Image: Texans for Fiscal Responsibility Vice President Cary Cheshire spoke to the Montgomery County Tea Party on December 3, 2018.
Conroe, December 27 – Cary Cheshire, the Vice President for Texans for Fiscal Responsibility (TFR), a fiscally-conservative grassroots organization affiliated with Empower Texans, observed that Montgomery County Republican Party successfully overcame the blue wave across Texas by showing more unity, under the great leadership of Party Vice Chairman Reagan Reed, than other County Republican Party organizations across Texas. The Montgomery County Republican Chairman, Wally Wilkerson, of course, failed to participate in the November 6 General Election campaign other than to use it as a pretext to raise money to support his office overhead.
“Montgomery County voters don’t know who Wally Wilkerson is,” Cheshire explained to the audience. “There was actually more unity in Montgomery County than in other counties’ Republican Parties, like Harris, Dallas, and Fort Bend.”
Cheshire told the group of conservative activists that Montgomery County’s message that “the Republican Party is the Party of Reform” was a strong message that resonated with voters and helped to overcome the attempt by the democrats to make inroads in the Republican territory of Montgomery County. Other Republican counties failed to deliver that message or any other. Similarly, Wilkerson’s little splinter faction failed to provide any messaging at all.
In at least the last three decades, Wilkerson has failed to run a full general election campaign for the Republican candidates. Rather than providing financial support to Republican candidates, Wilkerson now solicits funds from them to support the Republican Party. During the November General Election campaign, the only two General Election candidates who fell for Wilkerson’s fundraising scheme were United States Congressman Kevin Brady, who is generally out of touch with politics anywhere outside of the Washington, D.C., Beltway, and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley, whose strong liberal tendencies don’t fit within the Republican Party Platform, which Republican activists now generally support.
Cheshire spoke in great detail about about the “Republican voter atrophy” in Collin County north of Dallas. In the 2018 General Election, only 52.65% of Collin County voters voted Republican. In 2016, 54.65% of the voters in Collin County voted Republican, while in 2014, 68.36% voted Republican. Cheshire noted that similar problems have arisen for the Republican Party in Hays County near Austin whose County Seat is San Marcos.
Cheshire explained that suburban educated white women are “unhappy with President Trump and thin that he’s mean.” He also noted that young voters turned out at Texas State University in Hays County and generally voted democrat.
The TFR Vice President concluded the election review portion of his discussion with the following “takeaways”:
- Incumbency remains powerful in elections;
- Open seats “are hit or miss”;
- Lower turnout suburban and new-growth districts are more favorable to conservative candidates;
- Conservative organizations in suburban counties “can carry candidates over the finish line but can only supplement their efforts.”
Dallas County has changed drastically in the last two elections. There are now only two Republican members of the Texas Legislature from Dallas County. The Texas House numbers 83 Republicans and 67 democrats, while the Senate has 19 Republicans and 12 democrats.
Cheshire was particularly happy about the coming election of Angleton Representative Dennis Bonnen as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Bonnen held a press conference in November during which he repudiated left-leaning lobbyist Gordon Johnson, who has controlled the direction of the House of Representatives through outgoing Speaker Joe Straus. Instead, Bonnen showed his commitment to the Republican Party by hiring a Republican staff in the Speaker’s Office.
Cheshire listed the following as his priorities for the 86th Legislative Session in Austin, which begins on January 8, 2019, with the election of the new Speaker of the House. Bonnen has already received the endorsement of the Republican Caucus which comprises a majority of the lower house. Cheshire said the TFR priorities for the Legislature are:
- Limiting state spending;
- Repealing the Robin Hood Tax, which is a wealth redistribution tax for school districts;
- pass statewide property tax reform to include requiring votes on local tax hikes and cutting the rollback rate;
- ethics legislation to include prohibiting elected officials from lobbying;
- end taxpayer-funded lobbying;
- require uniform election dates; and
- pass ballot and voter roll integrity legislation.