VT GOP has contested race for national committeeman

By Guy Page

Two Vermont Republican Party leaders are vying for election as Vermont’s male representative to the Republican National Committee.

Rick Cochran, a West Danville resident and business owner, Caledonia County Republican Party Chair, and co-chair of the Vermont Make America Great Again (MAGA) campaign, is challenging incumbent, RNC vice-chair, and longtime GOP activist Jay Shepard, an Essex Junction businessman and media consultant and personality, for the four year, unpaid post of Vermont’s National Committeeman. Suzanne Butterfield is running unopposed as National Committeewoman.

Rick Cochran

The election for national convention delegates — including National Committeeman — was to be held at the party State Convention of town delegates on Saturday, May 16. However the gathering was cancelled due to the coronavirus.

The 480 delegates (already selected at town caucuses) will vote instead by mailed ballots. Ballots will go in the mail Wednesday, April 29. Ballots must be returned by no later than May 14. The ballots will be counted (using social distancing) by State Chair Deb Billado and three others on May 15. Voters will also choose (from among 41 candidates) 14 national delegates and 14 alternates to the national convention.

Shepard was elected National Committeeman for Vermont in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. He currently serves as RNC Vice Chair serving on the Executive Committee and as a member of the Rules Committee. Shepard has also been National Director of Catholic Engagement for the RNC.  He has attended the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Republican National Conventions serving on the Platform Committee, The Committee on Permanent Organization and the RNC Committee on Arrangements.

Shepard serves on President Trump’s Catholic Advisory Committee.  He gave the prime time invocation on the night President Trump and Vice President Pence were officially nominated at the 2016 Convention.

In Vermont, Shepard serves on the VTGOP State Committee and the VTGOP Executive Committee, and is an active member of his Republican Town and County Committees.  He has served as a media advisor on U.S Senate, U.S. Congressional, Gubernatorial, various state-wide and legislative races.

Jay Shepard

Shepard, and his wife Eileen, are owners of Junction Consulting LLC; a marketing and advertising firm specializing in creating, producing and delivering corporate and political messaging. He is also a partner in a Behavioral Science Research Firm.

The Shepards have two adult daughters, a son-in-law and two grandchildren. His supporters among Vermont Republicans who informed Vermont Daily of their support for Sheppard include Lawrence Zupan, 2018 nominee for US Senate, and 2018 Fairfax House of Representatives nominee Mary Beerworth.

Cochran is backed by Republican leaders including Orleans County Chair Chet Greenwood and former Vermont State Senator and GOP nominee for State Treasurer Wendy Wilton of Rutland.

As CEO of Advanced Mobile Solutions, a mobile medical facilities provider, Cochran was named Vermont and National Small Business Person of the Year in 2011. In a letter to GOP county chairs, Cochran builds his platform on two main planks: accountability and fundraising.

“Here are a couple of key points that like President Trump I commit to you that will be my “promises made and promises kept,”  Cochran writes. “First it is important that you have regular updates from my efforts.  Over the many years of involvement with our Party it has been a rare occasion that we have had a glimpse into what our National Committeeman even does. I intend to change the many years of mystique and intrigue.  In fact, as a positive measure I have spoken with Chair Deb Billado about the possibility of having a corner on the website along with the ability to have her include updates of what my meetings are about to our entire Republican members.  Everyone should have visibility and a trip report after each RNC meeting.“

We need to be consistently endeavoring to bring RNC funds to Vermont,” Cochran continues. “Chair Billado did a great job at this last year.  I want to help her and our Party by being that critical interface to help support Vermont.  Our State Party needs all the funding support we can find and creative efforts to make a positive difference.  This will continue to be an important element of this position and you will know how we are doing because I commit to report on the steps being taken as I work to gain more financial support.”

Cochran, along with Greenwood and Laura Benner a MAGA co-chair, pledged to continue strong support for President Trump. Shepard has been an enthusiastic and vocal backer of the president on his frequent appearances on “Kurt and Marcus in the Morning “ on WVMT.

Read more of Guy Page’s reports.

Image courtesy of Vermont Republican Party

12 thoughts on “VT GOP has contested race for national committeeman

  1. I still vividly recall the treatment Ruth Dwyer received at the hands of establishment Republicans in this state, how they resorted to ad hominems and undermined her campaign at every juncture and by a multitude of means, even though she was the candidate favored by the majority of rank & file Republicans statewide. The establishment RINOs must be driven out of the party, and this is a good place to start. Lets make Cochran the national committeeman.

    • Seems like there has been division for awhile huh?

      Reagan won in Vermont if I recall, Snelling and Jim Douglas. I don’t think I’d consider them rinos. Rinos and progressives (Marxist) hiding under the umbrella of the Democrats are a serious problem to our republic, without question.

      Their is a Vermont issue, being a RINO isn’t the answer, though it has kept a few in office as of late, but really they aren’t for freedom or a republic, certainly not fiscal sanity.

      We need some wins, even small ones on which to build. I believe their is path in which unites people without selling your soul and brings people in, exposing the liars with their own words and deeds, dividing their house not ours.

  2. What is the pitch to national?

    Why would it benefit national to even look at Vermont?

    What does Vermont offer national?

  3. Could they expand and define the Vermont problem? Could they articulate and there by perhaps address our issues particular to Vermont, such that national may help us?

    It’s not only money. If we solve our problem, we have also solved our national problem. We are the tip of the spear, the incubator in many instances?

    How do they see us working in cooperation to solve our problems and a national issue too?

  4. Clearly two fine candidates. Questions for the candidates.

    How are they going to address the Vermont Problem? What is their plan for Vermont? What is going to change from the National level with regards to Vermont?

    What do people think and these two candidates believe will be the Vermont Vote today with Trump vs Biden? How will Vermonters vote? Why will Vermonters vote the way they do?

    What are you going to ask of the National Committee?

    A Vermont contingent has stood by and delivered an unwavering, unflappable support to their GOP candidates year after year, through goog times and bad. A solid 30-35%.

    How are we to bring about change with a minority? It can be done. What is our plan?

  5. Among the reasons I am supporting Jay Shepard for Republican National Committeeman is the connections he has made across the country over the years as well as his ability to leverage those connections to the benefit of Vermonters – whether he is on the radio espousing Republican principles or working diligently behind the scenes.

  6. If Shepard is such “an outspoken voice for Republican principles,” where is his voice? Why hasn’t he denounced illegal immigration? Why hasn’t he derided Scott for his unconstitutional Wuhan virus actions, his restrictions on the 2nd Amendment and Article 16, his passing of an abominable bill to kill babies, his support for restrictions on personal property rights? Moreover, he has not demonstrated any support for the President, his silence implying that he rather sides with Scott, Mitt Romney, and the Democrats in opposition to Trump’s goals. Cochran might be a newcomer, but he shows more signs of real support for traditional GOP ideals than what passes for standards among the establishment Republicans in this state and he therefore has my full support.

  7. Jay Shepard has done a great job for Vermont Republicans. He has been an outspoken voice for Republican principles through his many media appearances. Jay has also been present at Republican State Committee meetings to provide updates and information about what is happening with the Party at the National level – fulfilling a key responsibility of being National Committeeman. Anyone who hasn’t had “a glimpse” into what Jay has done as National Committeeman must have their eyes closed.

    • If Shepard is such “an outspoken voice for Republican principles,” where is his voice? Why haven’t we heard him denounce illegal immigration & sanctuary cities? Why hasn’t he derided Phil Scott for his totalitarian exercise of power over the Wuhan virus, his infringements upon the 2nd Amendment & Article 16, his signing of a bill to allow killing babies even at birth, his intent to restrict personal property right? He seems more than content to render silent support for Scott, Romney, and the Democrats in their designs, especially opposing President Trump. Cochran might be a relative newcomer, but he shows signs of strong disagreement with Vermont’s establishment GOP members and that makes him the right man for the position.

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