Even though we only met last month, the State Republican Executive Committee met last weekend in Austin. Our next meeting will be April 6-7, and my final one will be just prior to the June 14 State Convention. I apologize for sending this out much later than I usually do—the campaign is keeping me running.
As we get close to the Primary election, we have 248 Texas Counties with Republican County Chairs. This means that we are 6 Counties short on being completely covered for the state. The good news is even those counties without Republican County Chairs may hold a Primary under a recent state law. In past years voters there would have been left out of our Primary process.
The State Convention is going to be held June 14-16 in San Antonio. Much of what we stand for and do as a party is decided by the convention process. Want to have a voice in what the Republican Party of Texas does (Rules) and stands for (Platform)? Start by showing up at your local Precinct Convention. For those in Collin County our Precinct Conventions take place on Saturday, March 10. For those in Dallas County, the information as to when and where Precinct Conventions are taking place is a bit more complicated: The Dallas County GOP Executive Committee will be meeting on February 19 to make those decisions. Check back on The Dallas GOP Website after that date for your information. All Senatorial Conventions around the state will be held on Saturday, March 24. Check your County Party website for the time and place. Each Convention Elects Delegates to the next Convention, so be sure to participate.
A big announcement at the SREC meeting was made by Texas GOP Vice Chair Amy Clark: she will not be running again for her spot. Amy has done an outstanding job as our Vice Chair, and we are grateful for her service. By the way, by state election law, if the Chair is a male, then the Vice Chair must be a female (or vice-versa), just as there must be one male and one female from each Senate District. I look forward to handing off my baton to whoever wins my spot on the SREC in June at the Convention as my own term comes to a close.
Larry Hicks, the RPT Treasurer reported that we are still paying all our bills to zero each month and have a $1.1 million in the bank when we include all 4 funds. These funds include our Convention account, our Victory account, Primary account, Candidate Resource Committee account, as well as the RPT account. The RPT cash balance is $388,200.21 as of January 26.
The Party Organization Committee has been hard at work. They are responsible for writing and updating the manuals used by County Chairs and Precinct Chairs around the state. They are finishing final edits on guides to recruiting new Precinct Chairs and also a primer on starting a new Republican Club. They also are updating the current Ballot Integrity Manual including the changes made by the Legislature. If you need access to one of these manuals, let me know and I’ll forward it when it comes available.
National Committeeman Robin Armstrong was unable to make the meeting, but did provide us with a written update. He anticipates some tough National elections in November, and we must be ready to fight like never before. The Democrats are expecting to pick up seats in the U.S. House, (they are targeting 3 Texas seats!), so we must be unified after the March 6 Primary to ensure our Republicans are in office. Dr. Armstrong is running for Vice Chair of the Southern Region of the RNC at this week’s RNC meeting. If he is elected, he will be more engaged with this national fight than ever.
We had 4 proposed Resolutions, including two Censure Resolutions that were forwarded to us by County Executive Committees. The one that made the most news was the censure of Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus. This censure was passed by Bexar County’s Republican Executive Committee in December and it passed 77-21. The other one was to censure Representative Byron Cook (in response to censures passed by both Anderson and Hill County Executive Committees). Since the entire meeting was livestreamed, several of you have told me you watched the discussion and the resulting votes. RPT Rule 44 was added to our Party Rules at the last convention, and this was the first full use of that rule. However you feel about this, know that participating in the Convention process directs the SREC for the next two years, so, again, please participate. Rule 44 requires that for a Censure to be passed, then 2/3 of the ENTIRE voting body vote in favor of the Censure. This means that of our 64 total voting members 44 must vote in favor of the measure. One member was not there, and didn’t have a proxy (there were a lot of proxies filling in for other members), so only a total of 63 votes were possible. When the vote finally took place, the tally, without the Chair and Vice Chair casting votes (they usually do not vote unless it changes the outcome), the numbers were: 42 for Censure, 19 against (I voted yes, since the all the criteria for the censure rule was met). This put both Chairman Dickey and Vice Chair Clark in a difficult position. Their decision to either cast votes or not would result in ramifications for them and the Party as a whole. Their decision was to vote in favor of the censure, and therefore changing the outcome in favor of censure.
We also passed a Resolution about the RPT Legislative Priorities that were accomplished by the Legislature and those that were left incomplete. Another Resolution that passed was Affirming the Rights of Parental Freedom of Choice in Education and Homeschool Liberty in Texas. The proposed Resolution to censure Representative Byron Cook failed.
The RPT General Counsel Chris Gober informed us that we had been involved in four recent litigations. Each case was withdrawn or resolved in our favor. One interesting case included a person who filed to run on our Republican Primary ballot in a county District Attorney spot, yet didn’t have a law degree, therefore was not eligible to run for office. Resolving this took a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court.
We heard from three candidates during the course of the day: Sid Miller, Texas Agriculture Commissioner (and candidate for that spot again), Trey Blocker, Candidate for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, and Bruce Jacobson, Candidate for United States Senator.
On Friday the Texas GOP held a candidate training led by the Leadership Institute. Friday evening, there was a mixer for the SREC members and candidates from around the state. I enjoyed meeting some fellow candidates.
The number of Grassroots Club members from Senate District 8 is only 47 at the present—a sharp decline from just a few months ago. Now would be a good time to see if your membership has expired. Remember, if you plan to attend the state convention in San Antonio, Grassroots Club members get two perks: They get to reserve their hotel rooms ahead of others and also get to have a “member only” event at Convention for free of charge. Join here: https://www.texasgop.org/grassroots-club/
Another way you can help Republicans get elected from around the state get elected is by giving to the Candidate Resource Committee. These funds go straight to county level Republican Candidates (from County Judge down to Justice of the Peace candidates) who have won their Primary, if they meet the qualifications. This fund often makes a big difference in the outcome of those down-ballot races. If you donate, be sure to say that you are from Senate District 8.