Independent tack for RI's Republican Party

PROVIDENCE, RI – One of the two men running to be the next state Republican Party chairman heads a conservative group called the Rhode Island Republican Assembly. Raymond McKay thinks the GOP needs to be more independent in setting its own direction.

McKay says the state Republican Party needs a greater emphasis on cultivating grassroots support. He says that's why he backed a proposal to close GOP primaries to just Republican voters. Although Republicans rejected that idea, McKay points to the concept as a way of defining the party.

"And once we define who we are, other people can come along and a) know it's okay to donate to us because we know who we are and then b) they can also run because they'll be comfortable that we know who we are," says McKay.

The GOP chairman's post became vacant when Ken McKay -- no relation to Raymond McKay -- resigned last month. Besides Raymond McKay, the other candidate seeking the position is former congressional candidate Mark Zaccaria.

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