Dear Members of the State Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Tennessee,
This past week with the announcement of Chairman Devaney's resignation, a whirlwind of political flurry has ensued with various rumors and announcements of potential candidates to fill the role. From elected to sitting SEC members to activists to fundraisers, various names with diverse backgrounds and talents are offering their willingness to serve and would do a good job as Chairperson. However, we as a Party have an excellent opportunity with this decision to change the narrative being cast upon us by those on the left as well as legitimately try and bring unification to a divided Party.
Tennessee is an amazing State filled with amazing citizens who are known for their willingness to Volunteer and participate in the election process. I saw this first hand as I started and organized the Young Republicans of Weakley County in 1999 while I was attending the University of Tennessee at Martin receiving my degree in Communication with a minor in Political Science. As a born Republican growing up in Williamson County, I saw this in all of the actions of my mother’s friends but I did not get to experience this as an adult until I joined the Republican Women of Williamson County in 2003 and later was honored to serve on the Board of the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women as their Press Secretary. As my journey in life continued and I married, I was quick to join the Republican Party of Sumner County and joined their County Party Board after successfully running or coordinating many of the local Republican races including the successful County Commission campaign of my husband and your SEC colleague, Chris Hughes. I can honestly say I have experienced the structure of the Tennessee Republican Party at every level and respect the important role each play. I was born Right, raised Right and will always fight for what is Right.
But while I was able to observe amazing Leadership in these various roles, it was really my work in the grassroots where my political philosophies were most shaped. In fact, this was where I met most of you and our friendships formed. Whether it was the reelect W bus tour I helped the Victory campaign coordinate in 2004, which gave me the great opportunity to travel to almost every County and hold great rallies or the various State House or Senate races I was able to help - including fundraisers, meet and greets, strategy sessions or general media pushes by being a part of the Steve Gill Show, The Phil Valentine Show, The Michael Berry Show and the Mark Skoda Show for over a decade. We all know the incredible power of talk radio in Tennessee and I am very proud of how these shows helped defeat unpopular policies and elect great Representation.
It was here that I learned that the most important part of being in elected office is TRUST. Trust that your representative body is carrying out the wishes of the people. Trust that time, effort, and financial resources are being valued and not wasted. Trust that good is being done and in the best interest of the people and that transparency is a priority.
My second lesson was that people want RESPECT. Regardless of status in life, age or even differing opinion, respect needs to be present and sincere in all interactions. We are truly the Party of diversity of opinion and all opinions within the GOP should be brought to the table equally with hope of finding common ground to build on.
The third lesson is the value of COMMUNICATION which is a key element if you want to build trust and have respect for the people you represent or you work with. Tennesseans are the #1 asset to the Republican Party and by giving them information, we are showing our appreciation for their hard work and motivating them to continue.
I am a woman who lives by the conviction of putting action behind the words we speak and when given the opportunity one should not pass up. Hence, why when approached to consider running for Chairman, I knew this was an opportunity I needed to seriously consider. I love my current work as News Director for an online media company (TPNN.com) which has allowed me to tackle politics, pop culture and business on the national media scene and with many national organizations but I never miss an opportunity to brag on the amazing spirit and stories of my home state and share the political happenings.
Ultimately, when you pick a Chairman I hope you look at their past but more importantly what their plan for the future is and do they have the ability to achieve those goals. My vision would be simple:
- First: Bring the party together to win. No more infighting. We need peace in our County Parties and need to find common threads to tie them together for a stronger bond. I can honestly say I represent both sides of the party and view each side fairly and equally.
- Second: Raise more money than TN GOP has ever raised. I have been blessed to make several national contacts who I believe should have more involvement in our State and I promise to meet personally with the major donors here in Tennessee and find new ones. I also promise to find ways to recruit new donors at all levels and I believe we do this by communicating where their dollars are being responsibly spent to further the goals of the TN GOP as laid out by the SEC.
- Third: Implement the most cutting edge new media strategy the party has ever seen. Including social media, email, TV, Streaming video, Teletown halls. Build the party from the ground up. Recruit and involve the next generation of Republicans and channel their passion and creativity to achieve success for our candidates.
- Fourth: Highlight and share the success we achieve here in Tennessee with the National media and be a major partner in helping the RNC reclaim the White House after the primaries are finished. I am a firm believer in trickle down politics and the actions of our elected officials on the national level do affect us at home.
- Fifth: To honor the role of the State Executive Committee as the representatives of the citizens who elected you. The Chairman is acting at the power of the Board and I believe all decisions should be ruled on exactly as the bylaws of the TNGOP state. Any "gray" areas will be decided by the SEC and properly added at the next meeting. My life is an open book and my interactions are as well. If you have nothing to hide, then you don't need to close your door. I would keep this same theory unless in situations which need discretion because they involve private matters.
Over the next week, I will be upholding my promise to my family to completely disconnect from my professional life and spend some much deserved time focused on them. Because of the truncated schedule before the April 11 Special Call Meeting, the timing is not the best, but like all of you, family is priority and no position is important enough to break a promise to my husband and children. There is no cookie cutter GOP family today and I believe we need to appeal to these families and resist the urge to insult either the mother or father roles as I can personally sympathize to the stresses it takes to provide for a family in today's economy. More women (even those with young children) find themselves working in and out of the home and my job the past few months has called for me to be in New York City, advocating for our foundational conservative ideals during the week. Hence, why the next 8 days I must fulfill my promise and I ask for your prayers as I will use this time to make a decision regarding my running for Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party. I ask for your patience, your guidance and your support should I seek this great honor.
Scottie Nell Hughes