Local Republicans want more women, minorities and college-aged voters

The La Crosse County Republican Party met today at its annual caucus.

The big focus today was strategizing how to win over a new type of voter.

Dozens of local Republicans met at Shenanigans on French Island to discuss political strategy.

With former Gov. Scott Walker’s loss to Gov. Tony Evers, local Republicans are hoping to win over more women, minorities and college-aged voters.

Bill Feehan, the chairman of the La Crosse County Republican Party, says the GOP has to expand its base.

“Today’s really important. We have some lessons that we have to learn from our defeat at the statewide level last November. We need to do better in cities, we need to do better with women voters and we need to do better with younger voters,” Feehan said.

And Feehan thinks he knows how to do it.

“We have to have messengers for the party that look more like the people that we’re trying to get to vote for us, so that means minority outreach. It means having more women in leadership and more women running for offices across the state,” Feehan said.

Kerri Seyfert, the chair of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse College Republicans, thinks it’s going to be a lot of work, but she’s optimistic.

“I do think it’ll be a long process, but I have seen the conservative movement, especially among younger voters, really start to build up the last couple of years,” Seyfert said.

Brandon Hawn, vice chair of the UW-La Crosse College Republicans, said a lot of students have never even considered voting Republican.

“I think a lot of college students have this idea that Republicans are old, rich, white people- who don’t care about college students,” Hawn said.

Hawn thinks the best way to get them on board is by focusing on financial issues.

“As vice chair of the College Republicans, I approach people with the issues that are important to college students. So that’s going to be your tuition, that’s going to be your health care, that’s going to be your job market,” Hawn said.

Even if people aren’t entirely happy with the party, Feehan is still encouraging them to join and make their voices heard.

“I wish more people would take the opportunity to be involved in our political process. People complain all the time about what’s wrong with the parties, but nothing’s ever going to change unless they decide to come and be a part of it,” Feehan said.

Even though Walker lost his election, the La Crosse Republican Party said it was a close race and they’re optimistic about the future.

The La Crosse County Republicans also elected local officers to the party and discussed what resolutions to send to the 3rd District.

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