The Republican National Committee just launched a new limited series called Lead Right, which showcases the foot soldiers to the RNC as the 2018 election cycle begins to heat up. The news media has an almost dogmatic presupposition that the GOP is an all-male and an all-white party. Yeah, it sounds good on a mailer. It reads perfectly on a voicemail script for phone calls. It’s perfect for neighborhood canvassers to tell voters as they knock on doors. It’s also total garbage.
The RNC just highlighted two women Kristy Wilkinson and Carrie Tucker, who are the party’s Texas state director and national field director respectively.
Tucker is the first person to ever hold that position within the RNC. She’s a key player in the development and execution of grassroots strategies to help turnout GOP voters on Election Day. Right now, she has at least 20 states on her slate in a year when Democratic enthusiasm is sky high, though infighting could cannibalize electoral movement on that front. Edith Jorge, the RNC’s Director for Strategic Initiatives, said Tucker and her husband made the decision to move to D.C. from North Carolina a year ago to help the party keep their majorities in 2018. She’s in constant contact with the party’s grassroots network.
In the Lone Star State, Kristy Wilkinson, the RNC state director, and Tucker, should be popping some champagne over the primary results. The media and Democratic operatives were going gah-gah over the early voting results and the enthusiasm on their side. In the end, the GOP broke another record in the state, casting at least 500,000 more votes than Democrats in the gubernatorial primary. The Texas turning blue narrative had its throat slit once again. Beto O’Rourke, the Democrat challenging Ted Cruz, won weird Austin (not a shocker), but had a dismal showing in the rural parts of the state. Other Democratic races are heading into a runoff; prolonging Democratic campaign expenditures and keeping the progressive-establishment rift wide open.
Jorge said this is Wilkinson’s third move in the last couple of years. Her job is to work with the RNC to implement the field program in her state to turn out the Republican vote.
Wilkinson and Tucker have one thing in common: hard work ethic. Tucker was raised in a single parent household run by her mom whose work ethic had profound impact on her life from an early age. She noted that when she needed money for her extracurricular activities growing up, she worked hard to be able to pay those fees. She viewed it as her responsibility.
Wilkinson sees her role as a football coach in one of the most competitive games in America that doesn’t require you to wear cleats. Her family, on her dad's side, is very much pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, which influenced her as she sharked her way up the ranks in politics. She admits that she may not be the smartest person in the room with a fancy Ivy League degree, but Wilkinson is adamant that she’ll outwork you. Her roots in the GOP stem from school choice; Wilkinson has audio-visual discrimination disorder and without school choice—and a mother who understood the dynamics of this issue—she feels she wouldn’t have been able to have the career that she has today.
The values that come from working hard and having a strong bond with ones family is not race-specific. These are universal principles that anyone can embody and relate to on a daily basis. You can see how important the role of family and hard work has played with Wilkinson and Tucker, who would not be able to do their jobs in this business without such values instilled in them at a young age.
The series offers a window into the rank-and-file within the RNC, where those calling the plays are not the stereotypical caricatures that liberal Democrats and their allies in the media disseminate on a daily basis. If Democrat fall short in 2018, and it’s a possibility, it’ll be because Tucker, Wilkinson, and others worked hard to deliver the stone from which the Left can etch their political epitaph this cycle. It may come as a shock to some progressives, but there are a lot of GOP women—and some are working to eviscerate the Democrats in the midterms.