I am here today to place Rose Izzo's name in nomination for your consideration as a candidate to the US House of Representatives. I am proud to have the opportunity due to my immense admiration for Rose's fire and tenacity. You can't help but respect her dedication.
But I'm not here to ask you to vote for Rose Izzo to express support for the candidate. Instead, I want you to vote for Rose Izzo today to express support for an idea. An idea about principles, inclusion, and unity.
The state Republican Party's rules, under Artice VI, Section 18, state that:
"The primary function of the General Convention shall be the endorsement of candidates for national and statewide offices. Once an endorsement has been made, non endorsed candidates shall not be entitled to the use of any party resources or materials, nor shall they be permitted to campaign at any party events or functions, including but not limited to posting signs, handing out literature or buttons, or otherwise engaging in activity which would be considered campaigning."
Your vote today is not just for an endorsement from the state party. Your vote today would press a thumb on the scale of the primary election scheduled for September 11th, which will actually select the nominee, and effectively excommunicate any of the approximately 177k Republicans who could not be here today and may support the non endorsed candidate.
Many of you no doubt remember the primaries of 2010. In those primaries, statewide candidates endorsed by this convention severed communication between the organized infrastructure of the Republican Party and those campaigns who would eventually become responsible for carrying the party's banner to the November general election. This schism has yet to fully heal and the costs to the Delaware Republican Party in the 2010 general election are still the subject of discussion.
In the lead up to this convention and in the general tone of this convention's discussions, a great deal has been made about the need for unity. Unity is undoubtedly important. The ability to reach out and compromise with those of similar ideals is necessary for liberty to prevail. The ability to include diverse views, accept challenges to the status quo, and have honest conversations about how to move our state and our country forward is necessary for liberty to prevail.
To shut out those with similar ideals, but different priorities or different strategies does not promote unity. To exclude those who feel a need to stand up, make their voices heard, and participate in the political process does not encourage cooperation after the primary is over and the general election looms.
Contrary to what you may think, primaries are not the worst things that could befall a political party. While primaries can be divisive and promote schisms and factionalism if conducted improperly, if conducted properly they can activate and energize new constituencies, promote reasoned discussion among those of like minds about what issues should be prioritized and what tactics should be engaged, and celebrate the diversity and high minded debate that we should strive for in every such instance.
By encouraging these new constituencies to engage in the political process, by subjecting our ideas to the tempering fire of discussion and hard nosed debate, and by advertising to the state and the country that we can do so civilly and within the bounds of promoting small government, low taxes, and individual freedom, we can grow and develop our ability to stand up to any who would presume that government should tell us how to run our lives rather than living by the tenets of our faith, our family, and our community.
So if you vote for Rose Izzo today, you will not be voting to shut any one else out of the party. Rose Izzo is not seeking your votes or your endorsement to disenfranchise or excommunicate anyone from the good graces of the Republican Party. Rose Izzo would like you to vote for her as a symbolic vote for "All of the Above", she is committed to allowing the participation of every candidate with the fire to stand up to make their case to every voter without excluding anyone, since EVERYONE will be needed to carry the fight through November. Don't just vote for Rose Izzo because you want to see someone with her tenacity in Washington DC. Vote for Rose Izzo because you want Unity.