Image: Montgomery County Republican Party “Volunteer of the Year 2018” Kelli Cook, center, with two of her closest and most hardworking allies, Jonna Johnson, left, and Ginger Russell, right, on October 18, 2018, at the Republican Party’s Victory 2018 Steering Committee’s event to “Get Out The Vote” and pay tribute to the volunteers who successfully led the General Election Campaign to victory on November 6 (only 19 days after the event.)
Conroe, December 14 – At the December 12, 2018, meeting of the Montgomery County Republican Party (MCRP)’s County Executive Committee (CEC), several Precinct Chairs made a motion from the floor to nominate Kelli Cook of Willis as the Republican Party’s “Volunteer of the Year 2018.” After brief discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
The turn of events was a far cry from the dictatorial style of establishment County Republican Party Chairman Wally Wilkerson who has never allowed the Precinct Chairs to determine the “Volunteer of the Year” and has always drawn those winners from a small group of his aging political allies. This year, Wilkerson, at an illegal meeting of the CEC, attempted to name Montgomery County Clerk Mark Turnbull as the “Volunteer of the Year” even though Turnbull was actually a candidate running for re-election on the ballot and not a volunteer at all!
Montgomery County Republican Party Vice Chairman Reagan Reed made clear that he had wanted and expected the CEC to name Cook as the obvious choice for “Volunteer of the Year,” as Reed presided over the very orderly meeting with Wilkerson absent. “There’s no better choice,” Reed said as he announced the unanimous vote in favor of Cook for the honor.
When Victory 2018 Steering Committee Chairman Dale Inman presented a brief report describing how Montgomery County was the only major suburban County in Texas which set the democrat onslaught on its heels, Inman attributed a large part of that successful campaign to Cook and the enormous number of volunteers who sent mailers, block-walked, handed out pushcards, put up the MCRP’s political signs, campaigned at the polls during Early Voting and on Election Day on November 6, and led a telephone-bank operation.
Cook and Inman set the strategy and developed the theme and messaging for the General Election campaign. There is no question that Cook, however, was the organizational force behind the Victory 2018 campaign. Cook, as well as Vice Chairman Reed, clearly are the two most brilliant campaign strategists living in Montgomery County at the present time.
In reality, the person who ought to thank Cook more than any other is United States Senator Ted Cruz. Cruz received 40% of his victory margin over liberal Robert Francis O’Rourke. In fact, on Election Night, before the Texas Secretary of State counted Montgomery County’s votes O’Rourke was leading Cruz in the returns. When the gigantic 86,000 vote margin of victory for Cruz from Montgomery County came in, however, that set O’Rourke back on his heels for the rest of the evening with Cruz ahead in the results.
Vice Chairman Reed explained, “I want to thank Kelli Cook and Dale Inman for their work on the Victory 2018 Steering Committee. They set an example for the whole state with their Get Out The Vote operation. All other suburban counties in Texas went blue or purple, including Tarrant, Williamson, Fort Bend, Hays, Collin, and Denton. Thanks to the efforts of the Precinct Chairs, Dale, Kelli, and the Victory 2018 Committee, Montgomery County gave Ted Cruz 72% of the vote, an 86,000 vote margin, and 40% of this total statewide margin of victory.”
Reed continued, “Montgomery County stands out as the only reliably red [Republican] suburban County in the State. Even Beto’s home paper in El Paso took note of Montgomery County, so the democrats have put a huge target on Montgomery County’s back for 2020.”
Before the nomination of Cook as “Volunteer of the Year,” Reed noted, “As we select the ‘Volunteer of the Year,’ I want you to know that this award should go to each and every one of you for your incredibly hard work during the 2018 General Election campaign.”
Cook was officially the Treasurer and Vice Chair of the Victory 2018 Steering Committee, which organized and effectuated the most active general election campaign in the history of the Montgomery County Republican Party. During the past 54 years, the Republican Party in Montgomery County has done little more than run a sleepy headquarters office, which many now refer to as “The Museum” due to its ineffectiveness.