of the political challenge we face in 2018.

And yet, instead of focusing on MCGOP’s party building responsibilities, too much time and resources have been frittered away this past year on gadfly advocacy and fringe issues.

Just three months ago, the MCGOP’s Executive Committee voted to reverse the decision of Dick Jurgena and Ann Hingston gutting our participation in the Nation Builder/ Digital Toolkit data management program that the Hogan campaign and the Maryland Republican Party had asked us to use. That was Dick and Ann not supporting what was needed for our Governor’s reelection and not making a valuable technology tool available to our candidates.

We also must provide Governor Hogan with more than “sandwich board” precinct coverage. For his sake and the rest of our candidates, our county party must do better.

So far, this year only about a dozen new people have completed our monthly precinct training program.  With over 250 precincts, that is not enough to replace the natural attrition from people dropping out, let alone fill our previously existing vacancies.

I understand what an effective Organization Committee requires. Beyond my five years as Chairman (2008-13) and past service as Finance
Chair, I was Legislative District Chair or Co-Chair for LD 16 from 2002-7 and a Regional Chair in 16 from 1996-2000.  While I was LD16 Chair, we met monthly publicly, first at the B-CC Center, and later at Bethesda Library.  We also held “Republican Town Meetings” in targeted precincts to recruit precinct chairs. In contrast, as LD 16 Chair, Ann Hingston has not held a public legislative district meeting since January.

We must end this “closed meeting, private club” approach that has led to MCGOP’s failure to recruit new blood into the party.  Closed meetings have meant that hundreds of enthusiastic Trump Montgomery volunteers were never welcomed into our party this year.  We need break out of a mindset that Republicans will only be competitive in the highest income zip codes of Bethesda and Potomac, especially since that’s not where either Trump or Hogan have done the best in our county.

Consequently, I have decided to run again for MCGOP Chairman and am very pleased that Dwight Patel has agreed to join my slate as a candidate for First Vice Chair and that Jeff Brown will run for Second Vice Chair with us.

Finally, I believe that all members of the Central Committee are entitled to be treated with respect and collegiality by their Chairman.  They deserve to be heard at meetings, and there ought not to be attempts to limit their full participation with procedural gimmicks.  On this, my time as Chairman stands in contrast to this past year.

I hope I can count on your support on November 28th

Best regards,

Mark Uncapher 

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