Kory Boone is among the people running for the Chair of the Maryland Young Republicans, for the election this year, along with Kristen Long and, presumably, the current MDYR Chair Brian Griffith.
I interviewed Kory Boone this weekend.
He's 33, works in IT for a law firm in Georgetown, and is currently the Communications Chair of the DC Young Republicans. He was previously a candidate for State Senate in MD-25, deep-blue Prince George's County, and is a member of the Prince George's Central Committee. In interesting bit of coincidence, he goes to the same large church as the head of the Maryland Young Democrats, and is a bit frustrated with the comparative levels of success between the two groups.
Mr. Boone feels that the Maryland Young Republicans are "pretty much extinct" and in "very bad shape." Under the previous Chair of the Maryland Young Republicans, Nicolee Ambrose, the MD YRs were one of the top YR chapters in the country, and the MD YRs have fallen to the bottom.
His goals as MD YR Chair would be multi-faceted. His first goal is to expand the board from the absolute minimum four position, (Chair, treasurer and National Committee Man/Woman) to a complete board, with Chairs for Communications, Events, and Regional Chairs. The objective is to have the resources to provide support for local candidates
Following the establishment of a real board, he would focus on developing the YRs in both Western Maryland and the Eastern shore, as those are solid GOP areas with plenty of people to recruit into the YRs. Mr. Boone is also looking to actually do events and promote the club and party. He's already got his eye on the Preakness and Orioles games.
Generally, his focus will be on supporting the party and our candidates. He was disappointed with the absence of the YRs during the recent election, not even then-candidate Larry Hogan received support from the MD YRs. But getting candidates elected is the entire purpose of the YRs.
I asked him about the disgusting censorship of Kristen Long within the Baltimore YRs, and while Mr. Boone was unaware of that specific instance, he made clear that only the board of the YRs should be expected support the Club's official stances, but sanctions against regular members for deviating from the Party Line was inappropriate.
Mr. Boone objects to the current joke status of the MD YRs and seeks to change it. The current Chair has taken the MD YRs from one of the best to one of the worst. He's bothered that the MD YRs didn't support the Governor's campaign.
He already has experience as Communications Chair for the DC YRs, which has 300+ members and a mailing list of 1600+ people. The District's YRs support both local and non-local candidates, have the resources to take some trips, and generally be a serious player in the political field. He's also working on the MDGOP hospitality suite for CPAC, as well.
Mr. Boone believes that the MD YRs need leadership, and that he has the skills necessary to provide it.
The MDYRs are a joke. The last post on the official Facebook page is from 2011, and regular members are not allowed to post. The official website, mdyrs.org, consists almost exclusively of commentary, statements and letters by the current Chair, Brian Griffiths, with no updates at all after 2013. That means nothing about the Governor's race or the general election. No primary results or campaign notes either. No candidate forums, debates, or anything. Nothing.
I've also heard from multiple groups and leaders within the party that the MDYRs are to be avoided, as the current Chair is worse than useless, he's actively harmful to event organization and support. While Griffiths won't talk to me anymore, I was able to have several conversations with him before I knew who he was (And even before he dismissed me as "irrelevant"). I found him to be an egotistical, smug, blame-shifting coward who, during our conversation at the 2013 MDYR convention, threw the very organization he leads under the bus multiple times, dismissing both it and the national YRs as a joke and a waste of time.
My personal opinion is that Brian Griffiths wants to be in charge of a nothing organization for the sole purpose of calling himself "Chairman". In fact, he would rather the organization be a nothing, as that means he doesn't actually have to do anything or work to protect his position but still gets to call himself "Chairman".
Kristin Long, unfortunately, has already shown a penchant for bridge-burning and self-dealing that would prevent the MDYRs from growing beyond very basic levels. It would be counter-productive to elect someone who is already corrupt, even before being elected to the top leadership position.
The election is in, to my knowledge, June, and I do not know if anyone else is running. As of now, Mr. Boone seems to be the only serious person in the race. The MDYRs have an incredible opportunity to build their organization in the wake of Gov. Hogan's victory, and I hope he will help. But for that to matter, the MDYRs need real leadership.
If you are not a member of the MDYRs and are between the ages of 18-40 and a registered Republican, sign up here and vote in the June election. If you know someone who is, get them on board. We need to take this opportunity to build as much of the party as we can, and the first step to building the YRs is to elect someone who gives a damn.
UPDATE: Kristen Long informs me that she is running for Vice-Chair, not Chair.