James Dickey Challenged as the Republican Party Texas Chairman by Cindy Asche

James Dickey, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas is being challenged for his chairmanship by Cindy Asche in what appears to be a hotly contested race at the state Republican Convention in San Antonio, June 11-16. Chairman Dickey was elected on June 3, 2017 by the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) to fill the vacancy left by the unexpected resignation of the previous chairman, Tom Mechler. The vote was 32-31 and I thought at the time that that would ensure a contested race at the convention. I was right.

Delegates have been gearing up for the battle for several weeks now and as the time for the convention nears, the rhetoric from the challenger's supporters is becoming more vitriolic. It has been my observation that the candidate with the less experience usually goes on the attack. Therefore accusations aimed toward Dickey are expected and part of the plan to diminish his reputation. A partial list of accusations are: He fired the engagement staff, he didn't Get Out The Vote, he is not responsible, he is not trustworthy or honest, and he leans towards Libertarian.

Just so the reader understands, I did try to get an interview with Asche. A staunch supporter of Asche told me she would tell her to contact me, but as of this time has not. The following is an interview I had with Dickey on, May 25.

The most important question is whether or not he is able to lead the Republican Party to victory in the 2018 November election.

There are three important responsibilities of the chair and they are: First, the legal responsibility is to make sure the primary election is run properly, effectively and efficiently; Second, is the need to raise sufficient funds to run the operation; and Third, is to Grow the Party....which of course is the priority in Texas to grow the party among all communities, ALL across Texas.

I asked James why he thought he could serve the people of Texas better than his opponent and he quickly answered, “Because I am the only one with the experience on those three items.” As the past Travis County chair he had been responsible for the elections in the 6th largest county in the state. This past March he managed the 2018 critical primary and set a record in the number of Republican candidates and Republican voters to ever turn out in a gubernatorial year. His experience as the Travis chair also brings fund raising ability to the state. “Now I have raised millions for the Republican Party of Texas and to be explicit that is over 1.2M for our general operating funds and 1.5M to cover the cost of the state convention that we are hosting in San Antonio.”

Chairman Dickey promptly pointed out that during his short tenure, “We deployed field staff at the earliest ever period and have done the most block walking and door knocking in the widest range of communities, in the party's recent history.”

Strangely enough, some people say that he is too Libertarian. I asked him about this and his response was that, “My opponent, Asche, despite her pleas for unity, actually has significant numbers of Republicans she is interested in pushing out of the party.”

Years ago I interviewed Toni Anne Dashiell, TFRW past president, when she was elected National Committee Woman. She is now an outspoken supporter of Asche. At that time Dashiell was very strong in bringing in the Libertarians. As she put it, “I want to really start putting all the parts together, the Ron Paulers, the Tea Party; we have many things in common.” And yet somehow Dickey is 'too Libertarian'. http://redsonja-conservativesinaction.blogspot.com/2013/04/toni-anne-das... I might add that Dickey is endorsed by Texas Right to Life PAC and Texas Values Action. They would not be endorsing him if he were not a steadfast conservative.

I asked him about the TFRW women who are supporting his opponent and it was an emotional answer. “It makes me sad because I have a lot of friends who are in TFRW and I have been an associated member of a couple of clubs.” He did recover and continued, “I sincerely know that as soon as this race is over, we will be able to work together to make sure to get all Republicans all across Texas elected in November.”

In April, Asche sent out an email stating that Dickey had been sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States for violation of multiple federal statutes. I did ask him if he could shed some light into this 14 year old lawsuit and his answer was, “It was a small lawsuit, a civil suite that I settled and as part of my settlement, I am not allowed to confirm or deny any of the details. So this is a part of what makes this attack so particularly underhanded.”

I asked Chairman Dickey why he let go the three engagement staffers. He told me that as chairman he knows how unreasonable of a responsibility it was to charge a single person with all engagements for a huge percentage of all Texas voters across the state. The Asian director, Stephen Wong was promoted and is now the Deputy Political director for the entire state. Art W Bray who was the black engagement director resigned and moved on to work on a couple of great campaigns. Bianca Gracia was the Hispanic engagement director and she is no longer with RPT as of this March 15. “And so NO, they were not all let go. I found it much more successful that more people from all across the state are currently involved in minority engagement efforts rather than limit it to a single person.”

I had to ask him where he sees our party heading. After a moment of silence he said, “I would say especially looking at the last couple of years that it is impossible to predict where the the party is heading. As chair, I am committed to making sure that it is where our delegates want it to go. I'm very excited about continuing to stand up strongly for what our delegates and our voters decide.”

I asked him if he cared more for the platform than the people. He laughed and told me, “The principles are key because that's how we win people and that's how we win elections. The whole point of a political party is to advance its principles. The Republican Party was founded to fight against slavery and it was principles from the beginning that drove the founding of our party.”

In May there were two women running for vice chair, Alma Perez Jackson and Denise McNamara. I was curious to hear his reaction on which he favored. His answer was emphatic. “NO, NO I absolutely do not. (have a favorite)” The situation has now changed, because McNamara withdrew from the race on June 5 and has thrown her full support to Jackson. I called and asked what James' thoughts were. Since he is not running on a slate with a vice chair, he said he would be happy with Jackson or anyone that the delegates would choose. He did say, “Well, in my experience there will be people who will pop up at the convention. He firmly believes that, “The more choices the delegates have the better.”

My husband Bill and I will be attending the convention and will vote our choice for the chairmanship. I will rely on the delegates to use their wisdom and not their inherent biases and emotions to think about the future of the Republican Party in Texas and vote for the person most qualified to Keep Texas Red. That should be our most pressing goal.



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