Conroe, July 11 – Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Wally Wilkerson, Jr., has thrown his local political party into substantial disarray as a result of his unwillingness to do his job, his absence, and his lockout of other volunteers from the Republican Party Headquarters. Wilkerson has refused to communicate with the other officers of the County GOP and has largely disappeared from the efforts of those officers to begin to organize the Republican campaign for the November General Election.
On Tuesday, July 3, 2018, Wilkerson locked out all of the other officers from the Republican Party Headquarters on Metcalf Street in Conroe and then changed the locks to the office, so that none of his fellow officers or any other Republican groups could use the office for meetings. Wilkerson told Vice Chairman Reagan Reed, Secretary Rachel Bingham, and Treasurer John Hill Wertz that Wilkerson didn’t intend to attend the first Steering Committee meeting of the Republican Party after the June 26 organizational meeting of the County GOP Executive Committee at which the Precinct Chairs adopted new Bylaws and elected the officers for the two year period through 2020. The Steering Committee met on McKenzie’s Barbecue in Conroe on Saturday, July 7, but Wilkerson failed to appear for the meeting, even though his home is only a few blocks away from that restaurant.
Wilkerson ally Charlie Parada, a Precinct Chairman from the Lake Conroe area, then criticized the Steering Committee members for failing to publish notice of the Steering Committee meeting 3 days before the meeting. Article VII, Section 9 of the Republican Party’s Bylaws provides, “All committee meetings shall be published on the MCRP website within 3 business days of the meeting date/time is held.” What Parada obviously didn’t know, however, was that Reed, Wertz, and Bingham had requested Wilkerson in writing to publish the notice of the Steering Committee meeting on the Republican Party website. Wilkerson, who is the only Republican Party officer who has access to the Party website at present, refused to publish the notice.
Meanwhile, Wilkerson has refused to update the website with the names and contact information of the current officers or Precinct Chairs of the Republican Party. The new Precinct Chairs took office on June 26. A number of Wilkerson allies who had served as Precinct Chairs lost their re-election efforts in the March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election because of their fiscally-liberal voting records and their failure to organize the Party for General Elections.
Perhaps the gravest problem Wilkerson has created is that he won’t turn over the financial books and records to the duly-elected Party Treasurer Wertz. Wertz and Reed explained to this newspaper that they confirmed that none of the previous Party Treasurers have the financial books, because they turned the books back to Wilkerson at the end of their terms. According to Wertz, Wilkerson has refused to meet with Wertz and has refused to turn over the financial books, so that Wertz can fulfill his duties as Treasurer.
After Wilkerson’s fellow officers pressed him to do his job as County Chairman during the last two weeks, Wilkerson decided not only to change the Party Headquarters locks but also to close the Headquarters office entirely during the month of July for “vacation.”
Wilkerson’s bizarre antics contrast strongly with the current activities of the Montgomery County democrat party the headquarters for which is on North Frazier Street in an easily-accessible shopping center and office complex. The democrats welcome people who come into their office, as the Publisher of this newspaper experienced when he went into their office today to check the place out. There was substantial activity occurring inside of the headquarters in contrast to Wilkerson’s Republican Headquarters which rarely has more than one person working in there at a time and has no calendar on display or events occurring therein.
What’s becoming very apparent is that Wilkerson doesn’t seem to care if the democrats make substantial inroads in Montgomery County, if he has to share authority over the Republican Party with voter-elected Precinct Chairs whom the Montgomery County Executive Committee chose, by an open vote, to run the Party and build it into the strong organization it needs to be.