Conroe, June 27 – Just two short months after elitist lame duck Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal had him arrested and thrown out of the Commissioners Courtroom, 22-year-old Reagan Reed of Willis finds himself elected unanimously as the Executive Vice Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party, the number two behind Chairman Walter Wilkerson, Jr. Reed’s election came after a contentious discussion and 39 to 32 vote to adopt new Bylaws for the County GOP that decentralize authority by putting many of the decisions of the Party in the hands of the elected Precinct Chairs rather than in a top-down fiat by the County Chairman.
The County GOP has enjoyed enormous success since Wilkerson became Chairman in 1964 as a result of the massive real estate development in Montgomery County that has brought in strongly-Republican-leading voters. As a result of the development of The Woodlands, April Sound, Bentwater, and other developments particularly in the Lake Conroe area, Republican candidates usually receive a strong majority of votes in November general elections.
The real estate growth has slowed a bit while certain political races now require that the County GOP establish a strong organization to defeat democrat candidates in general elections. In the November 2018 General Election, approximately half a dozen political races in Montgomery County involve candidates running against Republicans.
Reed, in particular, has expressed grave concerns about the direction of the County Republican Party since the Party has lagged behind many other county organizations in the use of technology, increasing voter turnout, and Party coherence. While many “establishment” figures have called for Party unity, their proposal for that unity has been to unify behind them rather than to unify behind the strong grassroots conservative Republican Party of Texas Platform.
Long time Precinct Chairman Jim “Pops” Doyle argued that during his entire tenure as a Republican leader, he has always “felt the body of Precinct Chairs should have a lot more say in the Party’s direction.”
In a stirring speech, Wilkerson tried to defend his authority in the County GOP by arguing “we’ve operated under a big tent…the small tent is a losing proposition and you’re going to lead the Party to defeat.” Wilkerson’s use of the “big tent” terminology hearkened back to words the liberal Pro-Choice wing of the Republican Party used to defenestrate Pro-Life Platform Planks almost thirty (30) years ago.
Wilkerson argued that the purpose of the new Bylaws, which call for the full County Executive Committee to elect officers and Committee members and to make other major decisions of the County Party that the Chairman had previously made on his own, was the “strip the County Chairman of any authority.”
Reed argued that the Bylaws “restore the authority of the Republican Party in the County Executive Committee.”
The County Executive Committee also elected Rachel Bingham as Secretary and John Hill Wertz as Treasurer. Steering Committee members include Jon Bouche, Brian Crumby, Paul Gebolys, Dale Inman, and Adrian Kaiser.