Ole Miss College Republicans welcomed alumnus Joe Nosef, state chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party, as the guest speaker at its fall kickoff meeting held Wednesday. Nosef spoke about Republican victory in the 2016 election and the importance of voter knowledge and party involvement.
“Voting is the whole point of being in a democracy and being part of a party,” Nosef said.
Nosef is no stranger to the Ole Miss campus. He received an undergraduate and master’s degree in accounting in 1991 and 1994, respectively, from the university and graduated from the School of Law in 1995.
Nosef has long been involved in Republican politics, holding positions such as chief counsel and campaign manager for Gov. Haley Barbour, chief of staff under Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, executive director of the Phil Bryant Gubernational Transition, chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party and vice chairman of the Republican National Committee.
In addition to his roles within the Republican Party, Nosef has practiced law for more than 20 years in the Jackson area. In his practice, Nosef focuses on a wide variety of areas, including government relations, taxation and tax credits and environmental estate planning and administration.
Nosef said he understood that voters were looking for change in the 2016 election, a change he claims the Republican Party was able to offer with President Donald Trump.
“One of the reasons Trump was elected was to change things in Washington,” Nosef said.
Nosef pointed out the party is coming out of its decline since the 2016 election, learning from its past mistakes and moving with the changes of the political world.
Nosef compared some of the backlash to Trump’s policies to some of his own experiences from when he ran for student vice president while in law school.
“It’s much harder to govern than to get elected,” he said.
Nosef also highlighted the importance of knowing the views of one’s party.
“Uneducated party speakers is one of the biggest problems in politics,” Nosef said.
He also commented on the importance of being involved in local politics and the voting process and forming welcoming, good relationships with those holding opposing views.
“You don’t have to bad relationships with someone with opposing views, both politically and personally,” Nosef said.
Nancy Frohn, the founder of the Union County Republican Women in New Albany, was also present at the kickoff event.
“If you want your voice heard, be involved,” Frohn said. “If you want to complain, be involved.”
Frohn and Nosef both expressed their enthusiasm for the upcoming generation of public leaders and said students, such as those present at the meeting, gave them hope for the future of the Republican Party.
“This involvement makes me very excited for the future of our country,” Frohn said.
Nosef also said he believed groups like College Republicans are beneficial in today’s political climate.
“It’s great to hear directly from people involved in the Republican Party and people who can provide students with the ability to be involved on a real, practical basis,” Nosef said.