December 11, 2017
Dear Texas Republicans,
Today marks the official end of the candidate filing period. The Republican Party of Texas state headquarters has seen almost 300 candidates come through to file for a place on the ballot for campaigns including legislative, judicial, and Congressional races––not to mention the hundreds of additional candidates who filed with their respective county party. This is an exciting time at the Republican Party of Texas as we kick off the 2018 election process.
People & Places
It was a pleasure to visit with incoming TFRW president Karen Newton (pictured right) on her way through town last week! Republican women play a critical role in Texas and I’m excited about plans for TFRW and RPT to work closely together in the coming months.
Recently I was honored to address the Texas Medical Association in a conversation with the Democrat chair. I shared my vision for our party and discussed why Republican principles implemented in public policy are a win for all Texans. Several members of TMA are Republican Senators and Representatives; it’s good to see a strong delegation of medical professionals in the legislature representing Republican values.
Due to time constraints at our most recent SREC meeting, I was unable to deliver my Chairman’s report in person at the meeting. You can read it below, or view the video presentation of it that I recorded at our headquarters.
The text of the report:
It has been an honor to meet so many great, principled Republicans doing great work for our Party all over the state, and it has been a pleasure to see the advancements we have made in many areas — including in fundraising, in voter engagement, and in our party organization. I have great news to share with you on each of these topics.
As we all know, the summer months are always difficult for connecting with donors. However, it has been very interesting to me to see specifically what donors care about, and what inspires them to give. It is very clear that when donors began to see our work on issues they cared about, then they became much more eager to donate and to introduce us to their friends and other potential donors. Due to these exciting factors, it appears that we have had our first month with an income over $200,000 in over 3 years. I am absolutely expecting that trend to continue as we keep working on issues and striving to become more relevant in the arena of ideas.
One of the most interesting arenas in which we have engaged came from the SREC’s approval of a resolution in the last quarterly meeting in September. The resolution states that the Republican Party of Texas expects Republican House candidates in 2018 to indicate to Republican Primary voters whether they will support the Republican Speaker candidate who wins the majority of the votes in the Republican Caucus. Included in the resolution was a directive for us to deliver the resolution to every candidate for the Texas House of Representatives who files for a position on the ballot as candidates in the 2018 Republican Primary.
We developed a form which we distributed with our candidate packets and sent out to the county parties to include in theirs. So far, we have received over 50 of those forms from filed candidates and have received very positive feedback on this effort from the grassroots and from new major donors.
On voter engagement I’m proud of our amazing RNC State Director and RPT Political Director Kristy Wilkinson and the exciting work our field team is doing under her direction. Our entire political department is already hard at work to prepare earlier and prepare well, in order to reach as many voters as possible. We have established Regional Field Directors all over Texas. Jesse Grady serves as Coastal Bend Regional Field Director in Corpus Christi. Joel James is the Dallas Regional Field Director in the entire DFW area. Mark Irey is the Harris County Regional Field Director. In addition, we’ve just hired Rommel Lopez to join the team as a Regional Field Director in the Big Bend region. These field team members are each building their own volunteer network that will engage voters in increasing numbers throughout the entire 2018 election cycle.
In addition to expanding our staff in the field, we continue to expand our team of engaged volunteers. I know how important it is to have wide expertise, and I have seen how critical our legal team’s input has been and will continue to be, it was my great honor to introduce you to two additional legal experts who have agreed to serve the Party. Since you accepted their appointments, I am pleased that Ross Fischer and Wade Emmert have joined our legal team as Assistant Legal Counsel.
These advances and more are a result of all the work our staff and volunteers have dedicated over the past few months. I am excited for the progress we’ve made and the potential we have ahead. A big thanks to you for reading and supporting this work.
Report from the Field
Mark Irey, the Regional Field Director based in Houston, TX, hosted a training with Brazoria County Republicans (pictured) to learn grassroots organizing and other campaign strategies. Sessions like this are regularly held by our Regional Field Directors and are an essential part of our political effort as they multiply the work our field staff can do.
Today we welcomed our newest team member: Rommel Lopez joins us as Big Bend area Regional Field Director. Rommel serves the CD-23 area and will be based out of San Antonio.
This Thursday, we will be hosting an exclusive 2018 strategy call our Victory Chair, Senator Dawn Buckingham with members of the Grassroots Club this Thursday evening. If you are already member of the Grassroots Club, you should receive relevant information sometime today. If you would like to join the Grassroots Club and participate in this call, click here.
In Case You Missed It . . .
- Austin American-Statesman: State lawmakers concerned that Alamo redesign effort not transparent
- Dallas Morning News: Who will Dallas’ next sheriff be? The controversy has already begun
- Dallas Morning News: Lupe Valdez resigns as Dallas County sheriff, announces her run for Texas governor
- Texas Monitor: As deadline approaches, Republican Caucus pledge short on signatures
- Dallas Morning News: Texas Democrats will keep money raised at event headlined by Al Franken
- Ft. Worth Star-Telegram: Wendy Davis talks about her movie, sexual harassment and another run for governor
- Texas Monthly: Your Texas Roundup: Blue Rush
- Texas Public Radio: Texas GOP Chair Calls For Valdez’s Immediate Departure From Office
- Texas Tribune: Democrat Andrew White, son of late Gov. Mark White, announces gubernatorial bid
- San Antonio Express-News: Congress, state House races poised to be the most competitive in 2018
- AP: Rash of retirements triggers Texas political bonanza
- RPT Chairman Applauds New Texas House Republican Caucus Speaker Selection Rules
- Official List of March Republican Primary Ballot Propositions
- Texas Democrats Finally Find Their Candidate for Governor
- Dallas County Commissioners Court Needs to Replace the Sheriff
- Democrats Rigging Another Primary
Coming Up Next
December 11: Last day for candidate filing (see filing info)
January 26/27: 2018 Q1 SREC meeting
January 31-February 3: RNC Winter Meeting in Washington, DC
April 6/7: 2018 Q2 SREC meeting
Thanks to all of the candidates from across the state who have stepped forward to offer a wide range of options for Texas voters to choose from in the primary. We will grow the party through our continued field efforts and healthy competition of ideas and candidates. Then we’ll be best prepared for the challenge that awaits us in the general election next November.
Thank you for your support.
Source: RPT Updates from the Chairman