EXCLUSIVE: Five members of the Republican National Committee’s youth advisory council have resigned amid dissatisfaction with GOP’s efforts—or lack thereof—to draw in young voters ahead of the 2024 election, Fox News Digital has learned.
The RNC created the council, co-chaired by Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., and Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., in a commitment to youth voter outreach. The council is made up of millennials and Gen Z individuals.
But five members are resigning from the 16-member board due to, what they call, a ‘lack of vision’ from the party.
‘When first approached about the committee that your team was forming, we were honored to join and excited about what we believed was a serious undertaking by the RNC to win the hearts and minds of young voters across the country,’ the five members who are resigning wrote in a letter to RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital.
‘Our decision to withdraw from the committee is one that has not been made lightly and is the result of a lack of organization, lack of tangible goals and benchmarks, and general lack of vision for the Advisory Council,’ they wrote.
The members— all ‘elected officials’ from Iowa, West Virginia, Missouri, Florida and Texas—said that upon joining, it was their ‘understanding that our proven abilities to fundraise, mobilize voters, and win elections would be utilized to gain a larger share of the youth vote.’
The members said that during their ‘short tenure’ on the board, they have ‘not been updated on any efforts employed by the RNC—if any exist at all—to specifically reach young voters, have not been utilized as elected representatives of our state, have not been assigned or delegated any tasks, and have not even received proper invitations to council meetings.’
The members said the ‘lack of organization and communication from the RNC’ makes them feel that the council is ‘nothing more than another failed fundraising ploy by the RNC.’
‘My colleagues and I refuse to be used as shiny objects in the solicitation of funds by the RNC when there is no work being done to advance the mission of the Advisory Council,’ they wrote.
The members stressed that the RNC needs to ‘win over and mobilize young voters across this country’ in order to ‘course-correct and restore our great country to the force it once was.’
‘After seeing the way the Youth Advisory Council has been run since its formation, we are sending this letter to express the lack of confidence we have in the RNC’s ability to win over and mobilize young voters,’ they wrote.
They added: ‘It is our hope that you will take the concerns expressed in this letter and our departure from the Youth Advisory Council as a call to reform and reestablish this council as one that is actionable and effective and as an invitation to join us in the critical work of reaching young voters in tangible, measurable ways before election day in November 2024.’
But members of the council who are staying on are completely at odds with their resigning colleagues, and claim they ‘weren’t contributing’ while they served.
A person familiar with the RNC’s Youth Advisory Council told Fox News Digital that all five members of the council who are resigning were ‘repeatedly asked to help with both the social media and messaging projects, each individual either refused to participate or were assigned to a project and did not return multiple requests for input.’
‘Our Youth Advisory Council has been working tirelessly to engage with the grassroots, bring young voters to our debates, get them committed to vote early through the RNC’s Bank Your Vote program, and working on guides for our Republican candidates on how to reach young voters and the pressing issues that will motivate us to vote next year,’ RNC Youth Advisory Council Co-Chair Brilyn Hollyhand told Fox News Digital. ‘We are excited for the work ahead of the council in 2024 and won’t be distracted by a select few who weren’t contributing in the first place and no longer want to be a part of it.’
The letter is signed by members Joe Mitchell from Iowa; Caleb Hanna of West Virginia; Mazzie Boyd of Missouri; Carolina Amnesty of Florida; and Caroline Harris of Texas.
Harris told Fox News Digital that the advisory committee was ‘always just a PR stunt the RNC could use to mislead donors.’
‘After meeting once or twice back in the summer, there has not been one follow-up meeting, not one phone call, nor has the committee been invited to participate or advise on anything else within the RNC,’ Harris said.
‘The RNC understands the young voters as much as they understand the Trump movement,’ Boyd told Fox News Digital. ‘They are still stuck in the Bush Era and haven’t been able to get out.’
And Hanna told Fox News Digital that the advisory council is ‘based on a lie.’
‘A lie that the RNC actually wants to reach young people or even wants to learn how,’ he said. ‘It’s very revealing and disappointing to see the RNC’s incompetence up close and personal.’
Council co-Chair CJ Pearson said: ‘Resigning from a job you didn’t show up for isn’t news. It’s a distraction from the important work we do, and will continue to do, as we march towards 2024.’
Council member Riley Gaines also praised the work of the RNC, saying that ‘the Republican Party has never been more committed to bringing more young voices into the Party than it is this cycle.’
An RNC official told Fox News Digital that the council is currently working on rolling out a ‘best practices guide for social media and messaging guidance on how to talk about young voters’ most pressing issues.’
The official also said the council has been involved in promoting the RNC’s ‘Bank Your Vote’ effort, which is the party’s initiative to get voters to commit to voting early. The official said council members have provided their input to the RNC on how best to reach young voters in that effort.
‘Some groups that claim to turn out young voters, like Turning Point, have failed cycle after cycle,’ RNC spokesperson Keith Schipper told Fox News Digital. ‘That’s why the RNC has stepped up and created the Youth Advisory Council to fine-tune effective youth get-out-the-vote and messaging strategies to grow our Party.’