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Arkansas PoliticsRead

RPA Congressional Districts Pass Resolution Condemning Proposed Rules Changes

The 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts of the Republican Party of Arkansas overwhelmingly passed a resolution against the two proposed rules changes at their joint congressional meeting in Little Rock on Saturday, February 17, 2023.

The 1st and 2nd Congressional District make up a combined total of 38 out of 75 counties, which is a little over half, otherwise – a majority.

When the Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) has its summer meeting of the State Committee, the committee will vote on two proposals to amend party rules. The proposals and the timing for bringing up the proposals have upset some members of County Committees who have been expressing their concerns.

The proposals amount to a power grab by the State Committee. The proposals limit the authority of Republican County Committees and make it more difficult for the Republican State Convention to adopt platform resolutions and party rules. Together, the proposals amount to an attack on the Republican grassroots.


Proposed Rules Change #1 would stop County Committees from using the motion “Not Recommended,” which shows that at least 2/3rds of the committee members have a problem with a candidate’s status as a Republican candidate. The proposed rule would limit a County Committee’s use of a “not recommended” motion to only candidates for county offices. A County Committee could not use the motion in a State Senate or House of Representatives race or any other race, other than a county race. Under the proposal, the State Committee could not use the motion concerning a candidate for county office.

This proposed rules change is intended to silence County Committees even if the candidate has a serious problem or is a RINO.


Proposed Rule Change #2 would make it harder for the State Convention to amend party rules or the party platform. Currently the State Convention may amend the rules or platform by a majority vote. The proposal would increase the threshold to a 2/3rds vote.

Allowing the State Convention to amend the rules or platform by a majority vote does not appear to be an error or oversight by the drafters of the RPA rules.  It is more likely the threshold was set lower than for the State Committee because of the nature of the State Convention. Raising the vote required for amendment to pass is just one more obstacle for delegates in conducting party business.

Passage of this limitation on the State Convention would set a terrible precedent. What powers might the State Committee want to take away from the State Convention in the future? Remember the State Convention is supposed to be the highest authority, but this precedent would allow the State Committee to reduce or eliminate the convention’s authority.

ICYMI, read our most recent article about these RPA proposed rules changes here: Some Arkansas Republicans Upset By Proposed Party Rule Changes and watch Conduit’s interview with 2nd District Chairwoman Jennifer Lancaster as she shares her thoughts and concerns over the call and proposed rules changes as well as the recent 2024 RPA Standing Committee Appointments: RPA Call to State Meeting and Proposed Rules Changes




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