Conroe, May 6 – After his declaration that whatever organization he heads is “not a part of the Republican Party of Texas,” County Chairman wally wilkerson opposed the County Republican Executive Committee’s position on the Conroe Independent School District (CISD) bond, which failed in a voter referendum on Saturday, May 4, 2019. wilkerson refused to acknowledge the the Montgomery County Republican Party had unanimously voted to oppose the $807 million bond and he made clear that he voted “for” the bond.
The Montgomery County Republican Party (MCRP) Executive Committee, composed of the elected Precinct Chairs, met on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, for a formal meeting in Conroe and unanimously passed a resolution opposing the Conroe Independent School District’s proposed $807 million bond proposal. The $807 million tax hike will appear on electoral ballots in the May 4, 2019, election.
Precinct 60 Andy Nedrow of Conroe introduced the resolution during the meeting. Precinct Chairs, as diverse in political outlook at the Party’s Treasurer John Hill Wertz, a staunch conservative, and Charlie Parada, a moderate, voted in support of the resolution to oppose the Conroe ISD’s bond proposal, which places physical facilities expansion over students and teachers as priorities.
GOP Vice Chairman Reagan Reed, who presided over the meeting in the absence of the County Chairman who usually doesn’t show up for meetings, told The Golden Hammer, “”The unanimous approval by the executive committee of this resolution sends a strong message that the Montgomery County Republican Party stands firmly against the bloated $807 million Conroe ISD bond. We stand with taxpayers against this proposal that will raise property taxes and add to district’s debt, which is already over a billion dollars. According to the Republican Party platform, we are the party of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and low taxes. By opposing CISD’s attempted tax hike, the MCRP is putting those principles into action.”
Despite the MCRP’s unanimous vote on February 5, including all of the officers of the local Republican Party, other than wilkerson, in recent days wilkerson supported the $807 million tax hike and government borrowing, which 54% of CISD voters rejected in the Saturday vote.
When a reporter, Jacob Carpenter, from a Houston newspaper called wilkerson to interview the opposition to the bond, he discovered that wilkerson actually supported the CISD’s proposed tax hike and that wilkerson, despite his claim to be acting as Republican Party Chairman, denied that the MCRP took a position against the CISD bond. The Houston newspaper reporter later told MCRP Finance Committee Chair Kelli Cook about wilkerson’s bizarre interview comments when the reporter interviewed Cook for the same article this past Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
After Cook relayed her experience to The Golden Hammer, another individual, Lisa from The Woodlands, called wilkerson at his office in a bad section of downtown Conroe the same Wednesday afternoon. In his telephone conversation with Lisa, wilkerson said “my wife and and I voted for the CISD bond.” wilkerson further elaborated that MCRP didn’t take a position on the CISD bond but that “some Republicans oppose the bond.” In the recording of the conversation, wilkerson makes clear that he wanted Lisa to vote for the bond and never disclosed that the MCRP took an official – and unanimous – position against the CISD bond.
Cook explained her concerns about wilkerson. “As County Chairman, wally is supposed to be the spokesman of the County Republican Party, according to the County Chair’s Handbook of the Republican Party of Texas. I don’t understand how wally can be the spokesman if he won’t even acknowledge the official position of the Montgomery County Republican Party when the news media calls to ask him about Party stances on local issues.” Cook further elaborated, “The Republican Party Chairman has the statutory duty to be a spokesperson for the local party. He has failed once again to show allegiance to the truth and respect for the process. wally wilkerson needs to set the record straight and stop denying the existence of the bond opposition resolution.”
Ginger Russell, a Republican Precinct Chair, agreed. “How can Dr. wilkerson call himself the County Chairman if he won’t represent the positions the County Executive Committee unanimously approved? Even wilkerson’s closest allies on the County Executive Committee voted to oppose the CISD bond and to adopt that position as the official Montgomery County Republican Party position. Once again, I’m appalled at wally’s behavior.”
This bizarre pattern of behavior continues to highlight wilkerson’s refusal to follow the Republican Party Platform, Republican Party Rules, or the Bylaws of the Montgomery County Republican Party.
On October 2, 2018, the Republican Party of Texas Officials Committee issued a ruling finding officially that Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman wilkerson failed to fulfill statutory duties as County Republican Chairman and “engaged in behavior designed to disgrace the Republican Party.” The ruling came after a majority of the elected Republican Precinct Chairs in Montgomery County filed a complaint under Republican Party Rule 8(k) that wilkerson had refused to abide by Texas election law, Republican Party Rules, and the Bylaws of the Montgomery County Republican Party.
This 8(k) ruling was the first time in the history of the Republican Party of Texas that the State Party had found that a County Republican Chairman “engaged in behavior designed to disgrace the Republican Party” and failed to fulfill statutory duties under the Texas Election Code.
The letter ruling requested that wilkerson and all members of the County GOP Executive Committee:
- abide by the Party Bylaws enacted on June 26, 2018;
- acknowledge that Treasurer John Hill Wertz should be on all Party bank accounts and that wilkerson provide Wertz with the information to make the Treasurer’s regulatory filings with the Texas Ethics Committee and Federal Election Commission; and
- recognize all results of the June 26 organizational meeting of the County GOP Executive Committee.
Since the ruling, wilkerson has refused to abide by the Party Bylaws, refused to acknowledge that the elected Treasurer Wertz should be on all Party bank accounts and regulatory filings, and refused to recognize the results of the June 26 organizational meeting over which he presided of the County GOP Executive Committee. Instead, wilkerson has continued to spend thousands of contributed local Party dollars on his own office overhead and to pay the salary of his private secretary.
Chairman wilkerson didn’t return telephone calls for comment.