Tax-Killer Steve Aylward Announces Run for Mass. Republican Party Chair

WATERTOWN –Republican State Committee member and former co-champion of the Tank-the-Gas-Tax initiative, Steven Aylward, announced recently that he is stepping forward to run for the position of Mass. Republican Party chair.
Aylward, who along with Representative Geoff Diehl, Holly Robichaud, and a coalition of grassroots supporters, led the taxpayer-protection initiative petition which, despite being outspent 31 to 1, brought an end to a Democrat bill which would have automatically increased the taxes on gasoline each and every year with no vote, no accountability, forever. He has also been at the forefront of a number of other fiscal issues including ringing the tax alarm bells on an ill-fated Olympics project for Boston which was ultimately withdrawn after it was exposed that the Democrat-led plan would have imposed hundreds of millions in new taxes upon Mass. residents.
In a letter released during the last week of September, Aylward shared a glimpse of his vision for an invigorated two-party system in Massachusetts, and summarized his prior experience as an elected chair of the Watertown School Committee, former chair of the Watertown Republican Town Committee, his volunteer work and his extensive work experience in finance, sales, and management. He is currently a member of the Licensing Board in Watertown, and the treasurer of the Republican Town Committee.
“During my five years as a Republican State Committee member, I have worked hard to help our Party grow and prosper. Before that, I did the same as the RTC Chair in Watertown, and before that as a volunteer and donor for Republican candidates,” Aylward wrote to his colleagues. “I am very proud of the Republican Party and what we stand for, and I firmly believe that if we are to change the direction of the country, we need a strong and vibrant Republican Party in every state. Our Party and all that it stands for may in fact be America’s last best hope for the future.”
Aylward detailed his extensive business and political experience, noting how he worked for over 20 years at Bank of Boston, as an officer of the bank, achieving the position of Assistant Vice President and Operations Manager. At Cass Information Systems he worked 20 years, achieving the position of Vice President and General Manager. “In politics, as you know, I was chair of the Tank-the-Gas-Tax Ballot Question which, in spite of being outspent 31 to 1, helped catapult Charlie Baker into the office of Governor, and helped achieve the greatest taxpayer victory here in Massachusetts in 25 years,” he wrote.
Aylward recently served as campaign manager for the Geoff Diehl for State Senate race. “Before that, I was at the heart of the incredible three-week signature drive that got Michael Sullivan on the Republican ballot for U.S. Senate just a few years back. I have recruited and worked for Republican candidates in my district, and in 2012, at the request of the Scott Brown team, I ran for state Senate myself, simply to help get out the vote for Scott in my district,” he shared.
“Like so many of you, I have been frustrated by the failure of our Party to prosper and grow here in Massachusetts. In spite of continued assurances from numerous chairpersons, glowing words, passionate speeches and sincere assurances, our enrollment is stagnant, and our numbers in the Legislature remain few,” he wrote in part. Also noting that, “I feel strongly that unless we try a new approach, with a new plan and new people, we will never challenge the Democrats. And make no mistake about it, the Democrats need to be defeated, and defeated soundly. I am running because I sincerely believe that I have the attributes, the vision and the strength and the desire to succeed where others have not.”
In the letter, Aylward reminded his 79 fellow State Committee members that Ronald Reagan won Massachusetts twice and that Scott Brown as a moderate won a U.S. Senate race, and that Tank-the-Gas-Tax carried the state.
“If we act like Republicans, we win, but if we are embarrassed to be Republicans, we will be losers. We need to fight the Democrats at every turn, and never shy away from clearly articulating our vision for small but effective government, and prosperity and opportunity for all people,” he shared.
Aylward wrote that he seeks to elevate the roles of individual State Committee members, allowing more to be more directly involved in many projects. “In short, we need everybody working together as one if we are ever to get out of the hole we have dug for ourselves,” he wrote.
Aylward cited needed improvements to the Republican candidates committee, and support of candidates at all levels. He also singled out other details to grow the part in an attempt to allow Republicans to gain seats on many boards and local committees, and he pointed to the need to, and method of, growing local Republican city and town committees.
“We have a passionate but very frustrated Republican base that, given the opportunity, will awaken and help us grow the Party. But only if we include them, and not exclude them. And only if we respect them, their many ideas and yes, their many differences. When we create an atmosphere of mutual respect, coupled with hard work and a passion to succeed, then and only then will we rise as a Party,” Aylward concluded.
The State Committee will conduct an election for Party chair in early 2017. “This vote in 2017 will be the single most important vote most of us will take as members of this committee. This decision is critical, so I have announced very early, to give all of you the greatest opportunity to ask questions, and assess who is the best candidate for the job. I only ask that you remain prudent and thoughtful, and keep an open mind, and allow me the opportunity to discuss the election with each of your individually,” the candidate wrote.  ♦

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