My fellow Orange County Republicans -
December was a productive month as we dissected the results of the 2018 midterm elections. Staff and I have held numerous meetings with key stakeholders and candidates, taking a deep dive into the numbers on a city by city level to not only understand the results but more important to learn from them.
Our immediate findings are that we did a good job of turning out Republican voters. Even with ballot harvesting we outperformed Democrats in voter turnout across the entire county and in our targeted races. Our registration advantage in the county is around 2%, but our turnout beat the Democrats by over 10% in the targeted Congressional races. As we looked through the statement of votes, clearly some Republican candidates did not receive the support of all Republicans. No Party Preference voters also turned out and voted in large numbers and we failed to earn their votes.
In Irvine and Santa Ana, more No Party Preference voters voted than Republicans. In Newport Beach and Villa Park more No Party Preference voters voted than Democrats. Additionally in 16 cities No Party Preference voters came within 5% of voting in larger numbers than either Republicans or Democrats.
In 2019 we must focus on voter registration, voter outreach and preparing the infrastructure needed to win in 2020. There will be two special elections in 2019 - the 3rd District Supervisorial election and Seal Beach City Council with the potential for a Fullerton City Council seat where the majority on the council will hang in the balance.
Our newly elected Republican local elected officials have begun to take office and we look forward to showing voters what our ten county elected officials and 27 Orange County Republican City Council majorities can get done to solve the issues that affect your communities here at home.
California's primary has been moved up to March of 2020 which means the filing deadline for candidates in the Congressional and Legislative Seats is only a year from now. We must be ready.
Early next year California Republicans will elect a new California Republican Party Chairman. Because other counties have declined, and we did our job in both registration and results, Orange County will have a larger delegation in proportion to other counties than previously, and a greater impact on the future of the state party. On January 21st we will host all three announced candidates for statewide Chairman in Orange County to present their vision for our path forward. We will be releasing details of that event after the first of the year.
2019 will be a year of rebuilding for the Republican Party of Orange County and it will require the support and involvement of every one of you. We are in the field polling the electorate now, and look forward to launching new programs and initiatives that move us to victory in 2019 and 2020. I am committed to be your Chairman, seeking re-election by the Committee on January 21. We will take our foundation and build upon it for success. I personally wish all of you a Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year as we hit the ground running in the new year.
Hon. Fred M. Whitaker
Chairman, Republican Party of Orange County