|June 2013 Chairman’s Update
The Republican Party of Texas’s (RPT) priority for June was preparing for the 2014 elections and beyond. In consultation with the Republican National Committee (RNC), the staff and I fine tuned tentative plans for our 2014 Victory efforts, including a substantial increase in our community engagement program. An official announcement detailing these plans will be coming later this month. I can tell you that I am excited about these new prospects for improving our party between now and November 2014 and that we have a real partner with the RNC, which is helping to provide resources for us. Already, the staff has been interviewing numerous candidates for various positions and we have already hired three new staff members with offers out to additional people. In addition to planning Victory efforts, the staff has also been busy preparing various training seminars and schools around the state. In June we held a three-day campaign management school that was sold out. Please click here for a recap of the management school. In addition, Cassie Daniel, our Organization Director has planned a series of seminars around the state in cooperation with local County Chairmen.
June also marked the second quarterly meeting of SREC on June 7th and 8th. Click here for a recap of the SREC meeting. We were also busy in June with the first called special session of the Texas Legislature. It was a top priority of the Party to insure that new maps were passed by the legislature. The maps that we ran under last election cycle in 2012 were only temporary maps and if the legislature had not passed new maps the courts would draw legislative boundaries, as opposed to our elected officials. We were bolstered in June by a ruling from the Supreme Court which ruled that the standards pertaining to applicability of the Voting Rights Act had to be revised, therefore arguably removing an avenue for the Democrats to challenge the current maps. Thus the chances of the current boundaries being upheld by the judicial process increased dramatically. The three judge panel in San Antonio has already asked for the Parties to provide briefs on their positions. Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office and his team, which includes Daniel Hodge, have done an outstanding job representing the state of Texas defending legislator’s intent. As of the writing of this update we are increasingly hopeful that maps will be substantially upheld in their current form but also increasingly hopeful that the March 2014 primary will not be delayed. Assistant General Counsel Eric Opiela has been keeping the Party apprised of developments on a volunteer basis, as has our retained attorney, Donna Davidson. As further developments occur on this issue we will keep you advised.
June also saw significant achievements in our efforts for engagement in the Asian American and African American communities. In June, the Asian Republican Assembly of Texas was approved as an official auxiliary and the party hired the first ever full time director of Asian American engagement, Melissa Fwu. Please click here for a report on the new auxiliary. Moreover, as a result of a generous grant from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, funding was obtained for our African American Auxiliary, the Texas Federation for Republican Outreach, to contact hundreds of thousands of conservative African American households for the purpose of engaging with the Republican Party. Click here for a report on the African American Auxiliary. June also witnessed the first ever state convention of the High School Republicans of Texas (HSRT), which was charted approximately one year ago under the Chairmanship of Connor Pfeiffer.
As usual I also had an opportunity to travel around the state to many cities in June. During the first week of the month I traveled Houston to meet with representatives of the Taiwanese Consulate. Later in the week I traveled to San Antonio to speak at a reception at the National Convention of the Pachyderms Society. The following day it was back to Austin for the SREC meetings. Upon conclusion of the meeting, I traveled to Houston for a meeting with Harris County Judge Ed Emmet and for a speech to the Woodlands Tea Party Patriots. The Tea Party meeting was overflowing with what appeared to be 100 in attendance. I also had a chance to meet with Representative Steve Toth who was also in attendance to show his support.
It was then back to Austin for a couple of days in the office followed by another trip to Houston at the end of the week to speak at the first meeting of the Texas Asian Republican Assembly chapter since it was charted as an official auxiliary. The next morning I headed to San Antonio to speak at the HSRT convention. From San Antonio it was back to Austin to speak at and attend most of the campaign management school. Please click here for that report.
The day after the school was complete I drove up and back to Collin County to speak to Republican Men’s Club. While there I had a chance to meet with Collin County Republican Chair Fred Moses as well as SREC members Nathan Kerr, Neil Katz, Tom Washington, Candy Noble, and Jean McIver. I drove back to Austin that night since I had to drive to Kerr County the next morning to speak to the Kerr County Republican Women’s Club. From there it was back to Austin for a few days followed by a trip at the end of the month to El Paso to speak to the El Paso Republican Party. County Chair Tom Holmsley chaired the meeting. From El Paso it was back to Austin and back to work.
On the financial front we ended June with all bills paid to $0 and over $1 million in our accounts for the 10th month in a row. I have been advising party faithful for the past couple months to expect a significant decrease in the cash balance over the summer and early fall. Thus even though we have over $1 million cash now, this does represent about a $150,000 drop over the last couple of months and I expect these balances to decline further prior to end of the year.
The month of June also marked the third anniversary of my being elected Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas which occurred on June 13th, 2010 in Dallas. I want to thank all of you for the opportunity and privilege to serve as your Chairman. I believe we solved the party’s financial problems and were able to rebuild the staff during my first term. I also believe all of us working together, along with our elected officials, yielded progress in both the 2010 and 2012 elections. Today we have 853 more Republican offices statewide than in 2008. I also believe we were able to accomplish another goal during my first term which was to engage young voters. The High School Republican of Texas at last count had 20 chapters and our hiring of full time Youth Director, Rachel Wilson, has provided help to our existing auxiliaries, College Republicans and Young Republican Federation.
I plan to focus the remainder of my second term on the final two goals I set for the Party when I ran 3 years ago: the first being operating year round Victory Centers with field staff throughout the state. We will have exciting announcements within the next few weeks detailing how this goal will be accomplished. The other remaining goal was to increase support of the Republican ticket in the African American, Hispanic, and Asian American communities. While I feel confident we have made significant gains in this area through the chartering of numerous new auxiliaries, I also believe we have a significant ways to go and I plan to make it a priority over the next 12 months to dramatically increase our presence in these communities to spread conservative, Republican principles to every corner of state. I am confident that these goals will be achieved and am looking forward to great success in 2014. I know that with your help we can do it.