Ronald Reagan club plans to field candidates for 2016

By: 
Apr. 30, 2015

The Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly is not the same thing as the Republican Executive Committee. The RRRA president, Mike McElroy, just called me to make sure that was clear. I feel that we have done a pretty good job of keeping the two straight, but it’s indicative of the heat that’s been felt by the RRRA that the distinction needed to be made.

He estimates that of the 80 or so members of the REC, which is the Republican group that has the authority from the state party to charter other Republican clubs in the county, only a “significant minority” are RRRA members.

And although both the Flagler County and Palm Coast Republican clubs have been disbanded, there is a new one to take their place: The Flagler Republican Social Club. The president is Ron Radford, and, according to McElroy, they have close to 100 members already.

What is the reputation of the Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly?

“On the whole, it’s good, but if I read certain media, and I talk to certain establishment Republicans, they’re not happy with it,” McElroy said. “Conservatives generally get a bad rap. It’s not a fashionable or politically correct view. There are Republicans, including elected Republicans, who are not conservative.”

I asked him which local Republicans are not truly conservative, and he said, “I wouldn’t term many of them conservative in the manner in which I’m conservative, let’s put it that way. I think we’re in a county where there are many conservatives, and I think the conservatives don’t take a poor view of the Ronald Reagan Republican club, but there are many Republicans who consider themselves moderates, or who don’t care for the conservative philosophies.”

Are you planning to run for any office in 2016?

McElroy ran for a seat on the Flagler County School Board in 2014 and lost by 58 votes.

“My interest was in the School Board,” he said. “That district woudln’t come up until four more years, in 2018. I’m not a young man (he’s 63). If I’m still around and healthy then, I may run.”

When he lost and didn’t ask for a recount, I speculated that he might be interested in running for sheriff in 2016, considering he has a law enforcement background, but he again said that he’s not planning to run.

“I had 40 years in law enforcement,” he said. “If I liked law enforcement, I could haven’t stayed where I was.”

Will the RRRA promote any candidates in 2016, as it did in 2014?

“We’ve been discussing hopefully finding conservative candidates for our views for various positions,” he said. “We don’t want to quit trying. We feel that we are an alternative voice to what’s here and established.”

Who are those candidates going to be?

“Too early to say,” he said.