Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Texas Republican Party Precinct Chair 2013

Texas Republican Party Precinct Chair 2013

Coming shortly ...


Texas Statutes

The rules for the precinct, township, and ward committeeman are dictated by the Texas Election Code. Project City Hall has put together the relevant Texas Election Code, Article 7 - The Making of Nominations by Political Parties (Condensed) for your convenience, but don't be afraid to read the complete Article 7, Texas Election Code -- it's educational.

Winning the Election

Winning a precinct, township, or ward committeeman election is a little challenging, unless no one is running against you. While there are many precincts without candidates, most townships and ward committeeman elections are competitive because they encompass many precincts. Nevertheless, you can win if you prepare in advance and have a plan. Many people are looking for leaders and will accept almost anyone who simply steps up to lead. Just look at your current set of elected officials for proof of that.

In general, assume a positive attitude and you're very likely to have a say in the party process. Only the people who get elected get to vote on party matters. In the smaller counties and outside of large (over 200,000) cities, your goal is to get elected as a precinct committeeman. In Chicago and large cities, you're in a ward which consists of many (sometimes over 100) precincts. In Cook county outside of Chicago, you're in a township which also consists of many precints. If you don't have election as your goal, then you should help elect like-minded people.

How the Republican Party Works in Texas

For the Republican Party, Texas has a three-level process.

  1. Direct election of precinct, township, or ward committeeman at primary election.
  2. Election of county chairman and state central committee member at county convention.
  3. Election of state chairman at state central committee meeting.

State Central Committee (SCC)

The SCC is defined as one member for each of Texas' eighteen (18) congressional districts. (See 10 ILCS 5/7-8.) The SCC is elected once every four years (2014 is next election) at county conventions. Withing forty-one days of being elected, the SCC must hold an organization meeting to elect officers and perform other basic. While the Democratic Party SCC must elect state chairman from the SCC members, the Republican SCC can elect anyone, in other words, someone who did not have to be elected to the SCC. Neither party requires any other SCC officer to be a SCC member. All the other powers and duties of the SCC are granted to it in the Texas Republican Party Bylaws.

It's important to note that the statute requires a complicated voting scheme for SCC business. Basically, each member has a weighted vote based on the total number of ballots voted at the most recent Republican primary election. The negative side of this scheme is that a minority of members can control the entire committee, which is tiny (Texas has the smallest SCC of any state) to begin with. The anti-fairness aspect, in my opinion, of the SCC is that elected officials are permitted to be members. States like Texas prohibit a public offical from being a member of the party organization at all levels. In a similar vein, Pennsylvania prohibits many public employees from holding party positions. In general, it's a conflict of interest issue, when the people with official power also have party power.

County Central Committee (CCC)

The county conventions are convened twenty-nine (29) days after the primary election in each of the 102 counties in Texas. At the county conventions, the first order of business is to elect a chairman of the CCC. The chairman must have been elected to his precinct, township, or ward at the preceding primary election. The other officers, same as the SCC level, need not be members of the county committee. Similarly to the SCC, the CCC members have weighted votes for all CCC business based on the number of ballots cast in their election unit (precinct, township, or ward) at the preceding biennial primary election.

The CCC chairman is, therefore, a vulnerable position. For example, the current Cook County chairman, Aaron Del Mar, his Palatine Township committeeman position by a scant 1% margin in 2010. If he had lost, he would not have been eligible for the powerful Cook County chairmanship.

Precinct, Township, and Ward Committeeman (PC, TC, and WC)

Each PC must get elected at the primary election in the spring of every even-numbered year. PCs serve two-year terms. In order to get on the ballot, a PC must submit a nominating petition with at least ten (10) valid signatures from electors (registered voters) who live in his precinct. There are some other documents needed as well. Write-in candidates must also file documents and must get at least as many votes as the nominating petition requires in order to be elected. Write-in campaigns are dificult to wage, unless there is no challenger, so why not just get on the ballot?

In Cook County, WCs are elected in presidental primary election years and TCs are elected in the non-presidential primary election. Unlike PCs, TCs and WCs serve four-year terms. TCs (30 in Cook County) are up for election in 2014.

The larger the election district, the more weight a committeeman's vote has. If you are going to run for a committeeman position in 2014, it's in your own best interest to get the highest voter turnout in your party that you can. The more votes cast on your party's ballot, the more power you have in the county and state committees. I should note that the weighting is based on the number of party ballots cast, not the number of votes you get or the number of votes that any indivudal candidate on the ballot gets.

Once elected as a committeeman, besides becoming a member of the CCC, you are also automatically on several other committees that are defined in the statute. Those committees are rather specialized, so just read the statute to find out what they are.

County Party Information

If you have corrections or additions to this information, please let us know.


Precinct / County Meeting Information

If you have corrections or additions to this information, please let us know.


You've Got A Friend

If this is your first meeting, it helps to get together with others who may be a little more organized. The party insiders already know the other insiders, so incumbents, as usual, always have an advantage. Here are a list of contacts, by county, who are willing to take you under their wing, so to speak. You may not agree with them on everything, but they are not insiders, so they, like you, are probably in the minority.

All politics is local. We cannot reach the goal alone. We need your help. These people are actively recruiting precinct committeemen in their county. If you'd like to recruit for your county, add your comment to this article and a way to contact you.


County Rules Analysis

Below you will find an analysis of county organization rules that differ from the norm.




© Copyright 2013, Project City Hall. All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment