Oklahoma in national GOP leadership spot offers a frank assessment of party
by The Oklahoman Editorial Board

WHEN he hired Matt Pinnell as state party director for the Republican National Committee, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said the GOP needed to continue to “foster existing relationships, strengthen field operations and welcome new members into the party starting at the state level.” The latter may be most important of all.

Pinnell, of Tulsa, doesn’t soft-peddle when talking about an important key to the GOP’s future —
attracting members of the millennial generation. They now comprise a larger demographic than baby boomers, who for years have provided the Republican Party with its largest base of support.

The millennial generation is “going to determine the outcomes of election cycles for decades to come,” Pinnell said in an interview last week. “We have to get back on college campuses, we have to get back into high schools and talk about what it means to be a Republican.”

Just 37, Pinnell is well suited to make that pitch. He became the youngest state party chairman in the country in 2010 when he was named head of the Oklahoma GOP. He won election to a full two-year term in 2011, then left for the RNC job in 2013.

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