Simpson Wins Bid for Re-election: Proves to be a Referendum on Slates
by Kelly Horsley on June 1, 2016 at 4:05 PM
Tuesday, May 24th, Paul Simpson, Harris County Republican Party Chairman won his bid for re-election after being forced into a run-off by slate mailer endorsed candidate Rick Ramos. Simpson went into this race a bit behind the eight ball, if you will, coming in just slightly behind Ramos who garnered 39.81% of the vote during the March 1st primary.
Ramos was a virtual no-show prior to, during and after the primary election held on March 1st. Never having been involved within the party structure prior to filing to run for the county chairman position, one of the few things he campaigned on was his ability to 'diversify' the Harris County GOP. He also traveled around the county sharing the story of his Cuban-born father and the struggles he endured to make it to the United States to pursue the American dream.
During the run-off election, he was again, a no-show to ALL of the events held by various clubs and organizations. No interviews, no forums and not a single yard sign or push card that I saw. He seemed to be relying only on the power of the slate mailers. Bad news for Ramos was that they just didn't come through for him this time.
The screen capture featured above is the election results from Harrisvotes.org. This has to be one of my favorite pictures of all time. Why, you ask? It shows that Paul Simpson beat slate endorsed Rick Ramos in ALL three categories; Absentee, Early Voting AND Election Day! This is a YUUUUGE blow to the momentum of the slates, and it proves that the slates CAN be beaten at their own game!
Steven Hotze's strategy, one of the more significant players in the slate mailer game, is generally to prey upon the absentee voters; the over 65-crowd who receive their ballot by mail, usually attached to a 'slate' of his recommendations. Well, as you can see by the results, Hotze did not receive the desired effect. Ramos was beaten almost two to one on absentee ballots.
So what can we attribute the Simpson win to, exactly? The power of the grass roots army that rallied around Simpson, that's what! He had teams organized at every meeting and every event. Not only that, but Simpson had phone bankers and block walkers going out during the week and every weekend leading up to election day.
The race had been virtually 'called' before even one precinct reported their results. As County Judge Ed Emmet said at the Simpson victory party, "This is really unusual. Normally, we don't declare a winner and introduce him before the first precinct reports. But in this case, the voters have overwhelmingly said that Paul Simpson is the greatest Harris County Republican Party Chairman of all time."
So as you can see, the slates appear to be on life support. I hope that across Harris County and the state of Texas that the grass roots will keep working together to deprive the slates of the influence they have had for such a long time. Encourage voters to do their own research! Remember, the people choose, not the slates! Slam the door on the slates!