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Maryland Republican Party to Host Spring Virtual Convention

In a follow-up to our Q&A with Corine Frank, the Maryland Republican Party will be hosting its 2020 Spring Convention virtually.

The convention, which will see the election of the National Committeeman, National Committeewoman, as well as Delegates and Alternate Delegate to the Republican National Convention, was originally scheduled to be held at Arundel Mills May 15th and 16th.

The Executive Committee functions will be held on Saturday, May 9th. Following this will be an Online Hospitality Suite, open to the public, featuring special guests and a Q&A with State Party Chairman Dirk Haire.

The Convention itself will be on Saturday, May 16th and will focus almost solely on business related to the Republican National Convention, including the Committeeman, Committeewoman, and Delegate elections.

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The full text of the Call to Convention was shared with Red Maryland and is posted below.

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From: Dirk Haire <Chairman@mdgop.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 16, 2020 10:53 AM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Call to the Spring 2020 Convention

Dear Central Committee Member,

I hope you are safe and well.  These are certainly strange times, but the MDGOP will proceed with as much business as the Government and our bylaws will allow us at the present time.  In this regard, this email is the Call to Convention in compliance with our 30-day notice requirement under our MDGOP bylaws.

Pursuant to Article VIII, section 1.d. of the Maryland Republican Party’s Constitution and Bylaws, and pursuant to the RNC Resolution regarding waivers for State Parties to comply with RNC Presidential Nominations requirements adopted on 3/27/20, I hereby call the Republican State Central Committee’s 2020 Spring Convention to be held online on May 16, 2020.

The business of the Spring Convention will be limited in scope to business that is required to be conducted by the RNC Rules.  Our current MDGOP bylaws do not permit establishing a voting quorum for an online convention.  As a result, no MDGOP business that requires or involves voting or potential voting will be conducted.  Any such business will be deferred to our Fall 2020 Convention.  Notwithstanding our inability to conduct MDGOP business, Article 2.3(a) of our MDGOP bylaws makes our bylaws subordinate to the RNC Rules, and the RNC’s legal counsel and parliamentarian have provide guidance to us that we need to proceed with electing our at-large and alternate at-large RNC Convention Delegates and our National Committeeman and National Committeewoman.  Therefore, we will proceed to comply with our duties under the RNC Rules to conduct these elections online.  Detailed instructions on how to join the online convention and how to vote will be sent to each Central Committee member 1-2 weeks prior to the Convention.

Since we will not be able to meet in person, and to give everyone a chance to familiarize themselves with the technology we will be utilizing, we will reschedule the usual Friday night convention activities to May 9, 2020 (the Saturday prior to the Convention).  The tentative May 9 agenda includes:

6 pm – 7 pm  Online Executive Committee (open to guests but guests will need to request a join code in advance)

7 pm – 8:30 pm  Online Hospitality Suite (grab your favorite beverage and a bag of Wavy Lays!  We will have several special guests pop in with updates, a live Q&A session with me on any party-related questions, and two online “straw poll” votes to give everyone practice with voting a week before we vote on RNC business.  The “straw poll” votes will be for 2022 Maryland gubernatorial primary and 2024 Republican presidential primary!  If you have a candidate you want on the ballot for either of these straw polls please respond to Corine and me and we will add each name)

Tentative May 16 Online Convention Agenda:
We are still finalizing the technology security protocols with the online meeting and online voting vendors, but our present intention is to have registration for the Spring Convention open online from 5:00 PM on Friday, May 15th thru 10:00 AM on Saturday, May 16th.  Further details on how to join the online convention, register, and vote will be sent in a detailed email to each central committee member prior to the May 9 activities.  There will be no fee for the online convention.  We will be using Go To meeting as the online meeting platform, and Simply Voting for the online vote vendor.  Simply Voting is the same vendor that we used during our Spring 2016 Convention to vote electronically to elect the RNC delegates.  Both of these vendors were recommended to us by the RNC.

The General Session will convene online at 10:00 am.  I expect a limited agenda focused on RNC business, which will likely include an update from a representative of President Trump’s campaign, an update related to the RNC Convention scheduled for August 24-27 in Charlotte, and votes for RNC delegates, National Committeeman, and National Committeewoman.  I expect the updates and any other RNC business should not take more than 30 minutes, which would then lead us into the voting portion of the agenda, followed by adjournment.

All Delegate/Alternate Nomination forms as well as National Committeeman/Committeewoman Nomination forms should be submitted to Corine by Thursday, April 30th at 5:00 P.M. per our RNC 16(f) agreement.  Please note that President Trump’s campaign has already notified those individuals who will be listed on the “Trump Slate” on the ballot.  

We have extended the deadline for the MDGOP award nominations to April 30th.  However, awards will be distributed in-person at the Fall Convention.

Since we are presently unable to conduct MDGOP voting business at an online convention, no bylaws amendments or resolutions will be considered.  I very much hope and expect that we will be back to normal operation and an in-person convention in the Fall.

Thank you as always for your support of the Party.  I am certainly looking forward to President Trump’s press conference later today on opening up the economy and I hope this gets moving sooner than later.

Very Truly Yours,

Dirk Haire
Chairman
Maryland Republican Party



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