Last week, nearly 10,000 Republicans from across Texas gathered in San Antonio for the country’s largest political convention. The delegates voted on platform planks, party officials, and legislative priorities for the Republican Party of Texas (RPT), with those decisions guiding the Texas GOP for the next two years. The biggest winners of the convention were grassroots Pro-Life advocates who saw significant victories both in the platform and in important party elections. The biggest losers were the establishment and moderate Republicans like Joe Straus, Byron Cook, and their cronies.
Chairman James Dickey
Chairman James Dickey won reelection with a huge majority, soundly defeating establishment-backed Cindy Asche in the Senate District Caucuses, winning 22 districts to Asche’s 9. Then, when Asche refused to concede and brought the election to an unnecessary floor vote, Chairman Dickey won again with 65% of the delegates’ votes. Chairman Dickey’s victory shows that the grassroots are the driving force in Texas politics, and that the days of establishment power are over within the official party. Cindy Asche was backed by the fake Pro-Life group Texas Alliance for Life and the former RPT Chair Tom Mechler, who sought to regain control of the party to establishment forces. Her defeat shows definitively that the Republican Party of Texas demands true Pro-Life conservatives.
When Governor Abbott called a special legislative session last summer, Chairman Dickey had won election as State Party Chair only weeks earlier. Chairman Dickey acted immediately to activate the grassroots in support of the Governor’s legislative agenda items. These items included two Pro-Life priorities: Senate Bill 11, preventing physicians form placing a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order in a patient’s file without the patient’s or his or her family’s consent, and Pro-Life health insurance reform (House Bill 214) that prevents Pro-Life Texans from having to pay for abortion in their insurance premiums. Chairman Dickey testified in the legislature in favor of these Life-saving bills and cast the deciding vote in the censure of RINO House Speaker Joe Straus. Pro-Life Texans will remember Straus as the lawmaker who blocked these bills from coming to the House floor during the regular legislative session. Chairman Dickey will continue to be a strong ally of Texas Right to Life and unborn children.
There were also significant victories in the Legislative Priorities and Platform committees. For the Republican Party of Texas, legislative Priorities are issues that the delegates designate as having critical importance for legislators to act on in the upcoming legislative session. One of the five final legislative priorities chosen by convention delegates was support for the Preborn Non-Discrimination Act (PreNDA). PreNDA will prohibit elective abortion for discriminatory reasons, such as sex or potential disability. Texas Right to Life testified on and provided materials to committee members and delegates to ensure that this crucial priority made its way onto the final list of priorities.
Texas Right to Life is extremely pleased to announce that a further Pro-Life victory emerged during convention, a plank calling for reform of the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA). Current law allows a hospital committee to remove life-sustaining treatment from a patient against his or her wishes, against the presence of an advance directive, power of attorney or other surrogate decision maker, with only 10 days’ notice. Texas Republicans have now officially called on Republican lawmakers to repeal this unethical, unprecedented, and immoral law.
While the conservative grassroots won massive victories last week, the battle isn’t over. The moderate Austin establishment will be back in the Capitol in full force to oppose the conservative policies that the Republican platform promotes and that the grassroots demand.
In addition to endorsing Chairman Dickey and advocating for specific platform items, Texas Right to Life PAC also endorsed several candidates for the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC). The SREC serves as the board of directors of the Republican Party of Texas, and are the party’s decision makers in between the biennial state conventions. Two members, one male and one female, are elected from each Senate District, for 64 total members (including the state Chairman and Vice Chairman).
The following Texas Right to Life-endorsed candidates for SREC won their elections, and will be serving for the next two years.
Robert Kecseg – SD 1
Allison Winter – SD 4
Terri Leo – SD 7
Mark Ramsey – SD 7
Susan Fountain – SD 16
Kathaleen Wall – SD 17
Debbie Terry – SD 12
We look forward to working with them—and hopefully many more SREC members—over that time, to continue guiding the Republican Party of Texas in a positive direction.