I’ve made it official!

Friends, please see some exciting news below!

Candy

For Immediate Release – September 27, 2017
Contact: Candy@CandaceNoble.com

Conservative Leader Candy Noble Announces Bid for State Representative, Unveils Major Support
Reps. Scott Sanford, Matt Shaheen, former Rep. Scott Turner, DA Greg Willis, plus over 275 citizens, elected officials, GOP leaders, and precinct chairs

(Collin County, TX) – Conservative Republican Candy Noble today announced plans to run for State Representative in House District 89, launching her campaign with support from over 275 citizens and prominent conservative leaders from throughout the district, Collin County, and North Texas.

HD 89 includes some or all of the Collin County communities of Allen, Fairview, Lavon, Lowry Crossing, Lucas, Murphy, Nevada, Parker, Plano, Princeton, Sachse, St. Paul, and Wylie. Current State Representative Jodie Laubenberg recently announced she will not seek re-election.

Upon her announcement, Candy said, “I care deeply about our state and nation, and I’m willing to stand up and fight for the future of my kids and grandkids. We must make the hard decisions to ensure that Texas enjoys a prosperous future. I will be guided by my core beliefs of limited government, dedication to fiscal responsibility, and an unshakable commitment to protect the unborn.”  She continued, “Texans deserve property tax relief, quality education, limited regulations which ensure a strong economy, a secure border, and protection of our second amendment freedoms and religious liberties. I am excited about the opportunity to serve as a conservative voice for these principles, and honored to have such strong, distinguished support.”

Candy launched her campaign with formidable support from numerous grass roots conservatives and elected officials.

Betty Spraggins, Murphy City Councilwoman, said, “Candy Noble is a dynamic, committed woman of integrity who has a bright future in the Texas House. I’m honored to recommend her to the citizens of Murphy and all of HD 89 as someone who will be a thoughtful, responsive, committed conservative to be our voice in Austin.”

State Rep. Matt Shaheen announced his endorsement, commenting, “As we continue to fight for conservative reforms and policies in the Texas House we need reinforcements in the form of committed, principled, conservative leaders. That’s why I’m proud to endorse Candy Noble for the Texas House.”

Former State Rep. Scott Turner said, “Candy Noble is a tireless leader and grassroots activist who will remain true to the conservative cause.  A committed believer, she lives her faith and the values we hold dear every day. She will faithfully serve Collin County and the constituents of District 89.  She has my strong support!”

District 89 GOP Caucus Chair Dixie Jeffers endorsed Noble, stating, “From many years of working together at the grassroots level and across Collin County I have had the opportunity to see Candy Noble’s heart and passion for people, principles, and public service. It’s a pleasure to endorse and support a woman of her caliber to serve as our next State Representative.”

Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis commented, “Candy Noble is one of the most trustworthy, capable, and passionate conservative leaders I’ve ever known. When I need a trusted partner to fight against sexual predators and protect our children, I can count on Candy.  For many years, she has selflessly served Collin County in many ways, and Candy is now perfectly prepared to serve as an excellent State Representative.”

Commissioner Susan Fletcher said, “Candy is uniquely qualified to serve as a State Representative, having been appointed to multiple boards and commissions at the local, county, state, and university level. She is wise, discerning, and boldly committed to our Judeo-Christian heritage. I trust Candy Noble to stand firm in Austin to protect the conservative principles upon which America was founded, and fully support her without reservation!”

Candy has spent the last seven years serving the citizens of Senate District 8 on the State Republican Executive Committee, where she serves on the Officials Committee and is Chair of the Resolutions Committee.  Most recently Candy served as the Texas Electoral College Chair, and had the honor of announcing that the Texas Electoral College delivered President Trump the final votes needed for official victory. Locally, she serves as Parliamentarian of the Collin County GOP.  During recent legislative sessions she has been a volunteer advocate for conservative legislation including limited spending, religious liberty, and protecting the unborn.

Candy earned a degree in Education from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene and serves on the university’s Board of Development. Candy also serves the State of Texas on the Texas Juvenile Justice Board, where she is a member of the Trust Committee and the Executive Committee.

Candy has been married to her husband Robert for 34 years and they live in Lucas. They have three grown daughters, three sons-in-law and five grandchildren, ages six and under.  Candy and Robert are active members of Prestonwood Baptist Church.

###

Candy Noble for State Representative – Endorsements upon announcement

Elected Officials
State Representative Scott Sanford & Shelly Sanford
State Representative Matt Shaheen & Robyn Shaheen
Former State Representative Scott & Robin Turner
State Representative Pat Fallon
State Representative Ron & Lisa Simmons
State Representative Mike Lang
Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis
Collin County Commissioner Susan Fletcher
Collin County Constable Gary Edwards
Collin County Constable Sammy Knapp & Cathy Knapp
Tincy Miller, State Board of Education, District 12
Eric Hogue, Mayor, City of Wylie
Z. Marshall, Mayor, City of Parker
Keith Stephens, Wylie City Council Member
Ron Kelley, Plano City Council Member
Rick Smith, Plano City Council Member
Betty Spraggins, Murphy City Council Member
Phillip Lawrence, Lucas City Council Member
Henry Lessner, Fairview Town Council Member
Pam Little, Fairview Town Council Member
Greg Myer, Plano ISD School Board Member
Yoram Solomon, Plano ISD School Board Member
Cullen King, Sachse City Council Member
Alicia Young, Community ISD School Board Member
Bob Collins, Collin College Board of Trustees Member
Fred Moses, Collin College Board of Trustees Member; Former Chairman, Collin County Republican Party*

House District 89 Community & Conservative Leaders
Danielle Aguilar, Allen
Kevin Aguilar, Allen
Charles & Lynn Baade, Murphy
Thom Baird, Precinct Chair
Chuck Ballweg, Allen
Wilhelmina Ballweg, Allen
Lisa Baranski, Fairview
Ron Baranski, Fairview
Connor Barron, Precinct Chair
Ed Bayliss, Fairview, Former President, Heritage Ranch Republican Club*
Kay Blanton, Wylie
Ricky Blanton, Wylie
Christopher & Andrea Bouressa, Murphy
Ron Boyd, Precinct Chair
Kevin and Judy Brannon, Allen
Carrie Brazeal, Lucas
Clifford Brazeal, Lucas
Jill Bridges, Allen
Randy Bridges, Allen
Dave Broyles, Allen
Tiffany Broyles, Allen
Jason Bryant, Allen
Marcy Bryant, Allen
David Burson, Precinct Chair
Lorraine Burson, Allen
Jackie Butler, Fairview
Pamela Carron, Fairview
Richard Carron, Fairview
Mel Chapman, Wylie
Sylvia Chapman, Wylie
Patti Cordina, Parker
BJ Correu, Fairview, Co-Founder, Heritage Ranch Republican Club*
Jimmy Correu, Fairview
Bonnie Cox, Fairview
Delores Cox, Allen
Mary DiCaprio, Fairview
Mark Cruz, Allen
Chawn Cummings, Wylie
Julie Cummings, Wylie
Mike & Ember Deibler, Plano
Tina Dodson, Lucas
Tom Dodson, Lucas
Amy Dollyhigh, Lucas
Eric Dollyhigh, Lucas
Susan Dollyhigh, Fairview
Deborah Donovan, Wylie
Jim Donovan, Wylie
Larry & Kristi Durham, Allen
Robert Ehrhardt, Sachse
Charlotte Ehrhardt, Sachse
Joe & Sharon Feagin, Fairview
David & Lissa Flowers, Wylie
Bill & Hope Fobes, Plano
Rick Gelling, Plano
Tracey Gelling, Plano
Sierra Gibbons, Allen
June Ginnett, Princeton
Roger Ginnett, Princeton
Kathy Gonzales, Fairview
Dustyn Hamilton, Lavon
Mary Hamilton, Lavon
Mia Hawthorne, Wylie
Debbie Hollingshead, Plano
Jean Howard, Fairview
Brian & Liesl Huddleston, Wylie
Daniel Huddleston, Wylie
Ryan & Tori Jaquess, Wylie
David Jeffers, Lavon
Dixie Jeffers, House District 89 Caucus Chair, Precinct Chair
Alan Johnson, Plano
Ida Keptner, Fairview
Ron Keptner, Fairview
Paul Knutson, Lucas
Penny Knutson, Lucas
Lynette Kodolzkey, Lavon
Joan Konkel, Precinct Chair
Gary Kruse, Precinct Chair
Philip LaRose, Fairview
Dianne Day LaVallee, Lavon
Robin Lington, Precinct Chair
Evelyn Linville, Lucas
Nicole Little, Allen
Barbara McClure, Fairview
John & Mary McClure, Parker
Tim McCord, Precinct Chair
Lyndall McDaniel, Lavon
Nancy McDaniel, Lavon
Steve Mercer, Allen
Natalie Morgan, Lavon
Todd Morgan, Lavon
Gino Mulliqu, Wylie
Fred & Janis Nasseri, Plano
Robert Noble, Lucas
Sonja Oonk, Plano
Roger Paquette, Lucas
Dawn Petrik, Fairview
Mike Petrik, Fairview
Dale Powrie, Fairview
Reecie Powrie, Fairview
Priscilla Puz, Wylie
Janet Rawe, Plano
Sue Reeves, Precinct Chair
John Roman, Fairview
Roy Sherpa, Fairview
Jane Sidler, Fairview
David Smith, Fairview
Karen Smith, Fairview
Mark & Marjorie Smith, Fairview
Cathy Smith, Parker
Ronnie Smith, Parker
Debbie Stewart, Wylie
John Mark Stewart, Wylie
Audrey Sutherland, Fairview
Ron Sutherland, Fairview
William Swayne, Wylie
Theresa Tinghitella, Fairview
Diane Tingle, Murphy
Gerri Uminski, Fairview
Trey & Dallas Varner, Lucas
Suzanne Veal, Precinct Chair
Becky Welch, Wylie
Ryan Thomas Wheless
Dylan Glynn Wheless
April Wright, Wylie
Steve Wright, Wylie
Jerry & Jane Yancey, Plano
Matthew Young, Lavon

Collin County & Regional Community & Conservative Leaders
Myrna Acklin
Mary Kay Adams
Dave Adams
Sharron Albertson, Former President, Golden Corridor Republican Women*
Kerby Anderson, President, Probe Ministries*, Precinct Chair
James Angelino
Fritz Asche
Cody Baker, Precinct Chair
Mike Barrett
Susan Barrett
Robert Brad Baylis
Sherrie Baylis
Chris Betts, Precinct Chair
Chris Bingham
Suzanne Blackstone, Former President, Golden Corridor Republican Women*
Phil Blackstone
Bill Blake, President, Lincoln Society*
Deb Blencowe
Dan Bollner, Precinct Chair
Olena Bonner
Cecil Bradshaw
Sharon Bradshaw, Past President, Golden Corridor Republican Women*, Precinct Chair
Chuck Branch, McKinney City Council Member
Brook Fulks
Mike Buster
Joni Buster
Glynis Chester, Immediate Past President, Republican Women of Greater North Texas*
Debra Coffey, Elector, Texas Electoral College
Ellen Connor
Larry Crump
Dee Crump
John DeRudder
Lene DeRudder
Christian Drake
Chad Drake
Ronald Dubner
Jennifer Edgeworth, Past President, Golden Corridor Republican Women*
Chris Edgeworth
Mary Jo Fear
Terry Fear
Jeff Finkelstein
Mary Carl Finkelstein, Past President, Golden Corridor Republican Women*, Precinct Chair
Joy Flavill
Dr. Eric Flavill
Colette Flavill
Brian Fletcher, House District 33 Caucus Chair, Precinct Chair
Stacy Gibson
Pat Greer, Precinct Chair
Tom & Linsey Hammon
Joan Hart
Byron Henry
Mari Henry
Dana Herblin
Jim Herblin, Precinct Chair
Carolyn Hodges, Former President, TFRW*
Annette Jones, Former President, Golden Corridor Republican Women*
Bill Jones
Diann Jones, Precinct Chair
John Jones
John Keating, Frisco City Council Member
Sandy Koch
Donna Krauss
Doris Kruse
Timothy Kruse
Becky Leach
Harvey Letcher
Philip Lorenz
Susanna Lorenz
Bruce & Jane McAllister
Faith Martin
Don Martin
Darlene Maxham
Doug Maxham
Carroll Maxwell, House District 70 Caucus Chair, Past President, Collin County Conservative Republicans*, Precinct Chair
Mark McCraw
Carla McCroan, Former President, Barbara Bush Republican Women*
Jean McIver, Former Member, State Republican Executive Committee
Terri Miller
Mazzie Moses
Brian & Karen Murphy
John Myers, Precinct Chair
Patty Myers
Madolyn Noble
Chuck & Julie O’Reilly
Dan Panetti
Jan Pautler
Jim Pautler
Francis Phillips
Melissa Phillips
Dale Pigg
Laura Pigg
Susan Plonka, Past President, Conner Harrington Republican Women*
Keresa & JR Richardson
Mona Roise
Warren Samuels
Sherry Samuels
Chris Schultz
Mona Schultz
Don Smith
Pat Smith
Scott Smith
Lissa Smith, Former Plano City Council Member
David Thweatt
Henry & Marcela Walaszek
Jennifer Wiggins
Mark Wiggins
Rose Wilcox

*Organization name is listed for identification purposes only; no group endorsement is claimed or implied.
Pol. Adv. Paid for by Candy Noble Campaign, 1105 E Main Street #223, Allen, TX 75002.
Ryan Jaquess, Treasurer.

 

Republican news from Washington, Austin and home.

I’ve never done this before, but I’m going to start this SREC update on a personal note. As many of you may have heard, I’ve been prayerfully considering running for the Texas House District 89 seat now that Jodie Laubenberg has announced that she is not running again.  I’m getting a lot of great feedback, and excited about the possibilities that the future holds for me and our House District.  Stay tuned for more on that…. Now on to the SREC news.

The State Republican Executive Committee met in Austin on Friday and Saturday and it was a full and busy two days. I’m going to apologize for the length of this report in advance. 

First of all, I want to congratulate our “Volunteer of the Year” from Senate District 8, Carroll Maxwell.  Carroll and his two daughters, along with the other honorees and guests, were treated to a full day Carroll Maxwell Volunteer of the Year photoof Capitol tours and meetings with elected officials before the Volunteer of the Year Banquet on Friday evening.  The honorees were congratulated and showered with gifts from State-wide elected officials that attended the banquet to thank such a wonderful group of Texans. For those that are not acquainted with Carroll, he’s an 89-year-young tireless volunteer and Republican worker.  We are blessed that he is in Senate District 8.

Friday was a full day for the State Republican Executive Committee as well, but we were there to work prior to the Banquet. 

The Officials Committee, on which I serve, met first thing Friday morning to deal with contracts and other State Party business.  Normally I don’t mention this work in my reports because these meetings are, by SREC Bylaws, in Executive (closed) Session.  Since the State Chairman has the authority to call us into an Open Meeting instead, we had an Open Meeting this time.  He has expressed that this will be the practice, when able, while he is Chairman of the Party. 

Next, we had a Special Called meeting Friday morning of the full SREC to approve the newly proposed committee assignments.  Chairman James Dickey, like all Republican Party of Texas Chairs, has the authority to appoint and change committee assignments, but those changes must be approved by the body.  This was accomplished, after much discussion, at the Friday morning meeting.  This meeting ran so long that the allotted time for the committee I chair– the Resolutions Committee– had expired.  So, the committee times for the entire day were abbreviated and altered. 

Committees have had one hour and 45 minutes to meet at past SREC meetings.  On Saturday, by the time the room was cleared from the Special SREC meeting, our Resolutions Committee had only 45 minutes to do our business.  We had nine proposed Resolutions that had been submitted ahead of time.  I was disappointed that we only got to discuss four of those nine.  Two were tabled and two were passed to be presented to the full SREC on Saturday. (A third Resolution was considered and passed under new business during the full SREC meeting on Saturday).

Saturday the full SREC met again.  Here is a (believe it or not) quick summery of that meeting:

Our newly appointed Treasurer, Larry Hicks, reported that we are still paying all our bills to a zero balance upon receipt each month. However, our operating fund balance has declined in the last few months. Our cash on hand is at $547,749 (this is a decline of $160,000 since the beginning of 2017).  He did report that our new Chair has reduced monthly expenses by $3000 a month, and that there were major fundraisers in the planning stage.  More about Fundraisers later.  

The newly appointed General Counsel Chris Gober has replaced our former General Counsel Trey Trainor, who was nominated this week by President Trump to serve on the Federal Election Commission. During my seven plus years on the SREC it has been a rare occasion when we were not being sued by someone, and this is one of those rare times.  We had some other good news this past week out of the Supreme Court.  Our March 6 Primary Election date was in jeopardy when that same three panel group of Federal Judges out of San Antonio decided that the current lines drawn (I actually think they drew those lines themselves a few years ago, if I’m not mistaken) in 2 Congressional Districts and in 9 Texas House Districts must be redrawn.  This put our Primary schedule at risk.  Thank you to Attorney General Ken Paxton, and his team, who appealed this decision to the US Supreme Court and won a “Stay” in that decision.  The US Supreme Court will hear our Texas redistricting case.  This case will probably be presented in March with a decision expected in May or June of next year. 

RNC Committeeman Robin Armstrong reported on the RNC meeting that took place in August.  Robin was elected to that body’s Executive Committee. He reported that the RNC fundraising is going very well, with President Trump lending his name and support to those efforts. 

Committeeman Dr. Armstrong also reported that he had read the new Senate Health Care bill in its entirety.  I’m guessing not many US Senators can say that.  He gave us a very quick analysis of it, including some things he really likes about it and one that gives him pause.  Included in the things he likes: The new bill does not allow for Insurance to cover Abortion costs, unless it involves saving the mother’s life.  It repeals the individual and employer mandate.  It repeals taxes on Healthcare Savings Accounts and Prescriptions.  It also expands Healthcare Savings Accounts.  It gives block grants to states to administer their own Healthcare funds and make rules (such as a “must work” rule for Medicaid recipients) to encourage local innovation.  The main concern he expressed was with the extraordinary power it gives to the Health and Human Services Secretary to make changes and expand her role (such as setting up a system for high-risk individuals).  When White House Administrations change, this could be a problem in the future, though he has only respect for our current Secretary.  For the bill to pass under “reconciliation”, requiring only 50% to pass, it must pass by a September 30 deadline.  With two Senators already saying that they plan to vote against it, we must have all the remaining Republican Senators to vote in favor for the bill to pass.   

RNC Committeewoman Toni Anne Dashiell has been appointed to the newly formed RNC’s Presidential Nominating Process Committee which will assess the Presidential Primary process, including the four “carve out states” ability to vote ahead of all the other states. Most of us agree it is time for that method to be discarded.  They are to make their recommendation to the RNC by May 2018.

There have been 17 Campaign schools around the state so far this year.  These are in cooperation between the Republican Party of Texas, Texas Federation of Republican Women, Texas Republican County Chair Association and Abbott University.  They have trained over 600 potential candidates and volunteers across the state with two more campaign schools on the schedule.

National Committeeman Robin Armstrong teared up when he expressed his thanks and admiration for Vice Chairman Amy Clark’s work on behalf of the RPT during Hurricane Harvey.  Under her leadership, truckloads of supplies were delivered. She recruited a helicopter to airlift folks and a plane to deliver lifesaving medical supplies and tetanus shots to Beaumont.  Did you know that we have a hashtag?  #RPTServes reminds us that we are not just political, we are neighbors who want to help.  Vice Chair Clark has organized a “Back to School Blessings for Beaumont” to provide school supplies for students and schools there who lost their supplies in the Hurricane.  Check out RPT Vice Chairman Amy Clark’s Facebook page for several schools that need help, or use this link to donate to just one of the schools: #RPTServes Blessing to Beaumont.

Our new Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey reported that since he’s been chair he has visited 23 Counties in 20 SD’s.  He reported on the success that Texas Republicans had during the Legislative Special Session with the “Strategic Texas Activist Team”, which was almost 1000 members strong.  This was the work of the Legislative Priorities Committee, headed by Vice Chair Amy Clark, and they did an outstanding job of activating and educating individuals during both the Regular and Special Session of the Legislature, and they look forward to advancing our priorities and principles during the interim legislative committee hearings. 

Chairman Dickey also reported that Senator John Cornyn will be doing a fundraiser for the Republican Party of Texas in Washington DC.  Two US Representatives will be the headliners at another fundraiser coming to Dallas. The most exciting news is that Vice President Mike Pence has also agreed to do a fundraiser for us. Chairman Dickey also announced that the Victory Chair for our 2018 elections will be Texas Senator Dawn Buckingham, of the Austin area.  She spoke to us on her goals of having us win big in 2018, including House, Senate and Judicial seats. Her plan includes the use of Social media, phone banks, and even TV ads if we raise the needed funds. 

Down-ballot help will come for the Candidate Resource Committee.  They collect donated funds to help Republican candidates at the county and local level, vet the candidates and help them financially to win.

We heard from several others throughout the day: 

State Comptroller Glenn Hager was our meeting sponsor, and he came and spoke. 

We also heard from the Young Republicans, the College Republicans and the President of the Texas Federation of Republican women. 

The Young Republicans reported about the impact that YR’s are having around Texas and the nation.  Our own SD8 Chris Bingham got a shout-out for their award-winning website.  Good job, Chris!

The Texas Federation of College Republicans reported that they are working to contact Republican-voting College-aged Republicans across the state to build their membership.  They now have 29 chapters, and so many new chapters are forming that soon that number will be at 35.  That’s only one chapter away from being #1 in America.  The goal is to increase from their current membership of 2500 to a membership of 3800. 

Texas Federation of Republican women just returned from the National Convention and it was announced that our own Senate District 8 Jody Rushton was elected Nation Federation of Republican Women’s President.  May God bless Jody as she begins this service for our party.

The SREC spent a good bit of time deciding if we should look at subleasing our current state headquarters space, which costs the party around $2500 a month, and move to a less expensive lease.  We voted to allow a Commercial Real Estate professional look at the possibilities and report back to us on the feasibility of this move.

We also spent a good bit of time deciding if we wanted to invest in new voting technology for the Party.  We approved this, and it may be ready for use at our December SREC meeting. Much of our time at SREC meetings is spent doing rollcall votes and this system will expidite that process.  If it goes well, it may be a good fit for the Senatorial Caucus meetings at the State Convention next June in San Antonio.

We passed three resolutions on Saturday. “Resolution Calling for the Republican Caucus in the Texas House of Representatives to Select the Speaker” calls on the party to inform every candidate for Texas House of the platform plank calling for them to select a Speaker of the Texas House from among Republicans.  The second one the “Resolution to Preserve and Protect the Alamo” was passed calling on any changes in the Alamo as it is being “Reimagined” to focus on the events of 1836 that made that place so special to Texans and others around the world.  The third resolution that passed asked for the “Preserving Historical Landmarks”.  This calls on us to remember and learn from history and historical landmarks. 

The Grassroots Club  membership—where members donate $8.25 a month to keep the Republican Party of Texas strong— has 916 members.  Senate District 8’s membership is down, so I’d like to encourage you to join or reinstate your membership.  There are also now differeing levels of membership, so check that out as well. 

Karl Voigtsberger was unable to be there this weekend, so thank you to Mark Reid for standing in as Karl’s proxy. 

As always, thank you for the honor of serving you on the State Republican Executive Committee, and for the privilege of sharing these updates. 

 

 

 

Congratulations to the New RPT Chair James Dickey!

Texas Republicans now have a new Chairman.  At Saturday’s State Republican Executive Committee meeting James Dickey, former Travis County Republican Chairman, was elected as our new Chair.  Two great candidates stepped up to run for Chair following Tom Mechler’s resignation two weeks ago.  Both Rick Figueroa and James Dickey ran fast and full campaigns with very little notice.  Texas Election Code doesn’t give the Parties much wiggle room on how we fill a vacancy, and the process required is a quick one.   The competition was intense.  In fact, the final vote was as close as numerically possible:  Rick Figueroa had 31 votes, and James Dickey had 32 votes.

I want to thank our out-going Chairman Tom Mechler for his service and efforts on our behalf with the State Party.  We didn’t get a chance to honor him at the meeting on Saturday, so I would like to take a moment to do that here: Chairman Mechler worked tirelessly on engagement efforts, fundraising, speaking to Republican and other groups while accomplishing all that is required by law to run both a Primary and a General Election. Few of us will ever know the personal cost in time, treasure and  the commitment crucial to running the Republican Party of Texas. We certainly can appreciate those who do the work so that we can have good candidates, an honest election, encourage good legislation, and a sound party financially.

We also had to fill the vacancy created by the unexpected death of Senate District 10’s Committeewoman, Merri Easterly.  Merri served with honor and faithfulness on both the SREC and on the Texas Federation of Republican Women’s Board of Directors.  The SREC passed a lovely Resolution in her honor, and State Senator Konni Burton provided a Flag to her family that had been flown over the Capitol on the day of her memorial service.

Two ladies were willing to serve SD10 in her place:  Jen Hall and Susan Wright.  Susan Wright was elected to serve at Saturday’s meeting.

When a new Chair is elected, he has the ability to keep or appoint new Party Officers.  Many of us were caught off guard when our new Chairman immediately, upon his election, announced his replacements for all but two of those 11 positions.  Later in the afternoon, Chairman Dickey gave a sincere apology for how he handled that and spent some time explaining what had happened. The two Officers that remain are:  Thomas Gleason as Finance Chair and Nelda Eppes as Sergeant at Arms.  The new appointees include:  Larry Hicks, Treasurer, Holly Alt, Parliamentarian and Chris Howe, Assistant Parliamentarian, Chris Gober General Counsel, Trey Trainer as Assistant General Counsel, Jeremy Storey as Chaplain and Wayne Thorburn as Historian.  He also asked one of the former appointees to the Officials Committee to resign and appointed Jason Ross to that position.  I found the article at this Link to be a good explanation of Saturday’s events if you would like more details.

I wish all our newly appointed Party Officers great success.  I also would like to thank the outgoing Officers for their years of hard work and dedicated service to our party—bringing their amazing talents and training and serving us at their own expense.  We have no idea the impact they have made and we wish them well. Please join me in praying for our new officers and Chair as they take the reins and direct our State Party.

Chairman Dickey shared this pledge: 1. To return RPT cash balance to at least $1,000,000 by the end of 2017. 2. To strongly support the Texas GOP Platform with members of the Texas Legislature. 3.To offer complete transparency with the SREC including delivering a weekly private email with that week’s work and accomplishments. 4. To expand committees to increase opportunities for participation. 5. To visit every Senate District within the first year.

We had reports from the current (now past) officers.  General Counsel Patrick O’Daniel and Associate General Counsel Eric Opiela reported on the good legislation that passed that will be helpful to our Party’s (and any Party’s) work.  HB 1735 will simplify County Party finance reports. Also in that bill is a stronger statute that will curb nursing home voter fraud and other needed changes in the Election Code. Treasurer Tom Washington reported that cash on hand was $666,582.50.  That is, as usual, after all bills have been paid to zero.  The fundraising has been slack since Chairman Mechler announced his resignation, as donors generally want to wait and see who the new leader will be, and that has been the case this quarter.  We will be needing to step up and help our Party continue to be strong financially.  More about that later (see the Grassroots Club and CRC portions below).

National Committeeman Robin Armstrong reported on his visit to the White House as part of President Trump’s healthcare experts group.  He shared that the American Healthcare Act does a lot of needed Medicaid reform.  Dr. Armstrong also reported on the three special elections that are going on around the nation and our prospects for the 2018 elections.  50 US House seats are competitive right now and the Democrats are energized, thinking they can take back that House.  It is up to us to work and donate to make sure that doesn’t happen.  The US Senate is in a better position with fewer Republican seats up for election.  There will also be 38 Governor seats on the ballot in November 2018.

Republican National Committeeman Armstrong also shared that he has been busy helping with Black Engagement around Texas, as well as attending to his RNC duties and meetings.  We also heard from one of our RPT Auxiliary groups: Reginald Clyde spoke about the work and growth of the MLK Association in the Houston area.

Republican National Committeewoman Toni Ann Dasheil reported that the RNC outraised the Democrats in the first quarter of this year, and many of those donors were new to the Party.  As a matter of fact, there was a 398% increase in new donors over previous years.

We spent some time examining a new electonic voting system that may be used for future SREC meeting, speeding up our required Roll Call Vote process.

We have appointed a new committee to bring a recommendation for this new technology to our next meeting.  We changed a Rule to allow for up to four more members of the Candidate Resource Committee (CRC), so that more areas of the state could be covered by the makeup of that Committee.  This Committee is comprised of both SREC and non-SREC members from around the state that are enthusiastic about raising money and donating those funds to down-ballot local races. This is a very worthy cause.  You may click  here to donate.   Tip:  put SD8 when it asks for your Senate District.  I’m proud to have donated $1000 a year to the Candidate Resource Committee out of my own pocket for each of the 7 years I have served on the SREC. (By the way, all SREC members have a gentleman’s agreement to raise or donate at least $1000 a year, but not all of us do so.)  I’m proud to have exceeded that amount most of the years I’ve served, thanks to the generous donors and elected officials of SD8.  Together we keep Texas Red all the way down to the county level.

Speaking of down-ballot races, did you know that the Texas Democratic Party spent a great deal of resources recruiting, funding and endorsing local candidates across the state in “non-partisan” races through their “Project LIFT”? The group “Indivisible”  also intervened in local elections around Texas. The SREC passed a Resolution calling for the Republican Party of Texas to support local Republican candidates as well.  The Resolution directs the leadership and the staff of the RPT to research opposition initiatives, promptly develop and implement strategies, and commit appropriate resource to assist county Republican Parties and candidates in “non-partisan” races.  This is designed to go into effect only when the Democrats have backed a specific candidate against a known Republican candidate (not for when two or more Republicans are in a local race).  The Resolution further called for the RPT to challenge any activity that is in violation of Texas Election Law, including local races.

This was the first year for the new Legislative Committee, headed up by Vice Chair Amy Clark.  This committee followed closely our Legislative Priorities bills in the Texas Legislature and worked hard on behalf of our Platform.  We had three out of our eight priorities enacted in their entirety:   Border Security, Sanctuary Cities, and Article V Convention.  There were eight bills that passed that related in part or in total to our Priorities.  The Legislative Committee drafted a letter encouraging the Governor to include all the remaining Legislative Priorities in any called Special Session of the Legislature and thanked him for signing into law the ones that had already passed.  SREC members were invited to sign that letter if they wished.

The Party Organization Committee has been working hard.  They have completed the update to the Republican Candidate Resource Manual, but that will not be available yet because there are 10 pending Election Laws that are awaiting the Governor’s signature or Veto.  When the fate of those laws is decided, the new manual will be available through an SREC member or your County Party.  I do encourage every Republican Candidate to ask for this informative document.

The Grassroots Club’s current membership has fallen to 954 members statewide. Many of our SD8 memberships have expired.  Please check to see if you are still getting charged on your credit card, or if it has been a year since you last donated your $99.  The Grassroots Committee is gearing up to now include three levels of giving.  Bronze will be $8.25 a month or $99 a year with all the current perks.  Silver will be $12.50 a month or $150 a year, with some new additional perks.  Gold will be $25 a month or $300 a year with even more perks.  Be watching the Grassroots Club website  for these opportunities coming very soon.

The Mighty Texas Strike Force is still active and making a difference.  From June 11-20 Texans will be traveling to Georgia to work the Congressional District 6 runoff race.  Click here  if you would like more information on joining that team.

Only one year from now we will be meeting in San Antonio for our Texas Republican Convention. We’ll have our Primary on March 6.  Our Precinct Conventions will be held on that same day or during that week.  Any Republican voter may show up and attend as a Delegate to their Precinct Convention meeting.  Following next will be the Senatorial District Conventions, then on to the State Convention.  At the State Convention the full Delegation will elect a Chair and Vice Chair of the State Party and each Senate District will elect their Committeeman and Committeewoman. It is hard to believe that my final term on the State Republican Executive Committee is half way over already.  There is so much more we can do together in the days ahead.  Let’s get busy.

Texas GOP Chair Resigns

As many of you have heard, Texas GOP Chairman Tom Mechler has stepped down as chair, effective immediately, as of Saturday.  He named personal reasons in his letter of resignation (including the extensive amount of time away from his home in Amarillo as his motivation to take this step).  We are grateful to him for his service, and to his family for their sacrifice of time, talent and resources that have been extended to our Party during his time as Chairman.

Added to this, our precious SREC Senate District 10 Committeewoman Merri Easterly went home to be with the Lord on Friday evening.  Merri was very active in the Republican Party and in the Texas Federation of Republican Women, and she will be greatly missed.  She was a faithful SREC member and served alongside of me on the Resolutions Committee.  My heart is heavy as I will miss her friendship.

The “Call” for our next State Republican Executive Committee meeting now includes the agenda items of electing both a replacement for the Chair and for the SD10 Committeewoman position.   Both of these replacements will be serving temporarily until the full Convention elects a Chair at our Texas GOP Convention and the SD10 folks elect their own replacement for Merri in San Antonio next June.

The SREC will meet in Austin on June 2nd for Committee meetings, and on June 3rd for the full SREC meeting and these two elections.

As of now, I have heard of three names being considered for Chairman, and many other names have been mentioned to me as possible candidates.  Only a candidate that has an SREC member to nominate him (or her) may be considered on that day. Since Amy Clark is our Vice Chairman, and according to Texas Election Code if the Vice Chair is female, then the Chair must be a male, this narrows down the possible candidates a bit.  By the way, since some of you have asked:  NO, I do not want to be Chair.

I’d love and welcome your input on this, but only if you do your own personal vetting on the candidates for either of these positions.  Please do not forward me what others say— but I am truly interested in first-hand accounts and experiences and knowledge of candidates.  I am doing the same:  personally vetting each interested candidate that contacts me.

Meanwhile, I would ask for you to pray for our Party and for those that are running for the two positions.  Pray for wisdom for those of us who will be making the choices on your behalf.

As always, thank you for the honor of serving you and the opportunity to share this information with you.

Campaign School Opportunity and other News

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The Texas Republican Party leadership had a webinar tonight and I wanted to give you a quick update.

The Texas GOP will be hosting a Campaign Management School in Austin July 19-21.  Click here for more information and the application required to attend.  The Campaign Management School will teach you all you need to know about running a successful campaign in Texas.  Space is limited, so apply right away if you wish to attend.

The Texas Secretary of State has released the dates for the 2018 Primary Election, believe it or not.   We never get any rest, do we?  Here are the high points:

              September 12, 2017: Precinct Chair filing for office begins

              November 11 through December 11, 2017:  Candidate Filing for office

              January 1 through February 23, 2018:  Ballot by Mail Application submission allowed

              February 5, 2018:  Deadline to Register to Vote

              February 20 through March 2, 2018:  Early Voting

              Tuesday, March 6, 2018:  Primary Election Day

Interesting news from the Party: 

Minority and Youth engagement is a top priority right now and there is a lot going on in these communities.  If you know someone that would like to volunteer to help with this effort, you’ll find the information on the bottom of the opening page of the Texas GOP Website.

We have had 5 Texas Elected Officials switch to the Republican Party since January. 

We had Senator John Cornyn join our call and he updated us on Washington DC news.  He talked about the progress in pealing back the Obama overreaching regulations in Washington since President Trump took office.  Senator Cornyn also talked about the President’s enforcement of the “Red Line” that President Obama drew but didn’t enforce in Syria  and other hot spots around the world.  He talked about how the economy is growing and that they working to fix the broken tax code. He was enthusiastic about how outstanding a job President Trump has done with his appointments, especially the newest Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and his pick of Vice President Mike Pence.  He also mentioned that the US House is working on the “Repeal and Replace” market-based version of Obamacare, and he thinks they are making progress on this very complicated issue. 

Our next SREC meeting will be June 2-3 in Austin, and if the Legislature gets their work done without a Special Session, we’ll have an update about their work then.  So far it doesn’t seem like many of the Texas GOP’s eight Legislative Priorities are getting through the Texas House (the Texas Senate has done a great job on these).  Don’t forget to tell our outstanding Republican elected officials how much you appreciate their standing up for our conservative values and Bills.  They hear a lot from the other side.  Let’s let them hear from us, too.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you on the State Republican Executive Committee.  I appreciate you allowing me to share my updates with you.

Four Days in Austin with the SREC

On Wednesday & Thursday last week I was in Austin to meet with Legislators and state official staffers as the State Republican Executive Committee Legislative Committee hosted our Legislative day. 

We are blessed in Senate District 8 to have all Republicans representing us so well in the Legislature (and of course in every state-wide office).  It was fun to watch Senator Van Taylor sign some official copies of bills that he is proposing.  Representative Jodie Laubenberg caught me up on some of the Elections Committee bills and Election rules.  Both Representative Jeff Leach and Representative Matt Shaheen took time out of their busy schedules to sit down with me and run through the Texas GOP Legislative Priorities and their progress in the House.  It was nice of Representative Linda Koop to spend time with me (going over bills) when she saw me in the Capitol hallway.  I was sorry to miss a couple of others, but since this was my third visit to Austin this session (and I’m going again in a couple of weeks) they all certainly know where I stand on our issues by now.  By no fault of our local Legislators, most of the 8 Texas GOP Priorities seem to not be making a lot of progress in the Texas House, but the Texas Senate appears to be making an effort to pass those bills at a very good rate.

On Friday, the State Republican Executive Committee met in committees.  As the Chair of Resolutions this was a busy time for me.  We had 9 Resolutions submitted for consideration, and we passed 5 on to the full SREC on Saturday.  These were adopted:

1.       Resolution to Urge Votes on RPT Legislative Priorities—this Resolution asks for Chairmen of the House and Senate Committees to hear the bills pertaining to our Priorities, vote on them, and send them on to the full body for a vote. 

2.       Resolution Dignifying the Humanity of the Unborn—This Resolution asks for Legislation to pass that protects the dignity of unborn children from dismemberment while alive, and for the remains of aborted children receive a proper burial or cremation.  (This Resolution is in addition to the Legislative Priority that calls for an end to Abortion).

3.       A Resolution calling for Election Integrity legislation protecting Mail-in Ballots from fraud.

4.       A Resolution calling for Citizenship Verification legislation for Registered voters. 

5.       A Resolution calling for the end of the EPA overreach in the State of Texas during the transition of power in Washington.

There was a lot on information presented at the Saturday meeting of the SREC.  Here are some highlights:

The Texas GOP had our annual audit, and received a completely clean audit…again!  The firm that conducts our audit expressed just how unusually efficient our Audit is compared to most—everything is in order and ready for them.  Between all the regulations for Federal and State Campaign accounts and the use of certain money only for certain things, the ability to keep all that straight is amazing.  I’m proud to be associated with an organization that does such a complex business in such an exemplary manner.

Speaking of accounts, the Republican Party of Texas has a cash balance on hand of $700,107 with all of our bills paid to zero.  Not bad after all the expenses and expenditures in a Presidential election year.  There was a major fundraiser in Austin last night with our Legislators, so those funds will rise.

The Republican Party of Texas has a new Finance Director, Thomas Gleason of Dallas.  The Finance Director is a volunteer officer for the Party who raises money for us.  Thomas has just gotten started and already has a plan to raise the funds needed to fund the party and expand our Engagement abilities. 

General Counsel Patrick O’Daniel gave an update on the Voter ID suit against the State of Texas.  The Appeals Court gave the Legislature a specific path to correcting what they see as the problems in the bill.  We want to be careful to comply so that we will not be put back under the “Voters Rights Act” in any way.  The recommended remedy is in the form of Senate Bill 5.  It is my understanding that all the Legislators have signed onto that bill. 

Associate General Counsel Eric Opeila reported that under the Obama Administration the state and county parties were overwhelmed with onerous compliance regulations for conducting election mailings and Get Out the Vote efforts.  For instance, if a local party wanted to say “Vote Republican” in a mailing, or even just give the time and place of voting locations, these overreaching regulations required Federal Campaign Funds be used at least in part, since this was a Federal election year. Actually, every two years are Federal Election years since Congressmen run every two years.  Most local parties do not have Federal Accounts, so the Texas GOP had to use our funds to help pay for those efforts and file those forms.  Our General Counsel for the Texas GOP has sent a letter to the FEC asking for a rollback on those regulations (which mainly are an every-expanding use of McCain-Feingold).  Hopefully the new administration is more in tune to the Constitution than the last one and we will have relief from these ridiculous and unconstitutional regulations. 

We filled 3 County Chair vacancies bringing the number of Republican County Chairs to 251 out of 254.

We also filled a vacancy on the SREC.  Elijah Casas is the new SD27 Committeeman.  The former Committeeman won a race for Constable, so is now ineligible to serve on the SREC.

Our own SD8 member Jody Rushton was reappointed to serve on the Candidate Resource Committee.  Thank you, Jody, for helping raise funds to help down ballot races across the state. 

We’ve already had four elected officials in Texas switch from being a Democrat to being a Republican since the election.  A good start to our year. 

National Committeewoman Toni Anne Dashiell has been very busy.  She is working with the “New Leaders on the Rise” which promotes training and recruiting Republicans to run for office, especially in target outreach groups (minorities and young voters). 

Speaking of candidates, the Republican Party of Texas will be hosting a 3-day Campaign School in Austin. Also, one-day Candidate Development and Campaign Management Training schools will be hosted across the state this summer. The dates of these trainings has not been decided so watch the www.Texasgop.org  website for more information. 

The Republican Party of Texas has been busy.  It was exciting to hear all the on-going work on behalf of our Outreach efforts and how our numbers are growing in these groups.  Steven Wong, the Asian-American Engagement Director gave an update on all the work going on around the state reaching out to the Hispanic, Black, and Youth Voters.  At a recent event in Houston 113 showed up as the result of Hispanic outreach.  For many it was their first Republican event. 

We had a very interesting presentation on Millennial Engagement by “The Conservative Millennial” Blogger Allie Stuckey.  Since Allie lives in Dallas I hope to have her up to our area soon to do this presentation for us.  Good information with concrete ideas on reaching the newest generation of voters. 

Speaking of young voters, we heard from Colton Duncan of the Texas Federation of College Republicans (TFCR).  Colton is a Political Science major at Texas State and reported that our TFCR volunteers held 50 Voter Registration drives on College Campuses across Texas and Registered 3000 Republican voters prior to the election.  They also participated in Phone banks and Block walks—reaching thousands of voters. If you know of a school without a College Republican group, a new one can form with as little as 10 members. 

National Committeewoman Toni Anne Dashiell and Vice Chairman Amy Clark have a new 501c4 organization- Right2Speak -that advocates for Republican Women to speak up and be heard.  Their theme is: Engage. Educate. Elevate.  They are encouraging Republican Women to wear turquoise on March 8 and post “We Show Up!” on social media in response to the Democrat “stay home day” that is planned.  Check out www.right2speak.org  for more information.

National Committeeman Dr. Robin Armstrong talked about the Republican National Committee’s newly elected Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, a former Michigan Republican Chair and Vice Chair Bob Paduchik. Both Toni Ann and Robin expressed great confidence that the new leadership will do a good job. Robin was recently elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the RNC, and Toni Anne reelected to the Budget Committee.  There is also a new RNC Finance Chair, Steve Wynn, who owns the chain of hotels and casinos, to help with fundraising.  Dr. Armstrong reported that Republicans now have full control of 25 States’ House, Senate and Governor’s seats.  By Comparison, Democrats only control 5.  There are 33 Republican Governors.  He encouraged us to support and pray for President Trump. As we start looking toward the 2018 Elections, Republicans will be defending only eight US Senate Seats while Democrats will be defending 23 seats– plus two seats held by Independents that caucus with Democrats.  Many of these Senators live in states that voted for President Trump. No rest for us, but great opportunities for excellence.

We picked San Antonio for the site of the 2018 Texas Republican Convention at our December meeting, but we are already hard at work deciding where the 2020 Convention will be held.  As of now the two cities that have availability and have submitted proposals are Houston and San Antonio.  

The Grassroots Club membership for Senate District 8 is down a bit.  Check to see if your membership in this vital funding of our party as expired.  If you haven’t yet joined, today is a good day to do so: www.grassrootsclub.com Remember, together we make the Texas GOP strong, and it only takes $8.25 a month.

We did spend a lot of time working on our own SREC Bylaws and Rules. 

An adopted new Rule is one, according to the Texas Election Code, that is only the SREC may decide.  Here is the rule that was adopted:  If someone wants to run for Republican County Chairman in a County with more than 300,000 population, then that individual will need to have at least 10% of the currently filled Precinct Chairs sign a petition to allow them on the ballot.  The Democratic Party has had this rule for a number of years, and we were encouraged to pass this by the Texas Republican County Chairman’s Association.  This avoids a Democrat (or a crazy person) from adding their name to our ballot and being elected as a County Chair, as happened in one large Texas County back in March.  Talk to me if you want to hear bizarre that story. 

Next, we took up a Bylaw change (again) on the majority percentage required to make a Bylaw Change. I gave an extensive explanation of this debate which occurred at our last meeting, so if you want to know the details check out that blog post.  The two sides where a choice between a Majority of the Membership or by a 2/3 vote.  To make a long story short, 2/3 won.  We also spent a great deal of time discussing who in attendance at our meetings may photograph, video, or livestream our proceedings.  That is an hour of my life I will not get back.  Here’s the short version. Basically, here’s Richard Hayes’ (our RPT’s Registered Parliamentarian) read on our Rules, and in the end a Majority vote agreed: Rules state that pictures and videos are allowed by Executive Committee members only, and that this right is not transferable to others. Did you know that the SREC meetings are livestreamed?  They can be found each quarter at ustream.tv/channel/republican-party-of-texas and anyone may watch us there, or attend in person.

We also changed our Bylaws to make the Legislative Committee a Permanent Committee. 

This newly formed Legislative Committee has been hard at work following Legislation that pertains to our Legislative Priorities.  They have been hosting webinars at regular intervals.  If you would like to participate, watch for an email from the Texas GOP, or let me know and I will forward the invitation to you when it is scheduled. 

At the Saturday meeting of the SREC we heard from several elected officials including Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick (about the funding of the Railroad Commission), State Representative Dustin Burrows and State Representative Cecil Bell.  Of course, we saw many others as we visited the Capitol.  It was a good four days of work.

On a personal note, thanks to all of you that sent such kind words following my Chairing of the Texas Electoral College back on December 19.  It was an honor to serve the State of Texas and the United State of America as I had the privilege of announcing that President Trump had the needed Electoral College votes.  Indeed, he would not have won without Texas—he would have been two short.  God Bless Texas. 

I also wanted to let you know that I have added an additional responsibility, as in January I was appointed by Governor Greg Abbot to serve on the Texas Juvenile Justice Board.  I am honored to be one of the “Public” members on that board, and am enjoying this vital new place of service.

Thank any of you who read all the way down to here, as I know your time is precious and my words are many.  Thank you for the honor of serving you on the State Republican Executive Committee.

News for Republicans from Austin

Today I will update you on two things:  The latest from the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) meeting in Austin this past weekend and the Electoral College process and news.  I apologize in advance for how long this is, but there is a lot to share.

On Friday the SREC met in Committees. As the Chair of the Resolutions Committee we had a full agenda.  It was our responsibility to recommend to the full SREC up to three Legislative Priorities.  Five Legislative Priorities had already been decided by the full Texas GOP Convention back in May (see those five on the last page of the Platform), and ours were to be in addition to those, as specified in the Party Rules.  I must tell you that we had seventeen wonderful priority ideas submitted to the Committee, and it was hard to pick because they were all worthy of our support, and hopefully will all pass the Legislature.  The three that were recommended, and were passed, with one minor change before the entire SREC were these:

1.       Working to advocate for comprehensive school choice in a manner consistent with the RPT Platform.

2.       We support denial and/or withdrawal of public funds for entities, public and/or private, not in compliance with immigration laws, including sanctuary cities or campuses.

3.       Protect the citizens of Texas from unlawful encroachments on their First Amendment rights, including Constitutional religious liberty and freedom of speech, and as specified in RPT Platform plank 153.

These were issues that Convention delegates and the Texas Republican Primary voters overwhelmingly supported.  The Religious Liberty issue was mentioned in seven different planks, so that one was fairly broad in how it is worded.  We’re hopeful that these, and the other issues that didn’t make the cut, will all pass and be signed into law.

The Resolutions Committee also recommended two Resolutions to the full SREC.  These were “Protecting Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Association” and a resolution calling for the State of Texas to “Secure its Electric Grid.”  Both of these Resolutions were passed by the SREC on Saturday. 

Friday evening we were treated to a lovely Christmas Party at a historical home in Austin.  Our host was Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. He shared some of his priorities and concerns for the upcoming Legislative session and also some fun stories from his time working alongside the Trump campaign.

I’m not going to lie to you.  Saturday was a doozy of a meeting, and I’m disappointed to see that there is some misrepresentation of what was done. I’ll fill you in on more of that later in this report, and hopefully those that want to make big splashes by exaggeration (which is way more fun to tell than the truth) will be quieted a bit.

First, though, we had to elect a new SREC Secretary.  Rena Peden has served for several years, and has stepped down.  Former SREC member, Jim Wiggins was elected (without opposition) to serve. 

Ann Marie Birdwell, the Deputy Victory Director for the 2016 election, gave us an update on the Texas Election results.  The Texas Victory effort had 14 paid staffers, 25 field offices, and over 3500 amazing volunteers from across the state.  $1.5 Million was raised for the effort and it really paid off with 1.8 million phone calls made, 100,000 doors knocked on in the 16 targeted race areas, 2.8 million online voter contacts made,  30 Young Professional Events hosted and 100,000 voter contacts made in Spanish. Also, 2,771,230 ads and videos were seen online through Twitter, Facebook and other online sites and 68% were watched through to the end.  The result:  25 Texas Republicans in the US Congress (out of 36), 20 Republicans in the Texas Senate (out of 31), and 95 Republicans in the Texas House (out of 150). Our State Chairman Tom Mechler, Vice Chair Amy Clark, National Committeeman Robin Armstrong and National Committeewoman Toni Anne Dashiell all campaigned in person phone banking and block walking in each of those contested races.   

Some fun Texas Republican Facts:

              Republicans have won the last 10 Presidential Elections in Texas

              Texas has 38 Electoral Votes- 7% of the total number of Electoral Votes

               Nearly 80% of the estimated Texas Voting age population registered to vote this year (15.1 million registered voters)

              Approximately 72% of Texans who voted, voted early this year.

              Among Registered voters, 59% cast a ballot in 2016

               Democrats have not won a statewide election in Texas since 1994—and Republicans have won 129 consecutive statewide races.

               Congressman Will Hurd won his closely contested race by 3,700 votes out of 227,000 cast. ( By contrast, in 2012, the Democrat candidate won that seat by 9,129 out of 192,169 votes cast. Nice progress.)

              Congratulations to Collin County for having the highest percentage turnout of the 10 largest populated Texas Counties, with 67.61% voter turnout. Out of those same counties, Montgomery County gets the bragging rights for the highest percentage for Donald Trump with 73.02%.

The State Republican Executive Committee passed a 2017 base budget that will fund the party for day to day operations, and an additional “Wish List” budget that will fund additional efforts, as fundraising allows.  If you are not a member of the Grassroots Club , please join today.  Together we can keep the party strong and financially secure (and enjoy the perk of avoiding those annoying solicitation calls and mail).   As the Republican Party of Texas has done the past few years, all bills are paid to a zero balance and cash on hand is more than $800,000.  Not bad for just having laid it all on the line to get our candidates elected.

Senator John Cornyn sponsored our lunch on Saturday and also spoke to us.  He said that he had dreaded the thought of a Hillary Presidency, but is excited about the future in Washington now. He said that not only do we have to replace a Supreme Court Justice, but also that there are many Federal Judgeships open in Texas and must be filled (I think he said 13, but I’m not positive about that number). Some of the work he anticipates doing is cleaning up the Justice Department, Repealing and Replacing Obamacare, and reforming our broken tax system. Did you know that half of the Democratic Senators that voted for Obamacare are no longer elected to serve in the Senate?  This is good news, as the new administration has the opportunity to change things in Washington with some new blood. 

We spent a good bit of our day Saturday on a highly debated and difficult topic of the SREC Bylaws and the Rules from the State Convention.  Well-meaning and well-informed people were on both sides of this issue, and I’m saddened that anyone is being vilified as a result of their vote and personally considered understanding of this issue. 

Here is a very simplified version (believe it or not) of the issue:  In the Texas GOP Rule 8c that was passed at our Convention in May, in the paragraph under the heading of “Organizational Meeting of the State Republican Executive Committee” it is stated (just after a sentence about the agenda) that “SREC Bylaws or Rules shall always be amendable by a majority of the entire membership, subject only to adopted notice requirements.”

So, here’s the rub:  Does this sentence apply to the Organizational meeting of the SREC, as the heading suggests, or all meetings of the SREC, as the word “always” suggests? I’ll tell you, I wish that it had been clearer.  It would have helped if the Rules had either said that this was a direction for the SREC to permanently change the Bylaws at that Organizational Meeting, or that it applied to that one meeting only (as has been our past practice), or had just put it under a different heading (one that applied to all SREC meetings).

As a Convention Delegate who read the Rule changes prior to voting at Convention, I understood (and when I watched again that part of the Convention on video), that the change was a direction for the SREC’s first meeting only.  If I had understood that it would apply to all meetings, I would have, as a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians, gone to the microphone to point out how far outside of normal practice this would be for an organization under Robert’s Rules of Order.  The standard for changing a Bylaw is, in every organization of which I have been a part, a 2/3 majority requirement.  It is not up to the Convention attendees to figure out what those on the Rules Committee have in mind when they make a Rule.  It must be clear to the reader of that rule.  The decision made by the entire Convention to pass the Rule was based not on the Committee’s intent (we had no way of knowing that, of course), but instead on the actual written words of the Rules document.  I have always considered the Convention the parent of the SREC, and that we are tasked to do the Convention’s work and will.  In this case, I, as a Convention participant, felt I understood what the Rule’s purpose was and that it applied to that Organizational meeting only. I totally get where those who read it see it differently, and I respect and appreciate their perspective.

After extensive debate and testimony, we had a roll call vote on the issue.  The SREC voted straight down the middle to uphold the Chair’s ruling that the Rule applied to the Organizational Meeting of our body, and a 2/3 vote with previous notice is required for other meetings to enact a Bylaw change. In a split vote, the Chair’s ruling stands. It is my hope that the Rules Committee at the 2018 Convention will handle and clarify this question for future SRECs.  

I’ve seen some very unfortunate, and frankly unbalanced, reports about this issue.  This saddens me, as I understand both sides are well meaning and want what’s best for the Party.  At the end of the day, it is my prayer that we would be about the work that really needs to be done and move on to things that really matter:  Passing Conservative Legislation, Reigning in Government overreach, Protecting the innocent, having Constitutionally aligned Courts, and electing amazing candidates.  I hope that is the reader’s goal too. 

Speaking of electing amazing candidates, the Mighty Texas Task Force is still in need of your help.  We need folks that can go help out this week in Shreveport and Lake Charles Louisiana with the US Senate race runoff. This race will determine if the US Senate will have 51 or 52 Republican Senators.  That election is holding early voting now, with the Election Day on Saturday, December 10.

We did end the day on a good note as we were invited to a reception at the Texas Governor’s mansion hosted by our Governor and Cecilia Abbot. The mansion, decorated for Christmas, was lovely.  The first dog, Pancake, wasn’t allowed to come out and visit, because it was so rainy.  

I want to wrap up my update with some news about the Electoral College.  The Electors, myself included, have been inundated with emails, letters, and in some cases calls, encouraging us to switch our votes.  Most have been cordial, if not delusional. However, at lease one fellow Texas Elector has been threatened and now has her mail screened each week by the FBI.  Let me be clear:  I am resolute.  I signed an affidavit -as did we all- at the Convention that I would vote for the Republican Candidate, and I am a girl of my word.  I’m looking forward to casting my Electoral College vote on December 19 in the Texas House Chamber for Donald Trump.  Doing so will honor the will of the voters of the State of Texas, and I am proud to have this opportunity.  State law calls for the  Electors who are present on December 19 to vote to replace any fellow Electors that do not show up to vote, since there is no official way to resign that position following the election.  It is my understanding that there will be at least one vacancy, and maybe more.  It is my intention to replace Electors (hopefully) with a qualified substitute from the missing Congressional District who will also honor the will of the voters and vote for Donald Trump. Please join me in praying for the safety and wisdom of all the Electors across our Nation.

Thank you for reading this way too long post.  Thank you for the honor of sharing the news from our Party and for allowing me to serve. Merry Christmas!

18 Short Days to reach millions of voters

18 Days until we elect a new President.  Early voting begins on Monday.  Mail-in ballots have already been sent and many have already been returned.  The time we have anticipated for 8 years is here!

Tuesday night we had a State-wide Republican Leadership call and I wanted to let you know the latest news and opportunities.

Texans are busy across the state and nation wooing voters for our candidates up and down the ballot.  Our Texas GOP Chair Tom Mechler and Victory Chair Texas Land Commissioner George P Bush called in from the campaign trail, working in Texas Congressman Will Hurd’s district.

National Committeewoman Toni Anne Dashiell updated us on all that the RNC is doing to help Donald Trump and Republican candidates across the Nation to win their elections.  The RNC and Trump campaign have worked well together and she gave us some amazing statistics:  In Pennsylvania alone since the beginning of the year 94,784 Democrats have switched to the Republican Party. Another 46,000+ independent voters have joined the Republican Party.  And more than 200,000 brand new Republican Voters have been registered.

In just the 11 swing states more than 7 million doors have been knocked on!  If it’s quiet around here, it is because so many of our amazing Texas Volunteers have been helping out in those swing states.  In those same swing states 724,480 new Republican voters have been registered.

There is a lot going on here in Texas too.  In our own targeted 11 Congressional and Texas House District races 810,000 calls have been made and 65,000 doors knocked—all since the first of July. These are districts where the number of Republican-to-Democrat voters margin is very slim and we want to keep or gain that seat.

According to news reports 78% of all Texans of voting age are now registered to vote.  That’s 15 million voters.  According to a report by Derek Ryan:

More than a million new voter registrations since the March Primary Election

20,000 more women have registered than men.

One out of Four of the new voters have a Hispanic surname

The average age of new registrants is 36.4, with 43% under the age of 30

This brings me to the part where you can make a difference, because we need to reach out to these new and long-time voters with our message:

This Saturday, October 22 is SUPER SATURDAY BLOCK WALK day around the state.  Dallas is the closest one to us, so come join the fun.  For more information:  https://www.texasgop.org/take-action/

Actually, no need to wait till Saturday.  You can phone bank from home or along with others at the Phone Banks around the state.  If you want to phone bank for Trump:  https://talk.donaldjtrump.com

For those that would like to call Texans around the state for our candidates, then go here: http://bit.ly/MTSFCallsTexas  Vice Chairman Amy Clark is organizing this effort.

Dallas County has a lot of opportunities, and they are spread all over the county:  http://dallasgop.org/events/  For Dallas County Voting information including the early voting and election day voting sites:  http://dallasgop.org/voting-information/

Collin County GOP has targeted several swing precincts and have lists and door-hangers ready to go.  If you would like to help in this effort, call or drop by headquarters:  https://www.collincountygop.org For Collin County Voter information including the Early voting and election day polling locations and ballots:  https://www.collincountygop.org/collin-county-elections/collin-county-early-voting-locations

For those in Denton County, you have work to do also.  http://dentongop.org/volunteer.  Voting information for you may be found: http://www.votedenton.com/upcoming-election-information

The Texas GOP has updated the Ballot Integrity information and I will forward that new Manual to you if you will just email me and ask for it.  Also, for those that are working the polls as a Judge, Clerk, or Poll Watcher or Ballot Board member, the Republican Party of Texas is hosting a Webinar on Ballot Integrity this Thursday, Oct. 20, at 8pm (sorry for the short notice!).  If you would like to participate, shoot me an email and I’ll send you the sign up link.

Each of the Counties in our area are still in need of poll workers, watchers and greeters for November 8.  If you are available, and have the stamina (it is a 14-18 hour day), and want to be a great American by helping out, let your County Party Headquarters know.

Important dates to remember:

Early Voting runs Monday, October 24 through November 4.

The last day to request a ballot by mail is Friday, October 28.

ELECTION DAY Tuesday, November 8

Let’s pray together for our nation. Then let’s get out there and work.  Only 18 days to make a difference.

56 Days left, Ways to help, and RPT News

With only 56 Days till Election Day, the State Republican Executive Committee met in Austin this past weekend with a lot to do.

On Friday we met in committees.  I am honored to be serving as the Chairman of the Resolutions Committee this term.  As a Committee we will be looking at the Resolutions that have been submitted at each of our committee meetings and recommending those that are necessary and prudent to the full SREC for consideration. Of course the Platform speaks well and pretty thoroughly for the Party, so only gaps in that document will be considered.  We will also be charged with recommending up to three Legislative Priorities to be adopted by the SREC at our next meeting.  As we get closer to the next Primary, we will be tasked with coming up with some Ballot Initiatives to recommend.  For those wanting to present a Resolution, we approved the use of a Template to help with formatting and wording.  Since we were not yet an official committee on Friday (the Committees were not ratified until Saturday’s full SREC meeting) we did not recommend any Resolutions be passed this time.

On Saturday we met as a full SREC.  We did a lot of house-keeping type business:  Standing Rules, Ratifying the Committees and Officers of the Party.  This sounds like it was quickly done, but it actually took a lot of time.

We also elected our new Officials Committee.  The Officials Committee makes decisions on behalf of the SREC between our Regular meetings and handles sensitive information such as contracts.  I ran, and was elected to serve on that body, which is composed of the Chair and Vice Chair of the Republican Party of Texas, 5 SREC members who are elected, two SREC members appointed by our Chairman,  the officers of the Party (who are non-voting members of the Officials Committee) and our National Committeeman and Woman.

At our meeting we also heard from State Representative Stephanie Klick, who is heading up the Ballot Security Task Force and is looking for Attorneys around the state that will be on call to help out during the election.  Let me know if you know of an Attorney that would be willing to serve on an as-needed basis.

We heard from US House District 35 Candidate Susan Narvaiz.  She is running against Lloyd Doggett (a district that runs from Austin to San Antonio).  I was very impressed with her.  At lunch we heard from Stacy Hock from Texans for Education Opportunity.  If you want to know more about their Educational Choice plan for the next Legislative Session, check them out  here.

Texas GOP Chairman Tom Mechler debated the Democratic Chair Gilberto Hinojosa at a Relator’s Conference in Galveston last week, and was well received.  The goal of the Republican Party is to reach out to people of all walks of life and introduce them to what a Republican really stands for and the opportunities that our policies and principles will afford everyone.  The Democratic party is made up of Unions, Extreme Environmentalists, and Social Extremists.  It is up to us to get out our message:  We understand that minorities do not fit in those Democratic categories, and it is the Republican Party that represents their values and gives everyone opportunities for success.  As RNC Committeeman Robin Armstrong put it “We are the Party that champions the oppressed, starting with Abraham Lincoln till today.  We have real solutions for hurting communities”.

There are four Counties in Texas that currently do not have County Chairs.  Travis County will elect a new Chair at a Precinct Chair Executive Committee, but the other three are open if you know of anyone in Brooks, Ford or Zapata County.  We filled a vacancy in Uvalde County.

Speaking about County Chairs, there will be a proposed Rule presented at the December SREC meeting that would add a requirement to someone running for a County Republican Chairman spot to have a small percentage of the current Precinct Chairs sign a petition on their behalf.  The Texas Democratic party already has this requirement in place. The recent Travis County Chairman mess –if you missed this, it was a highly entertaining  disaster– is causing us to look at perhaps adopting a similar rule.   More about that after our December meeting.

We spent time hearing from and about the Cities of Houston and San Antonio as the two finalists for the 2018 RPT Convention.  San Antonio won!   We will consider where to hold the 2020 convention at our December meeting. My guess is that Houston will be recommended for that one.  My understanding is that they preferred to be host of a Presidential Election year convention.

We had a Presidential Campaign update from Eric Mahroum and Joshua Jones with the Texas Trump Campaign.  I liked what Eric said:  “Our goal is to never see a Clinton in politics again.”  You may get Trump campaign updates texted to you: just text “Trump” to 88022. Also, if you are available to make phone calls for Trump, go here  to get involved.

There are ways to help both here and around the nation for campaigns up and down the ballot.  Campaign in person with the The Mighty Texas Strike Force  and you can pick where you’d like to help out. Also, Texas GOP Vice Chair Amy Clark is organizing those that want to send postcards and make calls to around the US in support of Trump.  Her theme is “no volunteer left behind”.  If you contact her, she’ll send you all that you need to organize a postcard push   vicechair@texasgop.org .  This would be a fun project to do as a Republican Club at a meeting or as a social.

Both our Collin County and Dallas County Parties have opportunities for volunteering.  The Collin County GOP is holding a Volunteer Fair this Saturday, September 17, 10am-1pm at Cottonwood Creek Church.  This would be a great time and place to get plugged in: http://www.collincountygop.org .  The Dallas County GOP is also looking for Volunteers every day at both at the GOP Headquarters and around the County.  Give them a call or check out their website for more information: http://dallasgop.org

For those that attended the State Convention, the SREC certified the Platform Plank-by-Plank voting results. More than 8500 Delegates participated in this process.  All the Platform planks passed—the lowest one that passed did so with a 70.86% approval (Plank 206 which was “Hemp Cultivation”) and the highest was 98.53% (Plank 5 which was “Preserving American and Texas sovereignty and freedom”).

We have good news on the financial front.  In spite of the Dallas Convention Center hitting us with an enormous unexpected bill for things like electrical plugs and exorbitant audiovisual equipment charges, our State Convention came in $47,143 in the black.  Also, the State Party has $1,012,702 cash on hand as of 9/7/16 with all bills paid to zero.  So proud of that!

National Committee Woman Toni Anne Dashiell reported that the RNC has 1000 paid staffers across the nation that have a ground game that the Trump Campaign is utilizing as no Presidential Candidate has before. This includes 200 staffers in Florida, 49 in Michigan, New Hampshire has 47, Ohio has 112, Virginia has 61, Iowa has 61, North Carolina has 172, Nevada has 55, 99 in Pennsylvania, 59 in Wisconsin, and 47 located in Colorado. They have overseen the knocking on of more than 4.4 million doors, registered 724,488 new voters and trained 5000 other organizers to help carry the load.  By the way, there have been more than 290,000 calls made from Texas since July 1 from Strike Force and Victory Volunteers.  Every single day has opportunities to help out, with an extra special “Super Saturday” on Saturday, September 24.

The Candidate Resource Committee gave their third round of funding to qualified down-ballot candidates.  A thank you goes out to our own SD8 Jody Rushton who is serving on that Committee, and has been responsible for raising a good bit of money for this worthy cause.  Several Dallas County SD8 Candidates have received funds and Collin County Justice of the Peace Chuck Ruckel was also awarded some campaign help.  The CRC has given out more than $138,000 to many down-ballot races across the state.

With only a few days left to walk, call, write, and register, let’s all chip in and help.

Looking forward to (and praying for) November 8. Let’s get this done.