Editorial: The time is here for Republicans in Montgomery County to unify FOR REAL

Eric Yollick, The Golden Hammer

As I was sitting in the Montgomery County Commissioners Courtroom waiting for the June 26, 2018, Montgomery County Republican Party County Executive Committee (CEC) organizational meeting to begin, several people from the political establishment came up to me and repeated a mantra. “No matter what happens, we’ve got to unify as a political party,” they repeatedly said in reference to the votes that were about to occur in the CEC. Three different ladies in particular said words to the effect “After tonight’s votes, we’ve got to accept the results and move forwards as a united Republican Party.” I agreed with all three of those ladies. For the sake of this discussion, I’ll refer to the three ladies as “The Three Temporary Unifiers.”

Oh my how an hour can change people’s attitudes. First, there was discussion among the elected Precinct Chairs about whether to adopt new Bylaws that would disperse the authority in the Montgomery County Republican Party (MCRP) among several officers and elected representatives, so that power would remain closer to the voters. Wally Wilkerson, the MCRP Chairman, stepped down from the chair presiding over the meeting and gave a passionate speech about how he had reviewed the proposed Bylaws over the past several weeks and opposed any effort to disperse power away from him. Wilkerson mentioned the “Big Tent” several times, referring to the term from the 1980s which pro-choice, pro-abortion politicians used to try to exclude the growing Pro-Life position within the Republican Party. More than anything during that discussion, Wilkerson’s speech seemed to convince many Precinct Chairs, who wavered, that they should support the new Bylaws and reject Wilkerson’s argument. Two of Wilkerson’s allies stood to speak and called conservatives “Nazis” and “sneak attackers,” even though the proposed Bylaws had been made publicly available online for several weeks and even though conservative Precinct Chairs had mailed copies of the proposed Bylaws to every Precinct Chair more than two weeks prior to the meeting.

The vote on the Bylaws occurred. Wilkerson and his Parliamentarian, Jim Wiggins, announced the new Bylaws passed.

At that point, one of The Three Temporary Unifiers stood up, walked over to the entire group of elected Republican Precinct Chairs, called them “pieces of s–t,” and walked out of the room. A few minutes later, the other two ladies among The Three Temporary Unifiers walked over to me, said “I’m done!” and left. One of those two ladies yelled at me, “It’s all your fault, Eric,” as she adjusted her wig and walked out.

Hmmmmm…that’s unifying?

In reality, there was nothing in the least bit sneaky or underhanded about a majority of Precinct Chairs voting to adopt new Bylaws. In reality, the primary advocate, although unintended, FOR the adoption of the new Bylaws was Wilkerson himself when he gave a terrible speech that drove people to vote for dispersing authority away from Wilkerson.

For years, conservatives in the MCRP have suffered at the hands of Wilkerson, who has meticulously excluded anyone who is Pro-Life and against Big Government from leadership positions. Nevertheless, conservatives always united behind Republican nominees and participated in the tepid general election efforts Wilkerson led, as he seemed always to take for granted that real estate developers brought in enough Republican voters into Montgomery County that Republican candidates would win in November.

By October 2, 2018, after three months of Wilkerson behaving in a manner in which he openly opposed MCRP and the Republican Party of Texas, because he was upset that he lost power, Wilkerson received several chances to unify. The MCRP’s officers repeatedly reached out to Wilkerson to invite him to unify with the Republican Party and work with them as a group to lead the November General Election effort and make Montgomery County even stronger for the GOP. The State Republican Executive Committee and the State Party Chairman, James Dickey, all reached out to Wilkerson to try to bring him into compliance with the Texas Election Code, the Party Rules, and the MCRP Bylaws. The Republican Officials Committee, composed of many of the officers who lead the Republican Party of Texas, gave Wilkerson several chances to come into compliance.

Wilkerson, however, refused to acknowledge that the Texas Election Code, the Republican Party Rules, or the MCRP Bylaws apply to him.

Only at that point, on October 2, 2018, did the Republican Officials Committee issue an historic ruling that Wilkerson “engaged in behavior intended to disgrace the Republican Party.”

Sadly, Wilkerson greatly harmed, if not completely destroyed, his own legacy as MCRP Chairman. People may not remember Wilkerson’s service over 54 years as MCRP Chairman, an outstanding argument, by the way, for term limits. Instead, Wilkerson could go down in history as the first – and at this point in time, the only – County Republican Chairman whom the Texas Republican Party has ever disciplined.

It’s sad. While I’ve disagreed with Wilkerson on many issues and many manners in which he’s conducted himself and the MCRP for more than a quarter of a century, I’ve never felt any animus or malice towards the man. Wilkerson and I worked on a couple of big issues together over the years. I voted for Wilkerson for re-election on March 6, 2018, as MCRP Chairman in the Republican Primary Election.

There are many common bonds that should and do unite Republican voters. The Republican Party remains the political party that stands for freedom, limited government, reduced government spending, a strong national defense, support of our law enforcement community, and the rule of law. I cannot imagine that any of The Three Temporary Unifiers would disagree with the foregoing statement.

There are many common bonds that should and do unite Republican voters. The Republican Party remains the political party that stands for freedom, limited government, reduced government spending, a strong national defense, support of our law enforcement community, and the rule of law. I cannot imagine that any of The Three Temporary Unifiers would disagree with the foregoing statement.

Wilkerson is 88 years old. He’s a retired physician. He looks and acts like my father did when he was the same age. Wilkerson attended Southwestern Medical School. My dad was a professor of anatomy there. Wilkerson took the practice of medicine very seriously. So did my dad. I like and respect doctors, especially from the generation of Wilkerson and my dad (who died in 2012). They practiced medicine with a dignity that doesn’t exist in 2018. Although they probably got there from somewhat different directions and backgrounds, my dad and Wilkerson ended up with very similar views politically.

I loved my dad and I miss him. I love Dr. Walter Dumas Wilkerson, Jr., and I wish him the best (despite some animus he’s expressed against me.)

There are many times in life when we must do things we don’t really want to do but society requires that behavior. It’s time for Wilkerson and The Three Temporary Unifiers, among others, to unify with the Montgomery County Republican Party. The divisive behavior truly needs to stop.

It’s time for MCRP to unify behind a truly great group of Republican candidates:

  • Ted Cruz has the best voting record of any member of the United States Senate and he’s running against an ex-burglar with a terrible DWI record who is an Irishman pretending to be Hispanic;
  • Kevin Brady is running for re-election to Congress. While I may break from some of my conservative friends, I’ve always supported Kevin. He’s a kindhearted soul who also happens to have been President Trump’s most important ally in passing the tax reform legislation at the end of 2017.
  • Steve Toth, running for State Representative, District 15, is a great person, highly-principled man, and the exact character that the Texas House of Representatives desperately needs to move it away from the Joe Straus era. Cecil Bell and Will Metcalf will be great allies together with Toth as they move the conservative agenda forward.
  • Mark Keough, running for Montgomery County Judge as the Republican Nominee, may be the most exciting political candidate I’ve ever met. He’s honest, principled, and a fierce campaigner. He’s teaching me theology. He’s a great leader.
  • Melanie Pryor Bush for County Treasurer, Melisa Miller for District Clerk, Kristin Bays for 284th District Court, and Matt Beasley for Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace are genuine conservative reformers who will work towards reduced County government spending and better County services at the same time.
  • At the State level, Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, the great open-government advocate Attorney General Ken Paxton, Land Commissioner George P. Bush, Comptroller Glenn Hegar, and Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick are all strong leaders who will move Texas forward, especially with liberal Joe Straus out of the way in the Texas House. I adore Sid Miller, the Agriculture Commissioner. I realize he’s controversial. I still genuinely like the guy.
  • And then there’s Charlie Riley, the Precinct 2 County Commissioner. While I may have profound disagreements with Commissioner Riley, he is head and shoulders above his hiding liberal democrat opponent who has made clear he opposes President Trump’s and the Republican Party’s agenda every step of the way. He’s the Republican Nominee for Precinct 2 County Commissioner. I’ll campaign as hard as I can for Charlie Riley to win re-election.

The Three Temporary Unifiers, Dr. Wally Wilkerson, and the entire community of Republican voters in Montgomery County need to unify right now behind the Republican Party’s excellent candidates and its amazing Republican Party Platform to sweep the November 6 General Election.

Let’s get it done!

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