Montgomery County Republican Party leaders fail to resolve differences at mediation

Montgomery County Republican Party leaders fail to resolve differences at mediation

Image: Jon Bouche (center) with two friends.

The Golden Hammer Staff Reports

Conroe and The Woodlands, October 6 – The Montgomery County Republican Party’s (MCRP) ostensible “leaders” failed to resolve their differences at a mediation, over which Republican Party of Texas Chairman Matt Rinaldi presided. The two sides reached an impasse long before Rinaldi and his State Party team had to leave the meeting at State Representative Steve Toth’s office in The Woodlands at 2 p.m. on Friday, September 30, 2022.

“We accomplished nothing,” MCRP Vice Chairman Jon Bouche told this newspaper. “It was a waste of time.”

The two sides never actually communicated with each other but instead met with Rinaldi, the mediator, in two separate conference rooms. A critical aspect of successful mediations is to permit the two sides to air their differences face-to-face.

The two factions are the “establishment” group under the direction of elected County Republican Chairman Bryan Christ and his wife Kristin Christ, a party planner and some-time political consultant and their supporters on the one hand and the “conservatives” under the leadership of Bouche, elected Precinct Chairman John Hill Wertz, and elected Precinct Chairman Robert Walker.

Of the one hundred and eleven (111) Precinct Chairs, sixty-four (64) regularly attend meetings of Bouche’s faction, so they are able to form a valid quorum and conduct official business on behalf of MCRP. Approximately thirty (30) Precinct Chairs attend the Christ meetings, which he and Precinct Chairs Raquel Lewis and James Byers usually try to hold at the same time but a different location from the “conservatives.” A valid quorum requires a majority, or fifty-six (56) Precinct Chairs at any meeting.

Despite lacking a legal quorum, the “establishment” group under Christ has appointed officers who mirror the elected officers of the “conservative” group. Jason Millsaps, Chief of Staff to Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough, has not allowed either faction to use the Commissioners Courtroom in the Sadler Administration Building of the Montgomery County government, the previous usual meeting place for MCRP meetings.

The two factions have two websites, respectively, two sets of bank accounts, two sets of bylaws, and two sets of officers. They’ve even appointed different people to fill vacancies in Precinct Chair positions. In other words, Christ’s prophecy that there are really “two Republican Parties in Montgomery County” has come to fruition.

Since the sole purpose of any political party is to unify to conduct successful General Election campaigns, the dysfunction and disunity merely a month before the November 8, 2022, General Election is both troubling and a sign of failure by the leadership on both sides. Statewide Republican candidates should genuinely worry about the failure of MCRP to conduct a strong and unified campaign prior to the important 2022 General Election, as Montgomery County’s solid Republican turnout has been instrumental to the victories of such candidates in recent years past. In 2018, Montgomery County’s vote was critical to United States Senator Ted Cruz’s victory over challenger Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke.

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