Last Friday December 6th I filed for Republican Party precinct chair 34. As of Monday December 16th I am unopposed in my primary and the filing deadline has passed. Therefore I am precinct chair elect. As many of you may remember I applied to be precinct chair through the Vacancy Committee of the Harris County Republican Party almost a year and a half ago. Nine months later I was called to be screened before the Vacancy Committee where I was asked a range of questions including whether I supported abolishing the age of consent and teaching grade school children sexual education, both of which I vehemently denied. I was rejected by the committee on a 5-4 vote. In large part I believe that was due to the fact that I am vice-president of the Log Cabin Republicans and an openly gay man. The following outpouring of support from Republican activists and others across the county was heartening to say the least. Before I say anything else I would like to thank all those that stood up for my inclusion in the party and bore witness to my integrity.
Over the next two years I plan on using my position within the party to promote conservative values, small government, and a free market. The events over the past year has shown me the best way to do so is to unabashedly support tolerance, inclusion, and outreach of all kinds. Houston and the surrounding community are some of the most diverse and wonderful places to live. It is a hub of cultural, racial, and religious diversity. It is a place of varying beliefs, sexual orientations, and lifestyles. A place of many languages and peoples, much like the United States as a whole.
It doesn’t take the most adept political observer to realize that elections are won by a gaining a majority of the vote. A majority can only be achieved by continually gaining the support of the community as a whole. In a community as large and diverse as Houston we can only assume that the efforts by a small vocal minority in the local party leadership to turn people away from our political party has been a part of the reason we have continually lost ground to the Democratic Party over the last several cycles. Instead of recruiting a new generation of Republican voters we have told people that they are not welcome unless the pass certain litmus tests installed by the party leadership.
Not only are such litmus tests detrimental to the electoral success of our party, they do not reflect the reality of the world we live in. Like most Republicans I am a lover of liberty and believe that man is strongest when he is given the maximum freedom allowed without slipping into anarchy. It saddens me when there are those out there that would stifle debate and diverse views in the party on what that means. To not only be a successful party, but also one that governs with a wise and judicious hand we must be willing to allow criticism, intellectual debate, and differing opinions within our own ranks. No two people will come to complete consensus on what conservatism, liberty, justice, freedom and moral understanding mean. When we attempt to force unilateral views on such subjects we bring detriment to our own efforts.
The time has come for leadership change within the party. We need people who are willing to fight for the integrity of our party and we need people who are willing to recognize the common humanity of our entire community. I do not believe that our current Republican leadership in Harris County represents such views. Mr. Jared Woodfill has stood up in support of the vacancy committee’s continuous rejections of viable applicants who wish to serve their party and their communities. We need leadership who is willing to unite our efforts to promote the values of freedom and economic liberty that are the foundation of the Republican Party, and who do not tell people that they are unworthy of representing those values.
I urge everyone this primary season to carefully consider your vote in the upcoming contested races. We have many candidates who are vying to represent us in various positions. Some of these candidates will succeed, many others will not. I encourage you to engage these people who are running. Find their values, weigh their qualifications, judge their integrity and ethics. Look past the common rhetoric which divides us and if it be your way prayerfully consider who would best represent not only the Republican Party but the community as a whole. It is your right and your duty to be involved, so please never let anyone tell you that you are not welcome.
Precinct Chair Elect, Precinct 34
Harris County Republican Party