Even with the changing political landscape throughout Wisconsin, Waukesha County has remained the largest concentration of Conservative votes that essentially offset the Liberal haven of Dane County. This has continued, in large part, due to the competent leadership of Waukesha County GOP Chairman, Terry Dittrich and the rest of his leadership team.
Under Dittrich’s leadership, using successful ‘outside-the-box’ tactics like the WisRed Initiative, Waukesha County Conservatives have thrived and have been able to win 252 out of 272 Municipal races. On top of that, Waukesha County state legislative representatives are now ALL Republican. THIS WORK NEEDS TO BE REPLICATED STATEWIDE.
Waukesha County is incredibly important to our Legislative majorities and to winning statewide elections. In a climate where Republicans and Conservatives have lost 19 statewide races lately, Waukesha County has still been our biggest ‘silver lining.’
Sadly, some people teamed up and decided to challenge Terry Dittrich. Certainly, it was their prerogative to challenge and I fully support the rights of ANYONE to challenge Republican leadership at any level, at any time.
As you may already know, I am no stranger to taking on Republican Party leadership when necessary. I fully supported efforts to change leadership in Dane and Milwaukee Counties because of pathetic track records. Those much-needed challenges were welcome.
This challenge to Dittrich baffled me. Why would anyone want to derail such a successful track record? I recently wrote about this unexpected challenge and gave some thoughts as to why.
After a ‘procedural’ delay, because WISGOP was behind schedule on approving the new Waukesha County GOP Constitution, the 2023 Caucus was finally held. This was the moment where members would choose to continue and grow the unswerving Republican success of Waukesha County or to effectively derail most of the successful gains of the past few years.
Throughout the night, emotions were high and there were some heated exchanges. Unfortunately, there were also some over-the-top comments from people, on both sides. I really felt for Rep. Scott Allen, who did an awesome job of ‘herding cats’ and eventually, the arguments stopped and voting proceeded.
Thankfully, the members at Caucus voted in favor of continued success and Terry Dittrich DECISEVELY won re-election with an astonishing 190-41 vote count. I’d say the members spoke LOUDLY.
Terry Dittrich had not only displayed incredible leadership but when faced with a challenger, he conducted himself ethically and with humility. At no point did he act like he was beyond contestation. Nobody was publically chastised for challenging his leadership, nobody had their memberships canceled, and they were ALL allowed to participate at Caucus.
Just look at how other party leaders behaved when they were faced with challenges. Leaders in Dane, Milwaukee, and Racine Counties acted like spoiled, entitled ‘aristocrats’ when challenged.
In his speech, Dittrich talked about the successful track record and also praised the efforts of many others, including praising some Young Republicans who were openly against him. That showed class.
Even though many of the ‘Young Republicans are indeed hard workers, I must call out the contingent of Young Republicans who did something truely classless at caucus.
Most of them refused to stand during an ovation for Judge Jennifer Dorow when she was praised for her positive campaign and for IMMEDIATELY ENDORSING and supporting Dan Kelly. It’s sad that they acted like spoiled, entitled children even when their chosen candidate won. But that’s a whole other topic.
Perhaps they should learn from Dan Kelly’s example, he went to Jennifer Dorow and cordially shook her hand and said hello. It was a refreshing exchange after a hard fought Primary and I am glad it happened. It’s what adults do. He gets it, why don’t they?
In the end, we must acknowledge there are a few people who clearly have some concerns and I hope that Terry Dittrich extends the opportunity to listen and find a way to work together so we can focus on the cause of winning elections. Knowing Terry Dittrich, I have no doubt he will.
This is not about ‘spiking the ball’ or bragging, it’s about staying on this successful trajectory. In the end, WINNING is all that matters, fragile ego’s do not. There is simply too much at stake and we need EVERYONE involved. It’s ALL HANDS ON DECK!
Congratulations to Terry Dittrich, Chris Slinker, and the rest of the leadership team for working hard to win, I have no doubt the hard work will continue.
Now with the virtual certainty that Waukesha County will continue to be that Conservative stronghold that the state depends on, we can shift focus on the new leadership teams in Milwaukee and Dane Counties and help them to quickly get on track after years of stagnation.
We cannot stop, the fight goes on, and the Waukesha County Republican is still ‘LEADING THE WAY.’