Guest column: Re-elect Fleitman and Stuart to Republican State Committee

Jay Fleitman and Mary Lou Stuart are running for Republican State Committee.

Jay Fleitman and Mary Lou Stuart are running for Republican State Committee. CONTRIBUTED

By JAY FLEITMAN AND MARY LOU STUART

Published: 02-23-2024 4:01 PM

The Republican State Committee is the board of directors of the party. It operates like any organizational board; determining policies, direction, approving finances, and electing officers, particularly the chair position. As such, the state committee is the guardian of the party and its principles. It is made up of a man and a woman elected from each State Senate district: ours is the Hampshire Franklin Worcester District.

We are both finishing our first term, and are one of the very few husband/wife teams on the committee. We have been married for 40 years, and have two grown children and three outrageous grandsons.

As is consistent with these times, our party has factions with disagreements that are sometimes passionate. With only 9% of the party enrollment in Massachusetts, we can’t afford to allow these divisions to continue. We are among the very few on the committee who can talk to all sides, and are accepted as honest brokers.

We build bridges, not divisions. It is the members like us that hold the party together. This is why Jay was elected vice-chair of the state party. We also know from polling and our own conversations with many, many voters, that the unaffiliated voters agree with us on a host of issues. They make up 60% of the voters of Massachusetts, and we need to be listening to and talking to them.

Our political service goes back almost 30 years. For our local community, Jay served on the Northampton School Committee and on a School Council. He also was on the Board of Health and served as the chairman for three years. He was the president of the medical staff and was on the board of trustees of our local hospital. He wrote a monthly column for the Daily Hampshire Gazette for almost 10 years. He is the chairman of the Northampton Republican City Committee.

Mary Lou volunteered in the library of one of our elementary schools, worked for the past campaign to fund our high school renovation, and was treasurer of the Northampton Republican City Committee. She just retired as dental director and dentist for a rural community health center, and is now on the Board of Registrars in Northampton. 

In 2009-2010, the two of us took on a campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives, a two-year project in which Jay was the candidate and Mary Lou the treasurer. We both worked intensely on that campaign. After that was over, Jay was elected to be chairman of the Western Mass Republicans, a political action committee managing Republican activity in Hampshire, Hampden, and parts of Franklin counties. Mary Lou was elected Hampshire County chairwoman. This PAC was very successful in offering financial and logistical support to local candidates, and was instrumental in getting many elected. After running the PAC, we both were caucused onto the state committee.

We have been very active on the state committee. In 2020, after the mass media giants clearly worked to tip the presidential election, we approached the then-chairman of the MassGOP and proposed a statewide campaign supporting free speech. He tasked us with the project, and we designed the signs and bumper stickers, worked on their statewide distribution, and directed the outreach to local media.

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We worked within the party to stop internal cancel culture. We collected signatures in five towns for the ballot initiative to stop driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, and collected signatures in five towns for the ballot initiative to require voter ID in Massachusetts.

We have done our duty for candidate recruitment: We recruited Jeffery Raymond of Athol to take on Susannah Whips in 2022, and secured him funding. We helped create the foundation for the Dean Martilli campaign for Congress in 2022. We distributed lawn signs for Geoff Diehl for governor and our other statewide candidates in our locality.

We have pitched in for presidential campaigns. In 2020, it was clear that Donald Trump would not win in Massachusetts, so we spent six weekends before the election driving up into New Hampshire for door knocking. In 2023, we were chosen to co-chair the Ron DeSantis for president campaign in Massachusetts. That national campaign folded, and now we will work for our party’s candidate for president.

We do the hard work; we don’t put on a show. Please vote for us to keep us at it.

Jay Fleitman and Mary Lou Stuart live in Northampton.