Christopher Busby, HCRP Precinct Chair

Chris Busby
Christopher Busby

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.

Christopher Busby
Precinct Chair Elect, Precinct 34
Harris County Republican Party


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  1. says

    The ‘vacancy committee’, run by Terry Lowry and Richard Dillon, is proven foolish and feckless. After this incident it ran off a gentleman of Asian descent, as he was not pure enough on abortion, having stated it was not a top level concern in his community which claims a very small rate of occurrence.
    Perhaps the 2014 committee will focus on growing the ranks of liberty minded Rs rather than trying to maintain some evangelical paradise that never was and never will be.

  2. says

    Hurrah, Chris! Speaking as a long-time precinct chair, let me say that I am thrilled to have you join us.

    Now that is not to say that I will agree with you all the time. I may even speak and vote against you on some matters, including some of those that appear to be things that turned the Vacancy Committee against you. But as some guy named Reagan (whose words and example have been forgotten by some members of the Vacancy Committee) once said (and I paraphrase), “The guy who is with you 80% of the time is a friend and ally, not a 20% traitor.”

    I’ll be looking for you at the next HCRP Executive Committee meeting.

  3. Chris Busby says

    Rhymes with Right. Thank you for the welcome. I look forward to vigorous and respectful debate on issues where we differ and working together on the majority where we agree.

  4. Scott Bowen says

    I’m also a new precinct-chair-elect, from 724 in Clear Lake. I don’t know much about Mr. Woodfill or his performance as a chair, but tactics like these help explain why we’ve lost so much ground as a party in Harris County over the last several elections. Thank you for what you’ve done so far, and I look forward to seeing you and RWR at the next (my first) meeting!

  5. says

    The exclusionary policies of the Republican party do not help the cause of limited government… in fact, those policies aid and abet – and are really part of – the creeping tyranny we see in this country.

    It is unbelievable to me that party officials stand by such policies – and pander – while we all stand by and watch the American ship of state sinking right before our eyes…

    I await the response that refutes this view.

    As a fellow precinct chair elect, I look forward to looking past the distractions and getting down to business… if that is even possible anymore.

  6. Buffie ingersoll says

    Thank you Chris, for your commitment and persistence! You are truly an asset to our party and I am sorry for what you had to go through. We have some important elections in march, everyone vote!!!

  7. Manuel Barrera says

    Both parties do it. The Democrats are worse as they will try to prevent any person that does not pass their litmus test from running for office. Even if elected they will attempt to remove them, Oliver and presently Wilson.

  8. loren smith says

    Takes a lot of courage to do what you are doing, Chris, especially with the Duck Dynasty crowd offering their particular insight on your journey. However, with Lisa Falkenberg on the Dem’s side your job may be somewhat easier. Did you see her piece in Sunday’s paper where she referred to referred to Phil Robertson as Phil Richardson several times? To make matters worse, Dug Begley had an article right above hers with Mayor Parker’s take on the issue. Smooth seas and a following wind to you…

  9. Tom Zakes says

    Welcome to the least exclusive club in Harris County.

    As you serve your term, please remember the following:
    1) your first obligation is to your precinct.
    Recruit good workers who can process people through the election experience fairly and efficiently.
    Get trained in the law and operations.
    You should also get trained/certified as a volunteer deputy voter registrar.
    The folks (mostly volunteers) at headquarters work hard to make sure election places are staffed.
    If you don’t shirk your duties on election day to work for Sarah Davis, I won’t shirk mine to work for Bonnie Parker.
    From now till 7 am on March 4, do whatever you please to influence people to vote for your favorite candidates in the primary.
    At that point, you have to become impartial for 12 hours.
    2) The fact that you ran increases the number required for a quorum at Executive Committee meetings by .5.
    SD 15 has historically had the highest participation at these meetings, even though the location for them is by no means central nor convenient as rush hour ends.
    Be there, even if you have to sign in and leave.
    3) You will lose votes at Executive Committee meetings.
    Move on to the next issue.
    Remember, Republicans have the symbol of the elephant, which has thick skin.
    Democrats have the symbol of the jackass.
    4) If your favorite candidate loses in the primary, you can still support the person who beat them in the general election.
    5) If someone doesn’t ask your sexual orientation, and doesn’t start a conversation with the statement “I’m heterosexual,” you don’t need to tell them you are homosexual.
    6) Don’t depend on the leadership of others to determine your level of activity.
    Jared Woodfill is an imperfect person who has two imperfect opponents.
    Feel free to support and vote for any of the three.
    But whoever wins should have your cooperation in moving the party forward and getting the vote out.
    Most of the races we lost were by less than one percent.
    Most of the election we won were by less than two percent.
    There happens to be another party out there that is also trying to win.
    Not as hard as we are, but they do have more money.

    I’m Tom Zakes, and I approve this message.

  10. Chris Busby says

    Buffie, Yvone, Jeff, Lauren, Scott, Carl. Thank you for your kind words. I’m looking forward to the next two years.

    Tom- Thank you for your advice. I have several friends that are veteran precinct chairs that have committed to helping guide me through the process.
    I have no illusion that I will win every debate or even most debates as my more libertarian/small government views do put me in contrast with some elements of the party. The issue I am most committed to right now is restoring civil debate within the party and working to eliminate or reduce the retaliation against the minority view.
    I’m looking forward to running my first election, It should be a fun and engaging experience. When given a position that I am unable to fufill the duties I have in the past had the diligence to resign. If I find myself unable to run an election or attend a vast majority of executive committee meetings I will resign my post.
    Supporting a candidate who ultimately loses her or his election is a difficult affair, I know that I was sorely dissappointed in the loss of Bill Frazer this past cycle who I believe would have made an outstanding city controller. A majority of candidates in contested races will ultimately lose and it is incumbent on the victors and the losers to both be gracious and work together.
    The only way that my sexual orientation comes up is usually in the course of natural conversation. For example, “What did you do this weekend?” “I took a trip out of town with my partner.” If anyone asks I am honest.

    I look forward to meeting you and working together on issues where we are in agreement.

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