By Cheri Lane, West Navarro County Reporter,
Exclusive to the NavCo Chronicle
On March 20, the Navarro County Republican Executive Committee presented guest speaker, Robert Bennett, discussing the value of starting a Young Republican Group in Navarro County. The meeting was held at the Republican Party of Navarro County headquarters, located at 111 W. Third Avenue.
Bennett is the Vice Chair of the Smith County Young Republicans and East Texas Director for the statewide Young Republicans program. His impactful presentation was well-received by not only committee members, but also elected officials and guests.
Among attendees were County Commissioner Precinct 3, Eddie Moore, and Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, Greta Jordan. Others included Mike Fletcher, candidate for Corsicana Mayor, and Scott Gilfillan, Communications Director for Representative Jake Ellzey.
Bennett has been a lifelong resident of Corsicana and Navarro County, and also now in Tyler, where he attends the University of Texas. Current he is running for Student Government Association President. He is working to expand the chapters of the Young Republicans, both in numbers as well as locations, with a special focus on including outreach efforts in rural areas, where younger voters do not have as many involvement opportunities. Bennett stated, “One of the best ways to get involved as a young person is within political parties. There is a lot of networking and opportunities that can happen within that organization, which may include finding a career path or leading to greater things than just that.” Bennett explained that the benefit is for everyone. He said, “Younger voters being involved energizes those groups of people voting, campaigning, and working at the polls. Right now, we can be building a volunteer base, and filling these chairs with involved young groups, with interests tailored to Navarro County needs.”
The only requirement for Young Republicans membership is to be within the age range of 18 to 40 years. Those outside of the age parameter may join as associate members. There must be ten members to start a new group. Bennett indicated that state-wide support is available. He explained how the nearby Ellis County Young Republicans group can be instrumental in helping to plan events to promote awareness, and also identify interested persons in targeted precincts, specifically for that demographic, and including important outlying areas.
Bennett answered questions and facilitated discussion regarding ideas to build interest and to help young people get involved, starting with initial events to bring awareness and identify interest in the organization. He further discussed issues that are concerning college-age and young families, including debt relief and education. He outlined the next action items for starting a new group in Navarro County. He expressed, “We have an opportunity to see a future here in Navarro County, and to identify 18-to-40-year old’s who would be interested in starting a new group.” He shared that groups meet either monthly or quarterly, according to needs, and also host community-building and social events. They come together, often with their young families, to share community and build camaraderie.
Additionally, consideration of endorsement of Mike Fletcher’s candidacy for Mayor of Corsicana was approved, as of this meeting. As retired Store Director of over twenty years of experience, Fletcher indicated, “After 20 years here at the Corsicana store, I have met a lot of great people that I did not know, and I feel uniquely qualified for this position. HEB has a bigger budget than the city and hires more employees than the city. There is a lot to love and a lot of things that need to be fixed.”
For more information on upcoming events, or to get involved, contact the Republican Party of Navarro County at 903-872-6287.