Daniel T. Riley has declared his candidacy for the Vermont Republican Party chairmanship. Riley, formerly the Bennington County Republican chairman, has a strong political background.
Riley's politcal move comes at a time when many Vermont voters are disgruntled by Democrats and the health-care debacle. Record numbers of Vermonters have attended tea party protest rallies in Montpelier, Burlington and Rutland in recent months. The rallies have received scant news coverage in the state.
In 2000, Riley coordinated U.S. Sen. John McCain's campaign in the First Congressional District of New York and became a delegate to the Republican National Convention that same year. Since then he has been active in Republican politics consulting various organizations and campaigns.
"Chairman Rob Roper has decided to move on and will be missed. He has made great strides during his tenure-no small feat considering the political climate he has been working in. Rob helped unite us as a party and make sure our incumbents had the GOP support they needed to get re-elected last year. We are all grateful for his commitment and sacrifice. It would be an honor and privilege to continue and further where Rob is leaving off.
Riley said, "State Auditor Tom Salmon, undoubtedly one of the best financial minds in Montpelier, said it best during his departure from the Democratic Party-'The majority of Vermonters do not want to see tax increases as a response to poor planning.'"
Vermont Republicans will continue to present common sense solutions to the challenges of our state's future and we believe that the majority of Vermonters will agree, particularly on economic issues.
Gov. Jim Douglas, Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, State Auditor Salmon, and the Republicans in the legislature have been seen as unwavering in their positions about reducing state spending and economic growth to ease the burden on hard-working Vermonters, especially in these tough times.
Riley will be advising Republican candidates next year to initiate direct voter contact as much as possible and engage our Democratic opponents on issues as often as possible. "I will work with our county committees and our candidates to make sure the people hear our solutions loud and clear," he said.
Riley's strategy for the Vermont Republican Party's future success hinges on a strong grassroots campaigning effort, which he acknowledges the Democrats have done a good job at in recent years. He is also steadfast about building more of a team atmosphere amongst the GOP ranks and to expand the size the team in the coming years.
"The young and college Republican organizations are on an unprecedented upswing and we need to continue to foster that growth -they are the future of the GOP."
Riley has been traveling around the state during the past month engaging in discussion about his ideas for the future of the Vermont GOP: "It has been invigorating meeting, speaking with, and listening to fellow Republicans across the state. Their commitment, drive and energy are truly motivating and inspiring to me. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and spending time campaigning with them next year."
Riley believes the next leader of the Vermont Republican Party is going to have to possess strong political skill, political will, energy, drive, and determination to guide the GOP back to a majority.
"I am not going to take anything for granted and plan to continue campaigning to be the next chair of the Vermont Republican Party until the vote on Nov. 14," he said.