(For full Stirewalt story, see http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Republicans-think-locally-for-2010-and-beyond-82555367.html )
Interestingly Gillespie recommended that state party organizations harness the Tea Party movement in ways that even they have not always considered, namely running them for the state legislature. Why, Stirewalt stated, should Tea Party activists be footsoldiers in someone else's revolution? Put their energy and principles to work in their own races, then take their values to places where they really count. Social conservatives helped to advance the Reagan Reevolution in the 1980s and Scott Brown simply ran for Senate because he was mad as hell. Massachusetts shared his anxieties and anger and voted him into the Senate.
In West Virginia we have yet to fill all legislative races with Republicans. West Virginia Red suggests that some of the lesser known candidates for the West Virginia 1st Congressional (and there are quite a few) may want to consider running for the state legislature rather than Congress since well-funded and experienced individuals have filed for that race now. There they can put their energy and zeal to work and gain experience for a future run at higher office.
Why are legislatures so important? The 2010 census will require each state to adjust its districts to reflect population changes. West Virginia has seen how Democrats will twist and turn districts to try and gain the best advantage for legislative and congressional districts. Across the nation, these races need quality candidates and support from donors and volunteers. We can start at home by encouraging friends to run if they live in places lacking a Republican challenger. Then do what you can to help get them elected.
It's up to us, the time is now. Let's get out there and do it!