Conroe, November 10 – County Republican Chairman Walter D. Wilkerson, Jr., has announced that he’s running for re-election for a twenty-sixth term in the March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election. Wilkerson, a spry 87 years old, has served as Montgomery County GOP Chairman since 1964 and is the longest reigning county Republican chairman of all of Texas’ 254 counties.
During an exclusive interview with The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, Wilkerson, when asked his greatest accomplishment, said, “I built the GOP from zero to controlling every office holder in the county. Lots of people worked hard together to get that done, and I want to emphasize the word ‘together.'”
Wilkerson grew up in Bryan. He told this newspaper that his first political interest arose while he was a sophomore in medical school in Dallas when he started to watch the 1952 Presidential Election and supported Dwight D. Eisenhower. Wilkerson finished his medical degree at University of Texas – Southwestern Medical School, one of the best medical schools in the United States, in 1955. He interned at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Houston.
“In 1956, my wife Neddie Jane and I attended our first Republican Precinct Convention in Houston during President Eisenhower’s re-election campaign. The meeting was very brief, because the only thing that happened was the meeting opened, elected delegates, and adjourned.” Wilkerson became a licensed physician in 1957 and moved to Conroe in 1958 to work for Deane Sadler, M.D., in the Sadler Clinic. Wilkerson worked for the Sadler Clinic and was one of its managing physicians when he retired from the full-time practice of medicine in 1997. Wilkerson maintains his M.D. license but does not practice.
The Wilkersons have two children, a son who is a medical doctor in Conroe, and a daughter whose son just became a medical doctor. “With my grandson, there are now three generations of Wilkersons who are medical doctors,” he said.
Wilkerson walks one-and-a-half miles every day, except Sunday, and works from 9 to 5 at the Republican Party Headquarters every weekday.
“The first elected Republican in Montgomery County was Pat Ruffin, who was elected Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3, in 1978. Justice Ruffin was the first elected Republican in Montgomery County in over 100 years,” explained the County GOP Chairman.
Wilkerson explained that Republicans were pariahs when he first tried to organize the Republican Party in Montgomery County. “We opened a headquarters in 1965 and needed a sign over the front door. Six or seven sign company owners wouldn’t provide us with a sign, because they were afraid to be seen delivering it. When I finally found a sign company that would do business with the Republican Party, he wanted to deliver the sign to my house in the middle of the night. Instead, I went out to his place in the country and picked the sign up,” Wilkerson said.
Wilkerson denies the rumors that he is not running for re-election. Several close friends of Wilkerson, who had requested anonymity, told The Golden Hammer that Wilkerson intends to retire without running for re-election in 2018 or to retire midway through his next term. Wilkerson responded, “None of those allegations are true.”
Wilkerson seems excited about the 2018 election. “It’s always fun what elections bring,” Wilkerson told Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper.