My Turn: Hilary Levey Friedman: Let’s get rid of this crony system in R.I.

Providence Journal

Posted Jul 11, 2018 at 5:25 PM
Updated Jul 11, 2018 at 5:25 PM

Political leaders, such as Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, say elections matter up and down the ballot, from the school board to the Oval Office.

But do elections all the way at the bottom of the ballot — such as for members of district committees — actually matter? And just what is a district committee?

Representative and senatorial district committees exist to endorse party candidates in primary elections. That endorsement generally earns a candidate two things: a demarcation on the ballot and access to party resources.

In the Rhode Island Democratic Party, this means access to the VAN, or the Voter Activation Network, a costly database that helps candidates reach out to voters.

You might ask Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell, D-Providence, if representative district committee elections matter. She will not be listed as the endorsed candidate in September because her district committee, inherited from the 2016 elections, endorsed her opponent.

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