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PowerPlayer: State GOP Chairman Mark Zaccaria

Monday, January 02, 2012


This week’s PowerPlayer is Mark Zaccaria, the new chairman of the Republican Party in Rhode Island. Zaccaria was kind enough to chat with GoLocalProv about his vision for the GOP and offer some predictions for the coming year.

1) You're the new Chairman of the RI GOP. What are your top three priorities for turning around the Party?

  • Fundraising - specifically for financial support of General Assembly Candidates in 2012
  • Fundraising – because success in this area will demonstrate that a real counterbalance to an otherwise One Party System has been established
  • Brand Management – specifically to focus voter’s attention on the core principals of Individual Authority and Individual Responsibility that can only flourish in an environment of smaller, less intrusive government. Smaller government is a goal because it is less expensive, requiring less of Rhode Islanders’ productively earned incomes in taxes, and thus leaving them more sovereign authority over their own money.

2) The General Assembly so overwhelmingly Democratic, but many members are conservative Democrats. Would you welcome them into the Party if they were willing to make the switch?

Anyone who agrees that the Republican philosophy of government is the best one is welcome as a member of the party. One has only to make a quick trip to their local Board of Canvassers to make the switch, and RI GOP Staff is always available to offer assistance with the details. As a practical matter, however, I would not expect mass defections of incumbent legislators. Rather I would anticipate that with a growing Republican voting block in both chambers we would see like-minded Democrats joining us on a vote-by-vote basis where their individual positions align with ours.

3) Take us through a day in your life.

I begin every week day with cardiovascular exercise, usually 3 miles on the treadmill. Three days a week I follow that up with isometric exercise in the weight room. I operate a small Business-to-Business Marketing Consultancy and usually spend time each day both in completing an existing client engagement and in soliciting some future one. In the week since I’ve been elected chair of the RI GOP I’ve been spending five or six hours a day at Party Headquarters. Although much of the time initially has been taken up with the administrative details of just getting started I have been able to spend time making telephone contact with traditional donors and planning an initial schedule of fundraising events to begin addressing the priorities I listed above.

Naturally I try to end the day by spending time with my wife, Ruth. She’s a Registered Nurse currently managing behavioral health cases in a nationwide practice headquartered in Providence. Whenever possible we spend the evening together to commune, re-charge, and get ready to do it all over again the next day.

4) Give us three predictions for 2012.

  • Patriots win the Superbowl.
  • Republican Candidates gain 10 Seats in the RI House, 7 Seats in the RI Senate, Majority control of the US Senate, and retain control of the US House.
  • The Mayan Calendar which lists December 21st, 2012, as the day the world ends will prove to be inaccurate.

5) Tell us something nobody knows about you.

I am the author of a biographical novel which will be published in early 2012, thus further complicating my daily schedule.

Quick Hitters

Role Model: It’s a toss-up between Chuck Yeager and Abraham Lincoln – Two men who shared very similar qualities in two very different environments.

Favorite Restaurant: The Celestial Café, Exeter, RI

Best Beach: South Padre Island, off Corpus Christi, Texas… BUT in the years 1970 – 1973 when I was there and was young enough to take proper advantage of it all.

Best Book You've Read in the Last Year: Dancing with Words, Storytelling as Legacy, Culture, and Faith, by Ray Buckley.

Advice for the next Mark Zaccaria: Study Time Management


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