Conroe, November 20 – While suburban counties such as Tarrant, Williamson, Fort Bend, Collin, and Hays suffered staggering losses for Republicans in the 2018 Midterm Election, Montgomery County was the “outlier” that ran a stronger Republican race than any other County in Texas. On November 6, United States Senator Ted Cruz received 76% of the Montgomery County General Election vote, which provided him his largest margin of more than 86,000 votes, more than one-third of Cruz’s entire margin in defeating Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke.
Reed, the Vice Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party, is in actuality the true leader of the Republican Party in this community, because the elected County Chairman has failed miserably to do his job, locked volunteers out of the Party Headquarters, failed to provide Party funds for the General Election campaign, and refused to run any sort of election effort. In fact, the Voting Precinct where the County GOP Chairman Wally Wilkerson maintains his headquarters (often referred to as “The Museum” because it has little activity but has the look and feel of a historical museum as a tribute to electoral campaigns decades ago) is the only Precinct in all of Montgomery County which voted democrat over Republican, with 72.11% of the voters casting straight ticket democrat votes. The State Republican Executive Committee voted to declare, through its Officials Committee, that Wilkerson has acted to “disgrace the Republican Party.”
Reed briefly discussed some of the electoral losses of Republicans in Texas, but he noted that Republicans still hold a significant majority in both Houses of the Texas Legislature and all statewide offices. Republicans only lost two seats in the State’s Congressional delegation, Representative John Culberson of Houston and Pete Sessions of Dallas.
Reed admitted that “the firewall in the suburbs crumbled in this election.” He noted that white middle-class voters in the suburbs of major Texas cities voted democrat more than Republican. The change in middle class voting patterns results in a sweep of the Harris County offices and significant gains by democrats in Texas appellate courts.
Reed explained, “Non partisan races, where the Republican Party didn’t take a position, came back to haunt the GOP, such as where Fort Bend County elected a democrat with name recognition who run for County Judge and had previously served and developed political connections on a local school board.”
The Republican Vice Chairman also acknowledged that democrats benefitted from the fact that “O’Rourke is a very good candidate and a hard worker.”
Montgomery County’s exceptionalism
Montgomery County’s General Election results were truly exception and the “outlier,” according to Reed. While 80% of the vote in Montgomery County was Republican, rather than turning democrat, Montgomery County voted the same approximately percentage Republican in 2018 and the County did in the 2016 presidential election.
Countywide, Republicans were 72% of the vote. One remarkable statistic is the most local candidates “ran above the top of the ticket,” according to Reed. “Montgomery County Judge-Elect Mark Keough won 74%, District Clerk-Elect Melisa Miller won 75%, and County Treasurer-Elect Melanie Pryor Bush win 75%.”
Reed noted that his home Voting Precinct 83, where Reed serves as the elected Precint Chair, polled 83.95% for Cruz and 89.11% Straight Ticket Republican votes.
With a detailed discussion of maps and statistics, Reed showed that conservative votes in Montgomery County are growing while the political “establishment’s” votes are declining.
He also noted that all three Republican Precinct Chairs who voted for the June 26, 2018, Republican Bylaws, which dispersed authority in the Montgomery County Republican Party won their races decisively. Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley’s fake political action committee had targeted for defeat Jon Bouche and Larry Rogers who ran for the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District, and Dale Inman who ran as a conservative insurgent for the Conroe ISD. All three of Bouche, Rogers, and Inman won their electoral contests decisively. “The ‘establishment’ had predicted an anti-bylaws wave [referring to the Republican Precinct Chairs who voted for the Bylaws which reduced the authority of Wilkerson] but there wasn’t any such wave,” Reed added.
Reed explained that Riley had announced on May 22 a “hit list” of 27 conservative Republican Precinct Chairs whom Riley wanted to defeat. Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District Board member Jim Spigener interjected, “Riley has a missed list, not a ‘hit list.'”
“They’re a group of establishment people who want to vote opposite of grassroots conservatives or the Tea Party groups every time,” Reed said. “They sat out in the Woodlands Township race involving Brian Boniface who ran against a liberal democrat, but Boniface won.”
One of the most interesting comparisons Reed made was between the Republican Party’s Victory 2018 Steering Committee, which was the authorized Montgomery County Republican Party general election campaign, and Wilkerson’s secreted bank accounts.
The Victory 2018 Committee raised $34,697, spent $33,065 on the election or 96%, and ended the campaign with $18.58 on hand. In other words, contributors could fee certain that their money actually went to support the Republican campaign effort. Meanwhile, Wilkerson’s “splinter organization” raised $25,035, only spent $3,971 on the General Election campaign or 16%, and ended with cash on hand in the amount $40,703. Reed explained that Wilkerson would likely spend the funds to pay his private secretary, melinda fredricks, and “to pay the rent for the ‘museum.'”
Reed noted that Wilkerson’s group’s fundraising appears to be “drying up,” because the real Republican Party spent all of the raised funds on the campaign while the Wilkerson “splinter” group only spent 16%. “That money could have been spent to help the campaign but they spent it instead to keep the museum running and to pay melinda,” Reed said. Congressman Kevin “Brady was the biggest donor to the ‘splinter group’ and he made a conscious choice not to contribute to the real Republican Party’s General Election campaign effort,” the Vice Chairman added.
Reed spoke in some detail about why Montgomery County beat the odds and enjoyed huge success with Republican voters. “We’re moving from a system where the Republican Party demands support from candidates to a system where the Party supports the candidates. The way Wilkerson has run Party fundraising has been the worst example of malfeasance,” Reed said.
Reed concluded, “Montgomery County is the outlier, because of management, manpower, and message. The new County GOP Bylaws infused the Party with new volunteers by decentralizing the authority. The manpower of the Tea Party organizations and groups like the Montgomery County Eagle Forum provided hard workers and kept the Party on track with its principles. The GOP had a great message that ‘Republicans are the Party of Reform,’ which appeared on all of the pushcards, mailers, and signs of the Party, which set us apart from all other local Republican Parties in Texas.”