Flagler County, FL – If there’s one thing the 2020 election cycle revealed, it was that there are A LOT of different opinions out there – even when under the same umbrella.
On the conservative side, Flagler County is home to a Republican Executive Committee, the Flagler County Republican Club, the Flagler County Teenage Republicans, the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Flagler County, and now, the Flagler County GOP – or Grand Order of the Pachyderm.
Launched by immediate past chair of the Flagler County Republican Executive Committee Jearlyn Dennie, and charted by National Federation of the Grand Order of Pachyderm Clubs, it’s a chance for Dennie to address what she saw as missed opportunities while leading Flagler’s Republican Party.
“I realized that there was a need for this type of open communication, this type of open dialogue, and in that position I wasn’t able to do it,” said Dennie.
Serving as the first Black woman in the state to chair a county’s Republican Party, she’s on the forefront of leading the efforts to engage voters beyond the traditional Republican circles. Recently back from working the special election for U.S. Senate in Atlanta, Georgia and focusing on policy issues like prolife, sex trafficking and school choice, Dennie says it’s about connecting with people through the issues.
Invited to speak to Republican clubs and organizations across the state since her return, she’s encouraging conservatives to reach out and get engaged with communities outside of their immediate comfort zone.
“How do you change hearts and minds if you’re preaching to the choir?” she asked. “I believe the conservative way is the best way for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to listen to what someone else has to say because everyone has some type of value somewhere. Otherwise, how are we going to get along.”
Offering a new option for conservatives and modeled after civic organizations, the Pachyderm Club will meet twice a month. The second Tuesday of each month will serve as a luncheon, with the fourth Tuesday of the month serving as an afterhours meeting.
“We’re hoping to attract the attention of people who would like to participate in the political process,” said Dennie. “We’re promoting education and that’s something we don’t have. No one really knows about the policies and no one knows about the politics. We’re promoting active citizen involvement in politics.”
Set to host Flagler County Supervisor of Elections Kaiti Lenhardt as the first luncheon speaker at the Hilton Garden Inn, Palm Coast on April 13th, the speaker topic will focus on election integrity, still a hot button issue for voters.
“People need to know the truth,” said Dennie. “Who stole the election, who didn’t steal the election, exactly what happened, and more importantly what happened here in Flagler County.”
On April 27th, Maryann Pistilli, a Trump Victory Florida heavyweight and voter registration guru will be the evening’s guest speaker, according to Dennie.
“It’s her program and platform that the state used to register voters,” shared Dennie. “I’m so excited to have her because she is the one that registered a ton of voters for us.”
As for who’s invited to join the organization, those seeking the $45 annual membership must be registered Republicans, but guests are always welcome to attend.
“Guided by the principles of the Republican Party, a small group of us got together and decided to start this organization in Flagler County, “said Dennie, encouraged to affect change after the upset of the 2020 election.
“We need more active citizens in politics, so The Pachyderm Club is not just another political club. With a firm Republican orientation, we bring new vigor to the political life of our community.”