Many local party organizations still have party bosses, self-appointed organizers who either are not subject to election, or are constantly reelected as local chairman because of their connections and money making abilities or simply because no one else runs or dares to oppose them. These bosses often violate their group’s own rules to stifle other voices. They definitely control who gets to run by controlling the volunteers needed to satisfy ballot petition requirements and having the financial resources to mount ballot petition challenges against candidates who don’t feed at their trough or otherwise pay homage. People wittingly or unwittingly support this lack of democracy and are rewarded with access to power, famous people or fun events. If you haven’t seen this, I doubt you have much experience working with local party organizations.