Chairman Tom Mechler's Vision for the Republican Party of Texas
Editor's note: On Saturday March 7th, the State Republican Executive Committee elected RPT Treasurer Tom Mechler as the new Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. The following is his vision for the party.
It’s been almost two weeks since I had the honor to be elected Chairman of your Republican Party. In the last 13 days, I have been asked the same question by members of the legislature, party leadership, grassroots activists and reporters:
“Tom, What is your vision for the party?”
I thought I’d answer this question publicly, because it’s something I want our entire party to understand and to hear from me directly. I hope you’ll agree with me and join our team, or contact me should you have any questions.
First and foremost, this party must be united. And, of course in a party the size of ours, with 1.4 million primary voters, approximately 10,000 convention goers, and over 3,600 elected officials, comes different perspectives and approaches to keeping Texas the strongest state in the union while also tackling the challenges that are presented to our state and local governments.
I think that everyone in our party can agree, as we state in the Preamble of our Platform:
“...It is our solemn duty to protect life and develop responsible citizens. We understand that our economic success depends upon free market principles. If we fail to maintain our sovereignty, we risk losing the freedom to live these ideals.”
I recognize that voters, volunteers, party officers and elected officials from every corner of our state, whether they live in one of America’s largest cities, or in rural Texas, on the border or in one of our booming suburbs, will bring unique perspectives and solutions to the problems that face our great state. I also believe that anyone who runs in our Republican primary and is nominated by the primary voters of that respective district deserves our gratitude and support as that person proceeds to govern with the purpose to defend life, promote legislation that allows our state’s vibrant economy to flourish and to protect our state’s sovereignty. And we all must consider that the details of how to achieve these objectives will look different to someone from the Texas Panhandle than to someone who lives in Dallas, Houston or San Antonio.
It is not the Republican Party of Texas’s job to tell primary voters who to select – you need to nominate the candidate that best represents the conservative principles in your district. And when there is disagreement among us, I will encourage those differences to be argued respectfully and on point – without personal attacks or false accusations. Diversity is healthy; divisiveness is not.
This approach is working for us, and our Republican voters should be proud of many legislative accomplishments. Just in the past few legislative sessions, some of the most important planks of our party platform have been adopted into law:
- Neither the late term abortion ban nor the sonogram bill would have passed without our conservative Republican, pro-life leadership in the House and Senate.
- Voter ID, emergency funding for border security, raising the cap on charter schools, and repeal of the Rosebush-Blocker bill in the Texas Senate, would have never passed without conservative Republican legislative leadership.
As your Chairman, I have already met with and will continue to meet with members of the legislature to advocate for even more of our platform to become law. And, I will be assertive in bragging about our elected officials when they are successful in doing so.
Just as important, I will work to correct the record when I see special interest groups deliberately distort the intentions of those who are nominated by the primary voters to influence a third party agenda, especially when these groups describe themselves as “conservative” but refuse to identify as Republican, help to elect Republicans and refuse to attack liberal democrats. The distorted rhetoric of these groups must and will be confronted.
Finally, I believe that all Texans, regardless of the Republican voting strength of their precinct, deserve to hear our message and to be represented by candidates who have the interest of promoting life, economic opportunity and state sovereignty. Therefore, I am committed to keeping and expanding our engagement program:
- We need to give more resources to our field staff working in these communities and to county parties who are working to establish a foothold in traditionally Democrat strongholds, especially in those counties that make up Congressional District 23.
- We cannot and will not cede Will Hurd’s district back to the Democrats in 2016. We will work to build precinct organizations in our most competitive state legislative districts. We will retain the legislative seats we usually win in “off years” but lose in Presidential years. I will work tirelessly to prevent Obama and Clinton’s political pals, who now call Texas home, to take out good conservatives like Gilbert Pena or Rick Galindo.
- And, in the 2016 election I’d like to even take out a Democrat or two. In my opinion, every Republican seat will be defended and Democrats who have gotten a free ride in the past will be challenged.