La Crosse County GOP opens new office
Feb 10, 2013 (La Crosse Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The La Crosse County Republican Party celebrated the opening of a new office Saturday at 40 Copeland Ave.
The office will be staffed by volunteers and focus on community engagement, said Julian Bradley, the county party's chairman.
"This gives an opportunity to really get out and talk to people and build up that voter base for 2014," he said.
The group decided that it needed more boots on the ground during the electoral off-season, when it's easier to communicate clearly without constant political messaging, Bradley said.
"The most effective form of campaigning or recruitment is door to door, face to face," he said. "There's nothing like being able to talk one on one."
Former Republican state Sen. Dan Kapanke agreed.
"The work of winning elections doesn't start a few months before elections," he said. "It starts several months and years before. The groundwork needs to be laid."
Kapanke also emphasized the need for consistent staffing.
"Having regular hours and having volunteers is so very critical," he said.
The office is funded by the county GOP and leased on a month-to-month basis. Bradley expected that the party would evaluate its effectiveness in the spring and likely consider closing it during the summer.
"We're going to take a look at 'is it keeping busy,'" he said. "We definitely think it's worth giving it a shot."
La Crosse Democrats are also focusing on early election efforts.
The state party recently announced plans to house a political director in La Crosse and use the city as a base to reach out to rural southwestern Wisconsin.
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