The endorsement procedure of Republican candidates will include: (1) letter of intent; (2) the screening process; (3) the endorsement meeting of the Central Committee; (4) post- endorsement; (5) Revocation of Endorsement.
Sec. 1 Letters of Intent
When the primary election is held in May, candidates must submit their letters of intent to the Chairman of the Party no later than 45 days prior to the filing deadline for a primary election or the municipal court filing deadline. When the primary election is held prior to May, candidates must submit their letters of intent to the Chairman of the Party no later than 30 days prior to the filing deadline for a primary election or the municipal court filing deadline.
Sec. 2 Screening Committee
The Executive Committee will serve as the Screening Committee. The Chair of the Executive Committee will preside over the Screening Committee. Current office holders, candidates seeking the endorsement for the office, and all parties having a disqualifying conflict of interest will not serve on the screening committee. If the chairman of the Executive Committee can’t serve as chair of the screening committee, the screening committee will elect a chair protem.
The Committee will prepare a questionnaire to be completed by the candidates. The Chairman will distribute completed questionnaires to all central committeemen at least fifteen days prior to the meeting of the Screening Committee. The Screening Committee will meet with each candidate to consider their qualifications.
Eligible endorsement candidates must comply with the published values and beliefs of the Clermont County Republican Party Central Committee. The Screening Committee will determine eligible candidates by majority vote. The Screening Committee will then forward eligible candidates to the Central Committee for endorsement consideration. Candidates will be deemed eligible if they are classified as a Republican by the Board of Elections and meet all legal requirements.
Sec. 3 Central Committee Endorsement Meeting
The Party will conduct a closed endorsement meeting at a meeting facility that is not open to the general public. The endorsement meeting notice will contain a reminder that members must attend the individual candidate’s interrogatory before being permitted to vote on that endorsement. Central Committee members who do not arrive in time to attend the interrogatory will not be permitted to vote on that endorsement.
The endorsement meeting will be only for the endorsement process and must be held no later than fifteen (15) days prior to the primary election or filing deadline for municipal court judge. The rules will be suspended and there will be no reading of the minutes or treasurer’s report. No regular business will be conducted. There will be no nominations, nominating speeches, or seconding speeches from the floor.
Candidates may make a brief statement to the Central Committee. This address will be limited to an appropriate amount of time as determined by the chair, and part of this address must state their reasons for seeking the position and their qualifications. Committee members may ask a limited number of questions. All voting at the endorsement meeting will be by secret ballot unless a candidate has no opposition. Candidates seeking endorsement without opposition may be endorsed by voice vote.
Candidates must receive at least 60% of the vote to be endorsed. First ballots will include an option to vote for “None.” Ballots cast for “None” will be processed the same as ballots cast for candidates. After the first round of voting, if no ballot choice receives at least 60% of the vote, then the two ballot choices receiving the most votes will proceed to a second ballot. If more than one ballot choice receives the second most votes, all ballot choices receiving the second most votes will advance to the second ballot. When the second ballot does not result in a ballot choice receiving at least 60% of the vote, there will be a third and final ballot.
In order for a ballot to be counted, it must be marked for a proposed candidate or “none”. Ballots returned modified, blank, or having anything other than the name of a proposed candidate or “none” for endorsement will be non-votes. The counting of all ballots will be assigned to the tellers committee. Central Committee members voting for endorsement of candidates for the Ohio General Assembly will be limited to those represented by the respective legislative district.
The Clermont County Republican Central Committee may either support or oppose ballot issues based on the values and beliefs of the Clermont County Republican Party. Ballot issue policy will be adopted by the same vote required for endorsement. Issue support or opposition can be included in Clermont County Republican Central Committee publications, including slate cards. Ballot issue policy will not extend to parochial issues.
Sec. 4 Post-Endorsement
Endorsed Republican candidates will have exclusive access to all Party support systems. Where there is an endorsed Republican candidate and unendorsed Republican candidates running for the same position, the unendorsed candidates will have no access, direct or indirect, to any Party support system. No officer or member of the Central or Executive Committee will directly or indirectly make available services paid for, provided, generated, or otherwise organized under the auspices of the Clermont County Republican Party to any unendorsed candidate in a primary or general election in which a candidate for such office has been endorsed by the Clermont County Republican party.
The Executive Committee is authorized to rescind the endorsement of candidates who submit a letter of intent to seek endorsement for a particular office and subsequently seek a different office or have the Board of Elections reject the filed petition. When the Executive Committee rescinds an endorsement or wishes to make a new endorsement due to termination of an endorsed candidacy, the Central Committee may call a special meeting to consider a new endorsement for the office. Nominations at the called special meeting will be from the floor.
The Clermont County Republican Central Committee will publish a slate card setting forth endorsed candidates. The slate cards will be distributed at the polls, mailed, and made available to the voting public by the Clermont County Central Committee. Slate cards must not be altered or edited in any way. In the event of an endorsement change, slate cards will be reprinted.
Sec. 5 Revocation of Endorsement
Endorsements may be revoked at a called special meeting by the same vote requirement by which the endorsement was made. When an endorsement is revoked at a special meeting, the meeting may be adjourned to a continued meeting for the purpose of endorsing another candidate.