11:55 am CST - June 10, 2009
Posted under On The Record
Dear fellow Texas Republican,
In recent months, I have met with several current and past State Republican Party leaders and have been asked by many of them to consider running for Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. After much prayer and soul searching, I have decided to answer that call. Today, I am writing you to announce my candidacy for Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.
Having lost seats in the last two general elections, Republicans are now poised to lose our two-seat majority in the Texas House of Representatives if a serious course correction is not taken prior to the 2010 general election. If we lose our majority, Republicans will be at a great disadvantage in the redistricting battle which will occur after the 2010 census. Not only must we hold on to our majority, but we must increase it. It was with that thought in mind that many individuals approached me about running for Party Chairman.
Our Party has a history of excellent leaders, and I want to clarify that nothing in this letter is intended to criticize any current or previous leadership; indeed, I have the utmost respect and appreciation for their hard work and dedication. However, I believe our Party is at a point where my experience, skills, temperament, and talents can be particularly
effective in leading the Republican Party of Texas.
I have a great love for our Party and the issues that unite us as Republicans, as expressed in our Platform. I believe in the sanctity of life, policies that strengthen families, and limiting the reach of government in our lives in order to preserve individual freedom. I am a conservative whose philosophy is inspired by Christian principles.
It is my belief the crisis in which we find ourselves is a result of 1) our ranks being fractured and 2) a lack of a consistent message being offered to the voters. Our ideas are strong and our beliefs ring true to a majority of Texans. Texas is a conservative state, and our Party espouses a conservative message.
Conservatism, when articulated appropriately and implemented, rather than being just a campaign slogan, has broad appeal. Business owners across Texas want low taxes and reasonable regulations. Families failed by public schools that refuse to change want the opportunity to give their children an educational alternative. Texans believe in a culture that
nurtures and protects life. These are all conservative ideas, and they have wide appeal.
During the 12 years I served as a county chairman and the four years I served on the SREC, I have seen our Party accomplish much. We have the ability to win if we work together as a team. The State Chair is a position of servant leadership, one of accountability to the SREC, to the delegates of the State Convention, and to grassroots Texans.
Several weeks ago, I met with a grassroots leader who asked me, “Why do you want to be State Chair?” I’m not looking for an opportunity to build my resume. I am completely content with the work I have already been blessed to do in my life, whether serving as a member of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, running a business and providing for my
family, or serving as a volunteer prison chaplain. This campaign is not about me – it’s about the hopes and aspirations of our Party – about a resurgent and optimistic conservatism that doesn’t shun tough fights, but does make a stand on tough issues in a positive way. It’s about the leadership we need to protect and increase our majorities in the House and Senate, and our hold on statewide offices. It is about moving forward, not more of the same. In other words, I want to serve for the sake of helping the Party succeed.
The Party is a large, complex organization with many moving parts, which requires its leader to have the managerial, organizational, and financial skills that my experience has provided me. I have owned and operated several entrepreneur businesses over the last 17 years, managed three county parties, and have both an engineering degree and an MBA.
What Must Be Done To Win
Every element of the Party is essential for it to function properly. We sometimes have a tendency to disregard or even disrespect the importance of the various groups in our Party, and I believe this severely weakens our effectiveness. If we are to win back our solid House majority and continue winning in other areas, we are all going to have to work together.
Ronald Reagan showed us the importance of bringing the social and fiscal conservative wings of the party together. We need each other to be successful.
I tend to see the Party as a four legged stool – One leg is the SREC and the county chairs elected by the grassroots, one leg comprises the elected officials, one leg consists of the major donors, and the final leg, the auxiliaries. It appears to me that some of the legs in this example feel they don’t have a place at the table.
Some believe that we don’t need major donors but most of our initiatives cannot be accomplished by volunteers alone. All donors, small and large, are essential to the success of our Party. Millions of dollars are necessary to win elections. If either small or large donors are not giving, it seems to indicate they have lost confidence in the Party.
Auxiliaries are essential to our success since they bring like-minded Republicans together for a unique purpose. One example, TFRW, has carried an enormous amount of water in working to elect Republicans. For the sake of our success, it is essential that all of our auxiliaries be strong and focused on electing Republicans and implementing our Republican
values and principles. In my opinion, we cannot effectively reach out to non-traditional Republicans without them. Our elected officials must feel they have a place at the table. Many I have spoken with feel there is a disconnect between them and the Party. We must remember that our influence with elected officials develops through relationships. Too
many times we criticize our elected officials for the positions they take without taking the time to ask them to explain their actions. It’s easier to hold someone accountable through an established relationship than by standing on the sidelines and criticizing them. The objective is to win, not to attack our own standard-bearers. I’m not suggesting they be given a
“pass” but rather that we should keep the lines of communication open and all work together toward common ground. Our local county organizations are the underlying fabric of our Party. For us to win in the future, it is imperative the top leadership of the Party work hand-in-hand with county leadership to strengthen the county parties. In the rural areas
especially, the State Party must provide assistance and resources to assist local parties so they can maximize Republican voter turnout and win county-level races.
For the Party to be successful in the future, we must come together as a team. Just as a general on the battlefield cannot allow the tactics of the enemy to become excuses for failure, we must hold our Party leadership accountable for results. Should I ultimately become the Chair, I welcome that accountability.
Losing is not an option. Through our collective effort and with God’s help, we will succeed in rebuilding our Party. We must make it clear to the citizens of Texas there is a difference between Republicans and Democrats. If I have already met you, I look forward to becoming re-acquainted. If not, I look forward to meeting you in the near future. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, suggestions or comments.
God Bless You and God Bless Texas,
Former SD 28 SREC and Candidate for Republican Party of Texas Chairman